Developing a robust recruitment strategy that addresses the need for relevant talent pool becomes imperative as a good initial experience sets the tone for the rest of the journey.

The outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic has drastically changed the face of people management overnight as companies now face new challenges. HR fraternity is partnering with business to meet revenue goals, adapt to new business models, restructure, adopt new policies and practices amidst the crisis. Recruitment cycle too is posing many challenges for the recruiters, talent sourcing agents, recruitment coordinators, hiring managers and HR professionals. This has led to a things falling between the cracksfrom appropriate workforce planning for the right skills and competencies, to ensuring timely completion of selection process in the virtual/ hybrid setup, to helping people land well in a virtual way of working.

At the same time, organisations are also facing challenges such as employee mental health and wellbeing, managing the transition to remote/ hybrid work models, need for agility, maintaining employee productivity, employee engagement and real time transparent communication.

Developing a robust recruitment strategy that addresses the need for relevant talent pool becomes imperative as a good initial experience sets the tone for the rest of the journey. It can help reduce the time that goes into hiring and also help recruit more productive, engaged and informed candidates.

This has necessitated organisations to take a relook at their recruitment, selection and onboarding processes- end to end, with a focus on effectiveness, efficiency and employee experience.

Why Companies Must Change Their Recruiting Strategy

Attracting and retaining top talent is similar to attracting, closing and retaining good customers. For this, hiring strategies need to incorporate efficiencies at each level of the funnel – right from demand generation (headhunting and attracting candidates) to closing in on the candidate who brings results. Henceforth, to identify the untapped and overlooked talent pool, organisations must adjust their sourcing and recruiting strategies. If the existing recruitment style is not producing a diversified workforce, then it’s time for an overhaul.

New-age recruitment tactics must analyse and assess both – skills and motivation. Companies need to drill into particular competencies instead of merely focusing on knowledge and experience alone or on the outdated ideas of ‘culture fit’. In today’s time, it’s not possible to decide the worth of an individual only by assessing their cognitive skills – a candidate who works hard and plays harder might add more value than the one with top grades.

The way candidates also evaluate organisations has significantly changed and will continue to change post this pandemic. Therefore, here are the key strategies which will help HR professionals and organisations build their talent pools and help their teams navigate through this uncertain time:

– Revisiting & Reframing Talent ManagementStrategies

Covid-19 is a crucial time for companies to recheck and reframe their existing recruitment strategies. It is imperative that the right candidates are hired in the organization for which certain questions need to be asked – whether the company is facing any issues with recruitment? Or is the HR budget insufficient? Hence, companies need to inspect their current hiring practices and look for ways to improve it.

For better results, companies must review the prevailing workforce, analyse and list what skills and competencies are needed in the organisation,and carry out an skill and competency gap evaluation- by function. HR managers must reframe and revise the job descriptions for various job postings. Leverage employee networks and social media posting to attract relevant talent.

The important of building an employer Brand at this stage cannot be stressed upon enough. Candidates today are looking for organisations with a purpose. Organisations where they feel they are contributing to a larger meaning, or achieving part of their life goals. Building employer brand through employee networks and leveraging social media handles to do so should be an integral part of the recruitment strategy and it should help candidates answer the question- why should I apply for this company? Why should I join this company? What will I gain by joining this company?

– Expand the Talent Pool

Job descriptions should be drafted keeping in mind the skills, experience and competencies required to do the job and made more inclusive. Traditionally, JDs have focussed on an ‘Ideal candidate’ making them ‘non-inclusive’ where as they should focus on the job that needs to get done. So instead of limiting one’s talent pool by putting barriers by institutes, locations, gender, age etc, if we simply go for skills, experience and competencies and invite relevant candidates to participate in the selection process, it will save time and energy for both sides.

Companies can also collaborate with external organizations to source qualified talent. Many are already partnering with governmental bodies to hire neurodivergent people. Further, it helps to regularly project a company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion within the public domain, say, displaying employee demographics or demonstrating commitment to Diversity, equity and Inclusion. This presents a company as an employer of choice to all the prospective candidates.

– Simplify and speed up the Process of Application

Long-drawn and complex application processes can be a major turnoff for any prospective candidate. By simplifying and speedingthe whole process, organisations can attract more candidates. It should be remembered that people looking for jobs are also undergoing their own anxiety, confusion and prolonging their wait for unreasonable durations does not do any good to the company’s employer brand. When an organisation posts an opening on LinkedIn, and there are applications to the opening, but the applicant do not receive any response, what message does it give to the candidate. If we scroll through LinkedIn today, there are postings which have been there for 20 days, 25 day, and there are applications upwards of 500. Many of them have not received any response from the company posting the opening. This gives a message that they are simply collecting resumes and are not seriously hiring.

At this stage, a judicious mix of technology and human connect to evaluate applications and respond to candidates in a timely and appropriate manner will go a long way in both bolstering employer image and building prospective talent pool.

– Be the Benchmark

In the current day and age, automation and technology have emerged as a crucial means to speed up processes and drive up efficiencies. In light of this development, businesses must look towards redefining their journey and become the benchmark in making contributions to the society, fighting biases and exclusion, and ensuring that there are equal opportunities available to all. In other words, this is the time when we must unleash human energy via technological advancements for an equal, inclusive and sustainable future. Using Digital platforms to reach a wider talent pool, to build your employer brand, to speed simplify and speed up the selection process without letting go of the humane aspects of the process. For instance, no technology can replace a one to one interaction that every candidate must have with the hiring manager and HR before joining. In case of the candidature not going through, an empathetic feedback must go informing the candidate, either directly from the company or through the search partner.

Summing Up

Recruitment and selection is the first interaction that any candidate or talent has with any organisation. Whether selected or not, the candidate should walk away from the experience knowing that they have interacted and engaged with a great organisation. Hence, a well-designed, thought through and implemented recruitment process can go a long way in building a sustainable organisation.