3 Ways to Improve Your Talent Acquisition Strategy for 2020

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In the face of historically low unemployment rates and changing workforce demographics, companies are clambering to update their talent acquisition tactics to entice candidates in a tight talent market. A survey from Kronos and the Human Capital Institute, released earlier this year, found that 53 percent of organizations “plan to make major changes to their talent acquisition strategy in the next two years.”

But exactly what kind of changes should talent acquisition teams be making as they head into 2020? Here are a few tips to help you recruit more — and better — talent next year:

1. Offer Flexible Work Arrangements

The prospect of making changes to your company’s standard work arrangements may be intimidating, but the failure to be flexible could definitely harm your retention efforts. In fact, 30 percent of respondents to a 2019 FlexJobs survey reported having left a job because it did not offer flexible work options.

Flexibility doesn’t just help companies retain talent — it can also boost the performance of those employees who stick around. In the same FlexJobs survey, 65 percent of respondents said they were more productive when working from home, and 80 percent said they would be more loyal to their employers if they had flexible work options.

Flexible work is easier than ever to implement thanks to technology, and employees can stay connected from anywhere at any time thanks to the constant accessibility of the internet. One common tactic for bringing more flexibility into the workplace is offering employees the option of flextime. Flextime is a work arrangement that allows employees to adjust their start and end times while still working a full eight hours each day. Some employers may worry that variable schedules will interrupt collaboration, but this can be avoided by establishing a certain core period of the day during which all employees have to be in the office.

Flextime can be implemented with relatively little effort on the company’s part, and it gives employees peace of mind when it comes to maintaining a healthy work/life balance. Given how important work/life balance is to today’s candidates, touting your company’s commitment to flexible work can be a powerful differentiator in the talent market.

2. Personalize Your Communication Tactics

As the talent market grows increasingly competitive, effective communication channels between candidates and companies become more important than ever. Organizations are vying for the same top candidates, so it’s vital that talent acquisition teams make good first impressions on a candidate as quickly as they can.

However, recruiters may struggle to maintain efficient, personalized communication using the standard methods of email and phone call. Not only does the talent market move faster today, but younger candidates entering the workforce have different communication preferences than previous generations. In particular, many young job seekers are fond of texting.

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This is good news for recruiters. According to Gartner, text messages have an open rate of 98 percent and a response rate of 45 percent, compared to email’s 20 percent open rate and 6 percent response rate. It’s no wonder more and more recruiters are adopting texting, especially in forward-thinking industries like tech, where 67 percent of leaders say they use texting to set up interviews with candidates.

Plus, younger generations — particularly Gen. Z-ers — tend to lose interest quickly. Texting allows candidates and recruiters to communicate with speed and convenience, reducing the chance of a talented job seeker growing disengaged.

3. Target Candidates With Smarter Recruitment Marketing

Recruitment marketing has become much more important to hiring in recent times. Rather than waiting for candidates to come to them, marketing-savvy recruiting teams specifically target the best talent and take steps to actively attract and engage these candidates.

Recruitment marketing focuses on the beginning stages of the recruitment process, building awareness of the company among candidates and actively encouraging top prospects to apply. Companies looking to improve their hiring results through smarter recruitment marketing need to start by building strong relationships between HR and marketing personnel. In today’s market, job seekers are learning about companies through online searches and interactions. They are looking at social media pages and reading reviews on sites like Glassdoor. These are often the domain of the company’s marketing team, so it’s crucial that HR work with marketers to create and maintain an online presence that speaks to the right kinds of candidates wherever they are.

Finding the best talent is especially difficult in today’s competitive market. In order to succeed in 2020′s hiring environment, talent acquisition teams will need to adjust to the latest trends. By offering flexible work, adopting effective communication channels, and implementing a targeted recruitment marketing strategy, recruiters can better reach their audiences of highly skilled candidates.

Matt Thomas is president of WorkSmart Systems.

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