As we move all elements of the recruitment candidate journey online – whether that be pipelining, selection, onboarding or even off-boarding – it has been relatively easy to replicate processes and workflows but much less easy to capture the serendipitous aspects; The chance conversation at an event, the relationship-building at an induction day, the water-cooler moments for exchanging ideas and experiences.
Last week Hollaroo partnered with the Recruitment Events Company, as part of their Recruitment Leaders Virtual Summit. Attended by recruitment leaders and industry practitioners, we wanted to find out how the pandemic-accelerated move to an online-first digitalisation of the recruitment process was being managed, what worked and what was a challenge.
In order to get a good understanding of the attendee’s thoughts, we split the conversations into different areas of the process. Here’s what we found out:
- High-volume roles are attracting a larger number of applications, which has meant that some talent acquisition teams have had to implement some automation to help cope. This has meant a step back from a human-first process. Technologies implemented over the past several months included video interviewing and chatbots
- Attraction channels have changed. The face-to-face events, such as careers fairs, have had differing results when moved to a virtual environment. An over-reliance on these in the past is causing challenges in a post-pandemic world
- Emergency service recruitment has been affected negatively by the #BLM movement, however most employers have taken the opportunity to show the positive aspects of their organisational response to the movement and their wider D&I strategies
- Well-known (consumer-facing) brands have not struggled with attracting applicants, but have noticed challenges with some niche roles
- Conversely, non-consumer facing brands have struggled with the lack of brand recognition in attracting early years and emerging talent without the availability of tradition face-to-face events
- Having the opportunity to review processes and take advantage of time-saves by removing face-to-face parts of the funnel has meant that the post-assessment offer rate has doubled for some roles. This has meant the opportunity to pipeline for these roles, when traditionally the offer rates meant that could not happen
- Higher volumes of applicants have meant that some talent acquisition teams have become very reactive with no opportunity to pipeline
- Some talent acquisition teams have seen an increase in the volume of requisitions per role and this has come at a rapid pace, without the ability to pipeline as normal
- Pre-pandemic pipeline targets in the public sector are now getting tougher, as certain demographic targets become difficult to access due to restrictions within community outreach programmes
- Lot’s of discussion took place around who owns the onboarding process and when does it get handed over from recruitment to HR or the hiring manager
- Some attendees believed that keeping new-starters in the business was so important currently, that recruitment need to own the process due to a worry that the wider business does not take it seriously enough
- Most attendees reported that they have not struggled with adopting the administrative part of the process into a virtual one, with solutions mentioned for reference checking, right to work checks and provision of IT equipment
- Some attendees reported that the struggle with onboarding came from building relationships between new starters and their teams and managers, especially when there is a long compliance process
- Going virtual highlighted parts of the process that had happened informally in the past but now needed to be formalised
- Leavers are placed into the same CRM as all candidates, but not actively engaged with a separate category of candidate
- Some attendees reported that the only engagement with leavers is an exit interview
- Employers see the value in boomerang hires, but the challenge is getting hiring managers to treat departures as well as arrivals
The impacts of moving to an online-first process due to the COVID-19 pandemic have effected attraction and onboarding, primarily. Both of these stages rely upon building long term and meaningful relationships. However, this aspect is often overlooked when engineering the process – usually because it is done informally.
The digitalisation of these processes has brought the importance of relationship building within talent communities to the surface.
Now that recruiters and talent acquisition teams have gotten over the initial reactive response to this move to online-first, they are looking at more long-term, strategic solutions to this challenge of building long term relationships in an effective and meaningful way.
Hopefully, 2021 will be the year of the relationship, as we settle down into the normality that the pandemic has created and set the bar for the candidate experience for years to come.