HR’s Favorite Topics of 2021

Patrizia Ciuppa

With a total of 50 Talent Experience Live episodes across a variety of hot HR topics — from AI & automation to "The Big Quit" that continues rocking employers — we wrapped up 2021 with a look back at the episodes you loved most.
 

Watch the full episode right here, or catch highlights below!
 


Preparing for the Great Rehire: Essential HR Tech Upgrades
 

Like many other companies last year, BMO, one of the largest banks in Canada, was looking to rebuild their workforce by nearly a quarter. This growing demand highlighted the need for their talent acquisition team to work smarter and faster, and they turned to Phenom’s AI and automation to help.
 

A more efficient screening process allowed recruiters to identify the right candidates quicker, and the use of targeted recruitment marketing campaigns helped build a stronger talent community. The BMO TA team also recognized the importance of keeping communication strong with “silver-medal candidates,” those close runner-ups who could potentially be a great fit for future job openings.
 

In addition to a stronger recruitment strategy, Phenom’s AI technology helped refresh their approach to internal mobility — another key aspect of their company growth. In addition to matching existing employees with internal positions, AI analyzes their profiles and recommends the best steps for their career development. 
 


 


High-Volume Hiring Lessons From a Retail Giant 
 

For our February episode, we turned to Kim Nicholas, head of Talent Acquisition at New Zealand retail giant The Warehouse Group, to learn how they overcame peak hiring challenges and leveraged Phenom’s Employee Experience to support a company-wide reorganization.
 

By using their career site to showcase their company culture, their community, and their environmental contributions, they not only differentiate themselves from competitors but attract top candidates whose values are better aligned with theirs. And when the number of applicants almost doubled from previous years, they relied on a more powerful screening tool to help save time and improve the quality of hires. 
 

During their massive reorganization, leveraging their new employee portal boosted agility and internal mobility. With more than 35 pages of important information like the company’s new organizational structure, internal job opportunities, and available development programs, it offered an easy and transparent way to keep employees up to date during a challenging year. 
 


Filling Mission-Critical Jobs with Innovative Campaigns 
 

Many companies are challenged with high-volume hiring. But what about organizations that need to fill fewer, extremely specialized roles? Fraser Donnell, Head of Talent Acquisition at L3Harris, a global aerospace and defense technology leader, shared how they accomplished just that. 
 

Designing systems-level components across air, land, sea, space, and cyber domains requires a talented team of individuals with a specific set of skills, which can be extremely challenging for a recruiting team. L3 turned to Phenom for help.
 

Donnell’s “recruiting IS marketing” philosophy shapes their recruitment campaigns, using hyper-personalization to capture highly skilled candidates through the CRM and building a strong, thriving talent pool. When a specific role opens up, recruiters turn to that talent pool and create one-on-one campaigns to fill it. 
 

Focusing on their timing, audience, and messaging, Donnell’s talent acquisition team has successfully refined their recruitment campaign strategy — and they have the metrics to prove it. Their biggest win? Their fastest hire took just 4 days!
 


Show & Tell: How Life Time is Winning at Video Testimonials 
 

There’s no question video content is king — and an essential part of a successful talent acquisition strategy today. We spoke to TA and sourcing team members at luxury health club provider LifeTime to learn how user-generated video content is improving their candidate engagement, as well as their employee experience. 
 

Previously, creating career site video content was an expensive, time consuming process that involved numerous people across multiple teams. Not any more! Phenom’s video capture tools enabled Lifetime to cut their production time from 2-3 months to 2-3 days. By simply sharing a link with their employees, they were able to quickly collect authentic stories that resonated with candidates, while also driving their own employees to get involved.
 

Recognizing video’s value in bringing more authenticity to their career site, the TA team then re-launched their DE&I page to include stories told directly from inclusion council members and ambassadors.The quality and candor of the content drove engagement through the roof — more than 13,000 page visits in 2021 — and the team continues to leverage video to grow LifeTime’s brand and its team.  
 


 


Breaking Barriers: Empowering the next generation of women leaders 
 

2021 boasted more women leaders than ever before. To understand the steps necessary to maintain this positive trend, we spoke to Colleen Stratton, Global Leader of Workforce Development at SEI. The wealth management company is actively committed to retaining more women employees and better developing them for leadership roles. 
 

With Phenom talent analytics, Stratton was able to gather the data needed to guide their decision making process and make educated predictions moving forward. For example, after seeing a 10% drop-off among female managers moving to director-level positions, they turned to the employees themselves to get to the root of the problem. It turned out many women weren’t able to manage the time obligation of the higher level position — an issue Stratton is hopeful to alleviate by offering a more flexible remote schedule. 
 

SEI has also implemented multiple programs to develop their female employees into leaders. According to Stratton, mentorship and sponsorship programs are invaluable, though it’s important to recognize the difference between the two: a mentor is someone who provides career advice, while a sponsor is someone who will represent and guide an employee when internal opportunities arise.
 


 


The Big Quit: Why We Need It & What We Can Learn 
 

According to the Labor Department, 4.3 million employees left their jobs last August, a staggeringly high number not seen since 2000. Phenom's JD and Jenn Thomas debated why the “Big Quit” could actually be a good thing for employees and the companies who hire them. 
 

The economic and social climate of the last year empowered employees to reevaluate their career paths, emboldening them to have candid conversations with their managers and consider new opportunities that  better align with their goals and values.
Losing these employees can benefit employers as well, as it gives them the opportunity to hire suitable candidates who are more likely to stick around for the long haul. A key point they addressed? 
 

The importance of training managers to be good leaders that foster an environment of open communication with their employees, in order to better understand their career paths and assist them in moving to the next level. A quick look at Phenom’s career pathing technology showed how AI can help employees understand and define their possible trajectory within their organization, while also providing them with the resources needed to get there.
 


 


Help Your AI Help You: Getting the Most From Fit Scores, Discovery & More
 

More companies are investing in artificial intelligence to improve their talent acquisition strategy — but, unlike the common misconception, AI is meant to augment human processes, not replace them. How exactly?
 

Phenom’s lead product manager of AI, Sean O’Donnell, joined us on this episode to walk through Phenom’s AI-fueled candidate matching and fit scores, which recruiters can leverage to save countless hours searching for ideal talent.
 

The algorithms suggest the best-fit talent for each role and then rank the candidates (A-fit, B-fit, etc.) according to how well their profiles match job description criteria. Behind the scenes, the technology continues to improve by constantly applying the feedback it “learns” from the talent interactions that occur within the platform — including the ability for recruiters to “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” suggested fits. 
 



Thank you to the experts and HR leaders who joined us to share their invaluable expertise and stories — and a big shout-out to all our viewers for tuning in each week! 
 

Never miss an episode — subscribe to our playlist on YouTube — or catch us live there, on LinkedIn, or Facebook every Thursday at noon ET for the latest in recruiting, talent acquisition, talent management, and HR tech.