“Having a solid candidate experience is more critical now than ever for companies to stand apart,” professed Kim Haught, Senior Manager of Global Talent Acquisition at software and services company CSG during our virtual IAMHR conference.
We couldn’t agree more. As an increasing number of companies make remote work a permanent fixture of their employee experience, optimizing how to attract and retain top talent virtually has become exponentially more important.
Ahead of the game are organizations like CSG that needed to continue scaling throughout the earliest days of the pandemic — and therefore have the insight that only comes from facing and overcoming challenge. Between March and November 2020, CSG onboarded 855 new employees across the globe with the help of Phenom’s Talent Experience Management (TXM) platform. This resulted in important realizations Haught shared to help other TA teams win talent in an era of remote interactions.
What’s Changed in TA?
Before pivoting to new tools and approaches, it’s important to examine the major changes TA teams face and must continue responding to:
Broader geographical hiring. With remote work having skyrocketed to new levels, companies can build a more geographically diverse talent pool. Combined with initiatives around diversity and inclusion, this is an exciting opportunity to establish more global, dynamic teams, develop specific skill sets, and invite innovation into your organization.
“As a recruiter, we can now leverage larger talent pools, especially in finding targeted skill sets,” said Haught. “While there is still plenty of value to face-to-face and office interactions to come, this benefit will ultimately allow us to better source talent, but we need the right tools to get there.”
Shifting candidate behaviors. If historical trends regarding job seeker behavior after a major crisis are any indication, candidates will come through this pandemic wanting greater job stability, Haught said. Organizations must respond by implementing internal mobility strategies to ensure a consistently positive candidate and employee experience.
“Perhaps in the future we will see less job hopping behaviors, but this also puts a greater responsibility on an organization to retain top talent,” she noted. “Companies need to offer a solid candidate experience that evolves into a positive employee experience, and continue to grow talent within. So if you haven't started thinking about an internal mobility strategy, now is definitely the time.”
Team communication. “Our communication habits have changed,” admitted Haught. “We've lost the walking-down-the-hallway conversations. We've moved them to [Microsoft] Teams, emails, and calls. But being more proactive with hiring managers, interview teams, and candidates has helped us improve the hiring process, offering thorough communication to everyone,” she said.
To eliminate any disconnect throughout the talent journey, Haught recommends being deliberate, concise, and available for questions and follow-up. “It all ties into integrity and holding you and your company to a higher standard when it comes to candidate experience.”
All of these changes combine to drive organizations to find better ways to attract and retain talent with more efficient, effective hiring processes.
Must-Have Virtual Recruiting Tools & Tactics
CSG’s response to these changes helped the company continue hiring without missing a beat. And at the time of Haught’s presentation, she fully expected 2020 hiring numbers to meet or exceed those of 2019. Here are the communication tools and tactics Haught identifies as game-changers for CSG recruitment:
Career site, CMS, CRM & Campaigns. Your career site is the way to communicate values and culture right now — and organizations must make the most of this important tool, maintained Haught, whose team leverages Phenom career site and CMS for quick and easy customization.
“Interviewees are no longer visiting CSG offices to get the real vibe of who we are. We have now taken the opportunity to showcase more around what defines us — and that's our values and our people. So we've increased content around these areas on our career site,” Haught revealed.
Through the Phenom CRM and Campaigns tool, the TA team can then nurture both active and passive job seekers, increasing their pool of viable candidates. “With the help of Phenom, we have the ability to track these campaigns and analytics around them to ensure we are getting the most reach and impact possible.”
Social media. Sharing career site content including videos, employee testimonials, blogs, and more on social media platforms including LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Twitter expands reach and ensures a consistent message. “So get your hiring managers involved — and even the rest of your teams,” advised Haught. “If people are truly living the core values of your company, it will shine across all social media channels and ultimately resonate with your audience abroad.”
Employee referrals. Many of the highest quality candidates come from referrals that your own employees recommend. Haught revealed that the CSG team is also focusing internally on highlighting their employee referral program and candidate experience on internal platforms.
Chatbot. Another essential career site element is CSG’s AI-driven chatbot. “Candidate experience is critical to us, and having a tool that can answer questions when recruiters may not be available is incredibly helpful,” said Haught.
At the time, CSG’s chatbot had already fostered 12,000 interactions in 2020 — 2,500 of which were with passive job seekers. Even when recruiters aren’t available, the chatbot is a constant presence that can provide valuable information while saving recruiters time.
Video content. Using video to guide both active and passive career site visitors on their virtual job search is a great way to build brand awareness and affinity — even if you don’t currently have the right open opportunity.
Recognizing the benefits of video, CSG created new videos on their career site intended to help all job seekers, regardless of apply status. Especially popular are their ‘Talent Tip Tuesdays’, which answer common FAQs via video. “This gives a face to our process, and we have found that candidates have responded positively and are more readily able to connect with us,” said Haught.
Virtual interviews. “The benefits of video interviews include the ability to schedule them more quickly than trying to align in-office schedules and candidate time off,” said Haught. “We've also found that more passive candidates are now open to conversation,” she continued. In fact, a combination of successful outreach plus fewer time constraints has enabled CSG to schedule more interviews than ever.
But preparation is key to making all interview participants comfortable — that goes for candidates, recruiters, and hiring managers. Haught’s advice? Let everyone know what to expect: Provide details in terms of who is participating, timing, and tech requirements, and have a backup audio line available. “Make it easy for everyone, including the interview team at your company. Your hiring managers will thank you,” she noted.
Follow-up is equally important, so ensure the time saved in scheduling is reallocated to providing essential feedback and hiring status updates.
Ready to get started? Review these key takeaways for an engaging virtual recruitment experience.
Find new ways and tools to connect with candidates, including useful content, showcasing brand and values, and amplified social media outreach.
Help candidates understand each step of the hiring process with deliberate, consistent communication. Make sure recruiters provide and solicit post-interview feedback for and from interviewees and hiring managers.
Make sure your CX continues through onboarding. Onboarding in the virtual environment can be challenging, with confusion arising around roles and responsibilities. “The key to remember throughout this entire process is that everyone has a part to play from our hiring managers, new team members, leadership and beyond,” Haught said.
Her parting piece of advice: “Find out your role – and own it.” Spoken like a boss.