Recruitment and Talent Management: It’s the people connection

No matter what your line of business, it’s the people that count. Human capital is a valuable commodity, not to be traded as an object but treated as a precious item - it’s not a business overhead but an asset. This is a topical point for CEOs and HR as shown by Mercer in their recent survey Talent Rising – High impact accelerators to global growth’.

Companies realise that it is important to retain good employees and they work hard to bring the best new talent in when they are hiring. Even in these difficult economic times the war for talent is strong as good people tend to stay put rather than risk moving roles. At the other end of the career ladder, talented graduates and school leavers are struggling to get their first career break. These could be the new innovators or pioneers for your business, just as people who are currently unemployed and are seeking new roles could be. To hire the right people, companies work very hard on their attraction and sourcing strategies and the Sodexo social media case study is a great example of this.

Companies build strong employer brands that endorse the corporate brand values, they develop good recruitment and HR teams, they build best-in-class careers sites, they buy the optimum online ATS or CMS system and they engage. When you consider how much is invested into recruitment you naturally expect the best results.

Imagine now that you are seeing the recruitment process from the candidate perspective, not your own inward-facing company objectives. What was the recruitment journey like? What was the candidate perception of the company when they applied compared to when they had the final decision on their application? Were their expectations met and, if not, what could be improved? These questions and more should be answered on an on-going basis. After all, when candidates have invested time and effort in applying it is natural for them to expect the best too. When companies are committing up front to the recruitment process, it is surprising that more importance isn’t given to understanding and improving the candidate experience.

This is not ‘just another hot topic’- in fact, as many blog posts show, this subject has been talked about for a long time. It now needs to be measured, monitored and credence given to candidate feedback. This will not only improve the ROI on recruitment but leave applicants with the feel-good factor after they have applied – and remember, that in some cases they may be a future customer.

In a Recruiter magazine feature, Andy Hill, now VP Talent & Resourcing at Invensys, commented on previous work at Vodaphone and the philosophies that he has carried through to his current role:

“At Vodaphone, it was very easy to realise that the candidate was a potential customer. If you’ve got a great reputation, you’ll get the talent. It’s a philosophy, and if you ask any of my team about me, that’s what they’ll talk about. That underpins my whole philosophy on resourcing: a brand-aligned candidate experience.”

Even if candidates may not be customers, they still need to come away from the hiring process feeling valued, respected and treated as an individual, whether they are recruited or not. The people connection is vital and, in a recruitment world increasingly dominated by technology, the human element needs validation too. Remember the old adage ‘People buy people’.

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