5 innovative recruitment practices worldwide

The transactional aspects of hiring – candidate search, scheduling, screening among others – are increasingly getting automated. In addition, the rising expectations and options available to talent are forcing hiring leaders to make recruitment more unconventional and experiential. Employers are constantly experimenting with newer methods to access and acquire the right talent. 

Here are five innovative recruitment practices worldwide which are altering hiring processes in a big way.

Tech driven interviews: A LinkedIn survey says 56% of talent acquisition leaders believe technology is a top factor impacting interview and hiring processes. For evaluating attributes like teamwork and curiosity – which cannot be gauged effectively during traditional interviews – online soft skills assessment tools help providing a comprehensive view of a candidate’s fitment. Citi, the survey informs, has implemented such assessments for its campus recruiting program. With Virtual reality (VR), employers like Lloyds Banking Group are engaging interviewees in simulated 3-D environments to test their skills.

Data & AI driven talent acquisition: Data driven hiring is increasingly gaining popularity among talent professionals with 50% of them agreeing it enhances hiring efficiency, according to the same LinkedIn survey cited earlier. Data not just helps tracking candidates or assessing talent decisions, but also enables predicting hiring outcomes. Companies like Novartis, Nielsen and Jetblue are leveraging data driven Artificial intelligence (AI) to devise smart talent intelligence strategies. Candidate queries are being responded through Chatbots, a practice that has helped Intuit and Vodafone streamline their recruiting process by saving enormous amount of time and effort.

Talent Relationship Management driven candidate conversion:
 The notion of candidate relationship management as a means to maintain sustained connect with potential hires, is giving way to talent relationship management (TRM) – a concept that focuses more on talent than just the candidates. TRM strives to build a network of external and internal workers to identify and engage with talent.  It is particularly effective in identifying internal talent. Industry research indicates about 40%  of employers source their highest-quality talent internally. Hiring managers who use TRM tools have seen a better candidate conversion rate where the offer acceptance stand at 93% as against the market average of 89%. 

Hiring through Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat: A Glassdoor research claims every average job seeker reads at least six reviews before forming an opinion about an employer. Recruiters are now going way beyond just Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter to find talent. With the newer generation of workforce using Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat, talent leaders are trying to create candidate experience in these social channels. Clearly, social media is fast becoming a medium not just to find the right talent but to promote employer brand. Any deviation between an employer’s value proposition and actual culture at a workplace gets reported on social media. 

Flexible engagement driven by gig economy:
 Gig economy where employment is for a limited contract period is on the rise. A recent McKinsey research estimated up to 20-30% of the workforce in developed markets is engaged in such temporary contracts. In India too, the trend is picking up with knowledge workers, in their quest for greater flexibility, are choosing independent gigs. This model of employment has enabled employers to hire back highly skilled “boomerang” employees.

Clearly the recruitment scene in 2018 and beyond will be driven by the changing dynamics of the digital world as well the transforming perception of employment of the younger generation. The conventional approach of ‘advertise and apply’ will have to give way to ‘find and engage’ mode. McDonald’s use of Snapchat and Goldman Sachs use of Spotify are the classic cases where employers target specific channels used by the talent to find and engage with potential hires. 

Turn your employees into brand evangelists using the right rewards and recognitions

Rewards and Recognition (R&R) initiatives have been shown to have a direct impact on various parameters critical to an organization such as improving retention (68%), engagement (14%), and ROI (147%). But more significantly, they are invaluable in turning employees into brand ambassadors. An effective R&R program can ignite brand evangelism – a highly effective form of marketing. For instance, content shared by employees receives eight times higher engagement than that shared by corporate brand channels, and leads developed through employee social marketing are seven times more likely to convert.
In today’s digital world, an effective R&R program must be woven around three Es – Engagement, Experience, and Empowerment. While engagement hinges more on mental stimulation, experience and empowerment come from employees’ emotional connect with their organization.

Here are five ways to roll out an effective R&R program to turn employees into brand evangelists:

#1 Make R&R experiential: More than cash rewards and discount vouchers that are short-lived, experiential rewards have the capability to become talking points for a long time. Experiential rewards such as adventure tours, nature treks, health and wellness getaways or restaurant treats help organizations establish an emotional connect with employees. Employees are also likely to share pictures and videos of their trips on social media or through word-of-mouth with their family and friends, giving a solid boost to their organization’s image and humanizing the brand. Infosys’ unique experiential RnR platform InfyGold+, gives employees the freedom to choose their rewards from a variety of available hotel, travel, retail, and other deals.

#2 Focus on providing frequent R&R: Traditional R&R programs include recognition for length of service, extraordinary one-time achievement, stellar performance over a period of time, sales incentives and so on. According to a SHRM survey, companies that invest more than 1% or more of payroll on incentive programs perceived greater positive impact on every key metric. However, recognition does not need to be elaborate or complicated in order to be effective. A simple weekly or monthly rewards ritual can also keep employees engaged and motivated. Small words of praise, handwritten thank you notes, appreciation at a town hall, and other such gestures go a long way in turning employees into brand evangelists. Use surveys and focus groups to figure out what motivates your team members and incentivize accordingly.

#3 Create peer-to-peer R&R programs: While manager-led recognition is the most common form of recognition, peer-to-peer recognition is easier to set up. It also reduces the burden on managers. Zappos, for instance, has a long standing formal peer-to-peer reward program named ‘Monthly Hero’ where every employee is given USD 50 to reward another worker who he/she feels is deserving. From the pool of awardees, one Monthly Hero is chosen through common vote and a mini-parade is held to celebrate the hero’s victory. Besides a cash reward, the hero gets a cape to wear and a covered parking slot too.

#4 Gamify R&R to customize rewards: The psychology behind game mechanics can be used to increase engagement in R&R programs by including point scoring, peer competition, instant recognition, and so on. Besides tapping into three key levers that drive employee motivation i.e. recognition, rewards, and competition, gamification also helps increase transparency of the R&R program.Easy access to the program from anywhere, anytime, and on any device further boosts adoption. For instance, in health and fitness-based R&R initiatives, companies can track the health and fitness levels of employees and reward them with points that can be redeemed for a host of goodies such as gift cards, discount coupons, and product deals.

#5 Extend R&R to other facets of organizational responsibilities: Millennials love working for companies that give them a chance to contribute meaningfully towards social causes. Extending R&R programs to include recognition for employees who go the extra mile in doing their jobs or in volunteering for CSR initiatives is a good idea to turn them into real brand evangelists. Tata Consultancy Services’  R&R platform – GEMs or ‘Go the Extra Mile’ –recognizes and awards points to employees who go above and beyond their job responsibilities or make significant contributions to the society.

To ensure R&R success – give employees the freedom of choice

Today’s workforce wants to feel empowered and in charge of deciding what, where, when, and for whom they want the reward. For organizations this is a golden opportunity to get the  different facets right by leveraging technology and R&R analytics, in turn, driving incremental benefits while creating a sustainable competitive advantage. 

How to write a job description that attracts top talent

76% of hiring managers say attracting high quality talent is their top challenge for 2018. Thanks to a candidate-driven job market and shortage of ‘employable’ candidates, companies are scrambling to attract, hire, and retain quality talent. Well-written job descriptions (JD) that are informative, yet not fully revealing can be a great help here. 89% of candidates say they prefer JDs that are detail-oriented when companies or job consultancies first reach out to them. But how can companies ensure they write JDs that attract top talent and stand out from a swarm of other JDs written for similar profiles? Here are five tips to get it right:

#1 Focus on the title

Weird job titles might sound cool, but according to research words like ‘ninja’, ‘rockstar’ or ‘guru’ or even extremes like ‘best of the best’ and  ‘world class’ can put quality candidates off, besides making such job listings hard to find for most websites’ search engines. Job titles must list key skills required for the particular job and these must be written in the commonly used industry terminology, not what an organization may be using internally. For instance, ‘HR manager’ is more common than a ‘people relations manager’, making the former easier to understand and find for most job seekers.

#2 Capture highlights in a short overview

While looking for excellent job opportunities, job seekers often pore over hundreds of JDs and may not have the inclination to delve into the details if nothing catches their fancy early on. Therefore, companies must start by putting out a short, engaging, and creatively crafted overview that lists the job’s key responsibilities (not more than two) and how it contributes to making the business better. Focus on opportunities for growth and development when writing the overview as that’s the most appealing aspect for nearly 60% of millennials – the soon-to-be largest generation in the global workforce. As an example, see this JD for Software Engineer by Dropbox – it instantly makes prospects feel that they’ll be a part of something larger than themselves by working for this company.         

#3 Make JD’s inclusive

Becoming an inclusive talent brand is not an option anymore for organizations, it’s a mandate given that talent diversity, especially at top roles, directly affects the bottom line. Removing gender-biased language in job descriptions is therefore a must. Historically, industries such as tech, business, finance, healthcare, and insurance have showed a strong inclination towards using masculine action words such as ‘strong, assertive, and competitive’. Female-biased phrasing on the other hand can be seen through words like ‘gentle, pleasant, nurture relationships’. A recruitment firm analyzed 50 million of its clients’ job postings and found that removing gendered language helps fill open vacancies two weeks faster, on average, besides obviously attracting a more diverse talent pool.

#4 Make a JD video

Video that tells an impactful story through the right and relevant content is one of the best ways to capture attention in today’s hypercompetitive recruitment space. Recruitment videos or job ads are 53 times more likely to appear on the first page of Google search results and can improve a candidate’s understanding of a job description by as much as 300%. Wrike, a project management software firm adds a short video to each JD and the company says they get three emails a week that reference the job description video. Established brands such as Goldman Sachs are also finally pressing play on their video recruitment efforts to stand out in the digital age.

#5 Show your culture

At the end of the day whether a company is able to retain its top talent or not boils down to its corporate culture, making it a must to align JDs with the organizational culture. Capturing benefits, perks, and/or flexible work schedules in JDs, along with videos of ‘a day at work’ help demonstrate organizational culture, enabling prospective candidates to assess their fit before they apply.