Black and white headshot of Sarah Mulvenna, Director of Client Acquisition, on branded background

3 Trending Pain Points for Talent Acquisition Professionals

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When studying The Great Resignation, National Australia Bank found that 20% of Australians changed jobs in 2021 and 1 in 4 are considering making a change this year. This scenario is not unique to Australia, both the USA and UK are undergoing similar job changing experiences. This means recruiters and HR teams are busier than ever, hiring to replace roles and many are also hiring to grow their business after a period of playing it safe during the pandemic. 

2 pie graphs in green and grey. 20% of Australians changed jobs in 2021 and 25% are considering changing jobs in 2022. Source: National Australia Bank

Now that in-person events are back, Xref’s Director of Client Acquisition, Sarah Mulvenna has recently travelled around Australia, meeting with our customers. When speaking in person, the recruiters and talent acquisition teams Sarah met, took the time to share some wins and pain points they are currently facing. 

In this article, Sarah shares some of her suggested solutions on how to fix the most common human resources (HR) challenges facing industry professionals today.

Pain Point #1 I can't find enough candidates who are qualified for the role green and black text on grey background

Pain Point #1: “I can’t find enough candidates who are qualified for the role.”

Whether the skillset you are looking for is rare or you simply aren’t getting the volume of applicants you would like, finding the right talent for the job can be challenging for HR professionals. But there are a few solutions that HR departments can consider. One such example, that Sarah suggested to our customers who raised this issue, is talent pools. 

What is a Talent Pool?

A talent pool is a database or list of people who previously applied for roles who may not have been the right fit or who have indicated an interest in working for your organisation. 

By building a talent pool of past applicants gives you a source of interested candidates to approach. 

How do I Build a Talent Pool?

In her conversations with HR professionals Sarah found that while HR Managers are aware of talent pools as a solution to this pain point, they weren’t sure how to build one. Or, they were too time-poor.

While it might take some time in the very beginning to set up, the benefits of building and managing a talent pool include reducing time to hire and having interested candidates at your fingertips (meaning you might not need to pay for that job ad!).

Where do I start? 

Start by collecting the applications of candidates who didn’t make the cut, add any candidates who you source through searching, and create a page for candidates to add themselves to your database if they would like to be contacted for any future, relevant roles. 

If building a database manually sounds too time-consuming, Xref offers ‘People Search’, a cloud-based solution that uses your existing data to identify passive candidates and automatically builds a talent pool. 

When completing a reference check for a candidate, you gain access to skilled senior people. Once a referee completes a reference for a candidate, Xref provides an option for them to opt-in to hear from you regarding employment opportunities or their future hiring needs. If they select yes, this is how People Search builds the database.

People Search is perfect for recruiters and hiring managers who are looking to recruit senior candidates or seeking specialty roles.  

Pain Point #2: I keep missing out o thge best talent green and black text on grey background

Pain Point #2: “I keep missing out on the best talent”

Good talent is hired fast. If you find yourself missing out on the best talent, Sarah’s top tip is reduce your time to hire. As a successful recruiter, Sarah has had plenty of experience jumping through the hoops that organisations require in order to hire the perfect candidate. 

You aren’t alone if you feel that you can’t speed up your time to hire because of certain required tasks or timelines. However, there are some small changes you can make, Sarah offers some tips on how to fix this common human resource challenge.

Remove Unnecessary Hiring Steps

Given her strong recruitment background, Sarah recommends removing any unnecessary hiring steps.

Any more than 3 interviews can be overkill”. 

Make Quick Decisions

A LinkedIn study found that only 30% of companies are able to fill a role within 30 days. The remaining take anywhere between 1–4 months to make a hire! To reduce the time to hire, try encouraging the hiring team to make quick decisions. It may be worth implementing KPIs or metrics here to keep all parties accountable. For example, some companies have the requirement that a decision must be made on a candidate within seven days of the first interview. This means if the company is going to hire the candidate, an offer must be made within seven days of meeting the candidate for the first time. 

For your organisation, a seven-day meet-to-hire turnaround might be a long time. Or it may be too short. The speed at which you make decisions must be right for your work environment and also for the unique roles you are hiring for. Some roles, such as senior leadership, may require extra background checks and vetting before an offer can be made. But it is always worth considering, ‘can I do this check once the person has accepted a job offer from us? Or does it have to be beforehand?’ 

Create Goals to Reduce Time to Hire

Goals like a seven-day turnaround can have a dual impact on your hiring success. Not only does it help to speed up the time to hire, but also helps candidates form a positive opinion of your brand. You appear proactive and keen, making the candidate feel valued. 

There are plenty of stories from candidates who apply for a role, only to hear back months later inviting them for an interview. Most candidates can’t afford to wait that long or where competition is rife, other companies are more fast-paced and are able to make an offer before you even have the chance to meet. 

Good candidates are snapped up fast so if you have long delays between communicating and/or meeting a candidate, the best ones are likely to turn you down before you even have a chance to showcase employee benefits and all the best parts of your company. 

Use Technology to Speed Up the Hiring Process

Tech solutions can also help to reduce the time to hire by automating the recruitment process. There are plenty of technology options that help book interviews. Also consider automating the reference checking process, so you don’t have to play phone tag or make appointments to call referees outside of work hours. Xref can help with this. 

Why use Xref for Reference Checks?

Did you know that 65% of reference checks conducted through Xref are completed outside of business hours? Additionally, the average reference check is returned completed within 18 hours. 

some stats about xref: average reference report returned in 18hrs, 91% reference checks returned complete, 65% submitted outside working hours, 350+ words per reference meaning a referee is positively engaged with the person they refer. Green numbers and black text on grey background

Within 40 seconds, you can create an online reference check and select from a wide range of pre-determined reference questions, or create your own customised template, relevant for the specific role you are hiring. 

Xref is ISO 27001 compliant and keeps your data secure with multi-factor authentication. Our suspicious activity flags allow you to trust that referees are who they say they are. 

Pain Point #3 Counteroffers - green and black text on grey background

Pain Point #3: Counteroffers

“I’ve been made a counteroffer.” Whether your candidates are declining your job offer because they are being made offers to join another company or their current employer is trying to stop them from leaving, a counteroffer can be one of the most deflating things to hear from a talented candidate you want to hire. 

When speaking with customers, Sarah has found that in the current competitive market, counteroffers are commonplace. She acknowledges

“As a recruiter, it is one of the most frustrating scenarios to be in.” 

You have done a huge amount of work to secure the right candidate, only for them to decide at the last minute to stay with their current employer or take a better offer elsewhere.

What can you do? Sarah gives four tips to help reduce the opportunity for counteroffers.

  1. Always consult with a candidate as much as possible throughout the process. By spending time understanding their career journey, training and development desires and what their motivators are for leaving. Knowing this will assist you to assess their commitment to finding a new role. 
  1. Be upfront and openly communicate with the candidate about the possibility for counteroffers as early as possible in the recruitment process. This will help you gauge whether the candidate would be happy to stay with their current employer or whether they are definitely moving on. You can also understand if they have other job opportunities in progress. This will help you to plan options for your vacancy accordingly.
  1. Ask what has motivated them to look for a new role. Is money the only reason or are there other factors at play that you can capitalise on? If a counteroffer does come forward and you understand their motivations for moving on, consider giving a gentle reminder on why they started seeking a new opportunity in the first place. 
  1. Finally, an optimised recruitment process helps you to move forward with the right candidate quickly, reducing the opportunity for a counter offer. By having urgency in your hiring, you secure the best talent fast and don’t have to spend time searching. 

Wrap Up

Despite The Great Resignation, the current job landscape is providing plenty of hiring challenges even for the most experienced talent acquisition specialists. 

When speaking with our customers, Sarah found the three pain points; finding the right candidates, reducing time to hire and counteroffers to be the hottest and most recurring challenges for HR professionals and recruiters. If you are facing these challenges or any others, Xref can help. Book a free demo and talk to one of our experts today.

Customise your own reference checking questionnaire black text on grey background with green button

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