April 2022 Newsletter

New Financial Year – Still Not Normal

I flew from London to Chicago recently, the ticket was just over £500.  I’ve just looked at flights from London to Manchester, and one airline is charging nearly £400. For economy!  8hrs, 3,944 miles compared to 1hr, 208miles.  In a normal world, this makes no sense.

I was hoping that by now – the new financial year – the world would be closer to normal.  Although, perhaps normal isn’t that great.  An example: A few staff at our local hospital have been trying to get a drive-through pharmacy for years. Patient benefit is obvious; convenience, speed, and cost (no parking charges). And yet it was ‘impossible’. All sorts of objections were raised so it never happened. Then, along came COVID, and within two weeks we had a drive-through pharmacy. Going back to normal here would be a massive backwards step.

We’re all guilty of thinking something’s impossible, until it’s not.  So, that thing you’ve been wanting to do, that project that would revolutionise the business, maybe it IS possible. 

And if you need to recruit people with different and high-in-demand tech skills and a different perspective, I bet we can help.Rob.

Rob Williams

Talent Hoarding is Real! And it’s getting worse…

Talent hoarding has been around since the beginning of time. If you were good at hunting and gathering, some bigger stronger caveman was going to keep you around and not let some other cavemen lure you away! 

In today’s world, talent hoarding begins when a manager doesn’t identify someone who works for them as promotable when they most likely are. The organization uses its leaders to understand who is ready for that next-level position. Certain managers, tend not to openly report they have such a candidate in their group, so they can keep that talent performing for them. This makes their life easier. 

But, let’s not just blame these managers of people. There’s another organizational design issue that causes talent hoarding. Manager performance, and often parts of their compensation, are based on “team performance”. That being the case, it’s to a manager’s advantage, and the team’s advantage to keep talent. Almost no organizations incentive managers to promote people off their team into other parts of the organization. 

There was a study just released in 2022, appropriately titled, “Talent Hoarding in Organizations” that showed that:

“Temporary reductions of talent hoarding increase worker’s applications for promotions by 123%. Marginal applicants, who would not have applied in the presence of talent hoarding, are three times as likely as average applicants to land a promotion.”

What the study determined, was that if you did not have any barrier to letting someone apply for promotion, your way more likely to be promoted! Things like you must first have your manager sign-off on your readiness, or things like having managers put names forward, etc. 

Organizationally, we know also that talent hoarding often pushes talent to leave. Basically, if you aren’t going to promote me, I’ll use the free market to get a promotion somewhere else. In a talent market, as we have right now, that is happening at a massive scale. We see organizations implementing new internal mobility strategies to help counteract this, but it’s barely making a dent still, primarily because most of these strategies still rely on some sort of manager performance metric to allow someone to move internally. 

Can we eliminate or reduce talent hoarding? 

Short answer, yes. The longer answer, it’s hard! 

First, we are talking about centuries of institutional dynamics at play. Generation after generation of leaders were raised under this framework. Thus, we have major change management issues to conquer. 

Second, we would need to eliminate the negative side, or at least counteract the negative side of team promotion, with a positive side for the manager and team. This is the “coaching tree” analogy. Great coaches hire assistants and teach them how to be great coaches and those coaches go on to peer level roles. When you talk about the greatest sports coaches of all time, one major factor is their coaching tree. How many other coaches did they create? And, how good were those coaches? 

If we can find a way to reward, and not punish, managers for promoting talent within the organization, which is greater than the reward for keeping great talent, we will have a much better chance at stopping talent hoarding. That is difficult. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of an organization that has figured out the value of the theoretical “coaching tree” for a manager. Meaning, if I promote someone off my team, what is that worth to me, as the manager? 

It’s a hard question to answer because it’s very specific to position and organization. If I’m at Apple and I “grow” a new Engineering Manager, from a Software Engineer, that I’ve mentored, there is considerable value in that happening! If I’m managing a fast food restaurant and mentor an hourly worker into a salaried manager, that is less valuable, by dollar amount, but still very valuable to the organization. 

The reality is, you have no shot if you don’t try and answer that value equation! 

You can have some success, by just eliminating all barriers to promotion and allowing anyone to apply. You will still have some that won’t, as managers will still have formal and informal influence over those that work for them. So, it’s not perfect. But, you’ll get more, than by asking your managers alone. 

Also, just eliminating barriers could create a gender issue as we know through many studies men or more willing to apply to jobs they aren’t qualified for than women, so barrier elimination will most likely get you more male applicants, who you will promote, leaving more women behind. We actually need our leaders to help us identify and promote our great female next-level hires. 

When talent is scarce, like it is now, talent hoarding will be worse. Talent hoarding is bad for your culture and it’s bad for your talent. And it’s happening right now in your organization.

Full article from Tim Sackett here.

New Research Reveals Why Candidates Are Abandoning Your Recruiting Process

With the nation’s labor shortage showing no signs of abating, talent acquisition teams are under enormous pressure to keep qualified candidates from abandoning their recruiting process prematurely. This is becoming a difficult challenge, as job seekers are increasingly demanding roles that enable them to work on their own terms.

The first step that many TA teams have taken to combat candidate abandonment is streamlining, simplifying, and shortening their application process. While this has chipped away at abandonment rates, studies continue to peg them north of 65% at many organizations.

The fact is that significant numbers of candidates drop out at every stage of the recruiting process, not just during application. A CareerBuilder survey, for example, showed 31% of employers lose candidates during background screenings, and research from the professional social network Blind found that nearly 30% of candidates abandon potential employers during the interview stage.

New data from Talent Board’s 2021 Candidate Experience Benchmark Research Report shows that regardless of the stage at which candidates voluntarily exit, they do so for a few key reasons. Topping this list of reasons in North America are:

  1. Their time was disrespected (especially during interviews and appointments)
  2. The recruiting process took too long
  3. Salary didn’t meet their expectations

These three issues crop up in every region we survey, although the order changes a bit. In Latin America and EMEA, for example, salary tops the list. In APAC, salary drops off the list and is replaced by “poor communication with the recruiting team.” Despite these fluctuations, the top reasons for candidate abandonment remain remarkably consistent globally.

Frankly, salary-related abandonment is to be expected and doesn’t really speak to the quality of a company’s candidate experience or to the efficiency of its recruiting team and processes. But those first two issues speak volumes.

Disrespecting Candidates’ Time

Talent Board has surveyed over 1.25 millions candidates over the past decade from over 1,200 companies. The mix of candidates we survey changes from year to year but, even so, one of their most consistent complaints has been that recruiters and hiring managers don’t always respect their time — a failure that occurs at every stage of the recruiting process.

The most common occurrences include:

  • Overly complex or repetitive applications with assessments
  • Screenings, tests, and/or assessments that take too long or that require unreasonable amounts of time and/or effort to complete
  • Recruiters or hiring managers schedule interviews but never show up (ghosting), or reschedule several times, or are disruptive during the interviews themselves
  • Job offers that take weeks or months to materialize
  • Lengthy and arduous onboarding practices (which get worse in heavily regulated industries)

Another less obvious but no less critical way that employers disrespect candidates’ time is by keeping them in the dark about where they stand during the recruiting process. For instance, just 36% of North American candidates were able to view a progress indicator when applying for a job, and only 29% received a reminder about next steps after completing their application. 

Post-interview, 76% of candidates said the hiring manager never explained next steps. And 43% of candidates said it took two weeks or longer to receive an offer letter (6% waited more than four weeks). The results are similar around the world. 

All of these missteps contribute to a candidate’s impression that their time isn’t valued. It’s probably not surprising that companies with the highest-rated candidate experiences in our research do better than other companies at keeping candidates apprised of their status throughout their journey, no matter how long or short it might be.

Bottom line, candidates are generally quite patient with the recruiting process because they understand how busy recruiters and hiring managers are (and they want that job). But their patience isn’t unlimited, and in today’s talent market, where the power is shifting to candidates rather than employers, their patience definitely isn’t as abundant as it used to be.

An Overly Lengthy Recruiting Process

Again, candidates fully accept that the recruiting process takes time — time that ultimately might not even pay off with a job offer. However, they also understand their own value, particularly in today’s fiercely competitive labor market. As a result, they’re much less willing to endure long, arduous recruiting processes. Plus, in the current recruiting environment, TA teams that move slowly are going to lose desirable talent to nimbler teams with streamlined processes.

As previously noted, an overly complex or repetitive application can contribute significantly to candidate abandonment. While 54% of the candidates we surveyed in 2021 said it took them less than 15 minutes to apply, the process still took longer for nearly half of them and times varied widely. 

Also, our data shows that the longer an application takes — 30 minutes or longer — and then still waiting to hear back after one or two or more months, the less likely candidates are to apply again or refer others to the company. Their likelihood to apply again decreases 73% and their likelihood to refer others decreases 64%. Quite a dramatic drop. 

When it comes to pre-employment assessments, there’s plenty of debate around whether they actually lengthen or shorten the recruiting process. In Talent Board’s experience, using the right assessments in the right ways (which varies from company to company) definitely helps employers more quickly determine the best possible candidates for a role. 

But assessments do lengthen the process for candidates, which may be an important consideration, especially when there’s little to no context as to why they have to take them, and when they get no feedback from the results, which is usually the case. 

What constitutes a “reasonable” amount of time and effort for completing an assessment is also a source of debate, but one thing is sure: While candidates don’t generally object to assessments, they have their limits. 

According to a survey by assessment provider ThriveMap, 47% of candidates don’t like pre-hire assessments because they take too long; 37% are unclear about why they’re taking the assessments; and 30% feel the assessments don’t relate to the jobs they’re applied to. All of these issues lead to higher candidate abandonment, and they contribute negatively to candidates’ perceptions of an employment brand and its candidate experience.

Looking to Tech

The good news is that employers are taking steps to streamline and speed up their recruiting processes. One key way they’re doing this is by investing in AI-based recruiting technologies such as resume-screening software, chatbots, online assessments, video-interviewing solutions, candidate-survey systems, and recruitment marketing software, to name just a few. These technologies handle many of the repetitive, labor-intensive tasks that make up recruiting — and they hasten the process for both the TA team and candidates.

Indicative of this investment in recruiting tech, Talent Board has seen a 40% global increase in the use of chatbots since 2019 and a whopping 380% increase in mobile text messaging campaigns since 2018. In addition, AI-based video interviewing and assessment rose in the U.S. from 48% in 2020 to 58% in 2021.

It’s worth noting that companies with the highest-rated candidate experiences are more likely than their competitors to be using some form of AI-based tech to improve sourcing, candidate communications, and their overall support of recruiters and hiring managers. Indeed, most of the top CandE Award-winning organizations around the world last year used some form of AI-based recruiting tech.

Obviously, recruiting is a complex process, and the time and effort it demands varies across job types and industries. Also, not every candidate who enters your talent pipeline has the same value or is a potential fit for your organization. You actually want a certain amount of voluntary abandonment (aka, self-selection) to occur. 

But retaining qualified candidates — those with a comparatively higher value — is imperative, especially in a labor market as tight as the current one. It’s also crucial to hang onto candidates with future-fit potential — even those who’ve been rejected — as they have the highest value to filling your pending talent needs.

By making sure you respect candidates’ time and by streamlining your recruiting process, you’ll not only hang on to these high-value candidates more effectively, you’ll also boost the overall impression job seekers have of your employment brand and candidate experience.

Full article from Ere.net here