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Attract to Advance: The Complete Talent Journey Guide

Everything is changing: where we work, how we work, and the tools we use to get the work done as the shifting landscape has challenged us to rethink how we attract, engage, hire, and advance the best talent. Wondering where to start? Our new guide is chock full of solutions, practical strategies, and four proven case studies to help you meet the demands of today’s competitive hiring scene.

Attract to Advance: The Complete Talent Journey Guide

The global workforce is reshuffling. Consider this your starting point for recruiting and retaining talent (and every step in between).

This article is chock-full of solutions, practical strategies, and proven case studies to help you meet the demands of today’s competitive hiring scene. In it, you’ll learn how to:

  • Hook the right people to power your organization
  • Connect with and delight your talent network
  • Simplify and automate talent acquisition
  • Make your next hire an inside job and improve retention

Content Summary

Attracting talent
Engaging talent
Hiring talent
Advancing talent

If your head is spinning from all of the changes that have hit the workplace in the last two years, you’re not alone. Everything is in flux from where we work and how we work, to the tools we use to get the work done.

The same goes for talent acquisition, as the shifting landscape has challenged us to rethink how we attract, engage, hire, and advance the best talent. What used to be the de facto way of doing things no longer seems to be working, and a new way of thinking is definitely in order.

Consider this your starting point. We’ve compiled our best tactics and solutions to help you meet the demands of today’s competitive hiring scene.

We also included a breakdown of how four very different organizations implemented modern tactics across the talent lifecycle–from recruitment to retention–to transform how they navigated the new world of work.

Welcome to your new way to win across the talent journey.

Attracting talent

Hook the right people to power your organization

Your business is only as strong as your people, and right now, the competition to attract top talent is fierce.

Remote work has limited the effect geography plays on the job search. You’re now up against employers from around the world, all vying for the same talent. At the same time, you’re looking to manage the growing pile of applications and match the right talent to the right roles.

Finally, you recognize business needs are changing faster than ever. You need to update how you attract candidates who are flexible, self-motivated, and great communicators into your hiring funnel. Having the right talent software in place is now a top-line driver and not just some back-office expense.

Tactics you can put into action

  • Tell your company’s story by asking your employees to create video content. Who better to tell your story than the people who matter the most–your employees? Video testimonials are inexpensive and straightforward to produce because employees can record them without assistance on-site or at home. Even better, you can use these quick videos in lots of ways–from embedding them within job descriptions to posting on career sites—to give potential candidates the lowdown on company culture and benefits, all in your employees’ own words.
  • Boost qualified applicants by creating a one-of-a-kind experience on your career site. Whether you’re using a simple, clean template or want to create an entirely unique experience, your career site is your best opportunity to celebrate your culture. Here you can ditch the stock photography to paint an authentic picture of your company using real photos of your teams in action. Showcase your growth and training opportunities and share employees’ charitable work, fundraising, clubs, and employee resource groups (ERG). You get to tell your company’s authentic story.
  • Grow your talent network. An effective nurture strategy keeps interested job seekers excited about the possibility of working for you. The result is a pipeline of qualified and motivated talent ready to be tapped into at a moment’s notice. Use a simple subscribe button to make it easy for interested job seekers to join your talent network on your career sites. One-click, and they are in the loop to get updates on company news, upcoming events, and open positions. Use your candidate relationship management (CRM) tool to invite members of your talent network to hackathons, roundtables, and employee resource group events to keep them engaged and invested in your organization.
  • Elevate your candidate communication strategy by adding text messaging. Any remaining stigma about the professionalism of using text is out the door. Some updates just don’t require a phone call, like reminders about an upcoming interview. With the help of a digital assistant, users can block free and busy times, set reoccurring events, and provide candidates with a link to schedule time on their calendars. Better still, texts can be automated, which increases touchpoints with candidates while decreasing administrative tasks.

Talent lifecycle best practices in action: Omnitracs

How a provider of transportation and fleet management solutions increased applications by 1,000%.

An organization experiencing tremendous growth, Omnitracs implemented solutions throughout its entire talent lifecycle – from the initial interaction on its career site through onboarding.

Here’s how they did it with iCIMS:

  • At the top of the candidate funnel, an updated career site that replaced Omnitracs’ antiquated careers page increased applications by 1,000% and gave the recruiting team direct insights into traffic and job analytics.
  • Candidates flow seamlessly into a CRM, which helps Omnitracs nurture candidates and maintain warm leads for recruiters–especially in markets like India and Mexico, where high-volume hiring is rising.
  • Recruiters and hiring managers use text engagement to accent their candidate communication strategy and power hiring at scale.
  • When making an offer to a candidate, Omnitracs uses offer management software and its templated offers to standardize the process. The audit trail helps keep the organization compliant while giving hiring managers more insight into the offer process.

Engaging talent

Connect with and delight your talent network

You can now connect with candidates from around the globe. But you’re looking for a way that creates a personal connection and doesn’t feel generic, forced, or disingenuous.

Take a page from consumer marketers and start treating your job candidates like customers with intentional, low-friction touchpoints and personalized interactions. You’ll not only keep them engaged and build brand loyalty but create a talent network for life.

Tactics you can put into action

  • Communicate via the channels candidates use. We spend a lot of time looking at our phones. So, when we want to get a message to someone fast, we text them. Job candidates are no different. They don’t want to slog through an inbox to find your latest email update. Use text messaging apps to keep them in the loop and leverage social distribution channels to showcase your brand and reach more people.
  • Get in front of candidates–then make it easy for them to take the next step. Make it easy for as many people as possible to know you’re hiring. Then, be sure they have an easy way to apply. That includes posting to multiple job sites, inspiring customers to become employees, and using a chatbot or digital assistant to engage candidates when you’re not available.
  • Personalize your candidate experience. If you already have a candidate in your talent network, create additional opportunities to show you’re invested in the relationship, so candidates are more likely to think of you when they’re ready to apply for a job. Consider hosting a virtual hiring fair or networking event with leaders from a specific department. You can also use employee-generated videos across the candidate experience to bring job descriptions to life with messages from hiring managers or team members.
  • Analyze metrics to boost engagement and maximize ROI. We need recruiting metrics to help inform our decisions and to know what’s working and what needs work. An excellent place to start is with data that can help you evaluate candidate engagement. For instance, assess application completion rates to gauge applicant engagement with your process or use source-of-hire data to understand which recruiting sources hires are coming from.

Talent lifecycle best practices in action: perspecta

How a government service leader hires specialized talent to deliver transformative results.

Perspecta faces fierce competition to hire approximately 3,000 U.S. candidates per year. Their candidates need superior skills in IT and engineering, and many require a security clearance. New projects start with a moment’s notice that requires many roles to be sourced and filled quickly.

Here’s how they did it with iCIMS:

  • They transitioned to a dynamic career page that tells their story and offers robust reporting on visitor count, applicant conversion rate, click-through rates, and more.
  • In an industry where last-minute, high-volume hiring is the norm, Perspecta’s team uses a CRM to grow and nurture its talent pools
  • Perspecta also uses text engagement to reach candidates with automated texts throughout the hiring process. This includes an AI-powered chatbot named PAT (for Perspecta’s Assistance Tool) that lives on its career site and interacts with visitors.
  • Integrations are essential to Perspecta’s success. A bi-directional integration between iCIMS and Workday keeps both systems up-to-date with candidate and employee information.

Integrations don’t need to be a burden on your IT.

Hiring talent

Simplify and automate talent acquisition

Most businesses don’t survive on their products and services alone. Great talent raises the bar and enables organizations to out-innovate the competition.

The prospect of creating your ideal team is exciting. Yet, it can also feel overwhelming. Getting to “yes” takes time, commitment, and meaningful touchpoints. It also depends on finding the right person for the right role at the right time and quickly getting them up to speed. With the right tools and stakeholder support, you can hire the talent you need to help your team thrive.

Tactics you can put into action

  • Source potential hires from a robust talent pool. Even if you choose not to hire an applicant, hang onto that connection. Who better to hire than people who’ve already shown an interest in your organization? Start by maintaining candidate profiles and check in regularly by phone, email, and text.
  • Find the best matches for the jobs you need to fill. Take the guesswork out of your hiring process by qualifying candidates faster with fully integrated screening and assessments.
  • Make it easy for candidates to say “yes” to your offer. Convenient, effortless offer management will get you there. In fact, 38% of candidates who are satisfied with their experience are more likely to accept an offer.
  • Inspire long-term commitment by optimizing onboarding. Strategic onboarding helps candidates avoid first-day jitters and creates a positive experience. Consider ditching all the paperwork by digitizing your employee data onboarding process. Make sure new hires feel supported by including personalized videos from colleagues welcoming them to the team.

Talent lifecycle best practices in action: Celanese

How a global manufacturer hires nearly a thousand candidates per year from Dallas to Shanghai.

Before switching over to the iCIMS Talent Cloud, this Fortune 500 company was using an entirely manual process for recruiting–a challenge in its own right and one that was only getting harder the more the company grew.

Today, Celanese handles its entire candidate lifecycle using modern talent software, with workflows and onboarding customized by region. Celanese customizes the hiring experience further by posting jobs in the local language, rather than relying on English for all countries.

Here’s how they did it with iCIMS:

  • Celanese’s team gained access to a wealth of reporting and dashboard options – a must-have for complex global organizations – by using an applicant tracking system (ATS). When it comes to traditional metrics like time to fill or hiring velocity, the team can break it down by hiring manager, recruiter, or region.
  • Robust metrics and reporting give Celanese a 360-degree view of its diversity hiring efforts, as well. Reporting allows the organization to use self-reported candidate data and follow candidates through the entire talent lifecycle to see drop-offs in different hiring stages. This data insight helped Celanese ensure that 93% of its hiring slates included diverse candidates, increasing from 77% in 2019.
  • The Celanese team has also significantly increased its automation and efficiency. Its requisition approval process is done entirely through the iCIMS Talent Cloud, aided by an integration with SAP, the organization’s HRIS. Bi-directional integration makes it easy for hiring managers to input a candidate or employee’s name and have their information auto-populate and automatically route approvals.

Advancing talent

Make your next great hire an inside job

It’s been dubbed the “Great Reshuffle” and even has a hashtag, but whatever you want to call the increasing exodus of workers from jobs, one thing is for sure: it’s a talent-driven market.

If employees don’t feel supported by their managers to meet their career goals, they move on. An April 2021 LinkedIn study found that two-thirds of the workforce had either left their jobs or were considering it.

Most importantly, 93% of workers said they would stay at their company longer if it demonstrated an investment in their careers, according to LinkedIn.

To keep up with hiring demands, your TA team is working hard to market open roles to external candidates. But you have the power to give existing employees growth opportunities worth staying for.

But do employees know about internal mobility opportunities? And are you fostering a culture of internal mobility? If you’re not delivering a significant next career step, then your employees might start Googling to find one.

If you can refocus your mindset on creating winning candidate experiences for your current employees, you can use your existing TA tools to help your best people grow with you.

Tactics you can put into action

  • Build your pipeline and recruit from within. Build an internal talent pipeline by offering product training, mentorship programs, and opportunities for employees of any role or rank to develop new skills. Better still, use success stories to attract new external candidates via internal talent community newsletters or social posts.
  • Cultivate a work environment that encourages internal mobility and advancement. Create an employee career site to make it easier for hiring managers to find internal candidates with in-demand skills and for employees to move internally. Use the internal career site to share pictures, employee-generated videos, and success stories from around the organization. Analytics can help you quickly identify the types of jobs external and internal candidates are searching for —by department, location, brand, and role – and make adjustments to increase engagement.
  • Train and redeploy employees into new roles. Cross-training is a low-cost way to foster knowledge sharing and preserve institutional insights. It’s also an excellent way to ensure that you hold on to your best talent. Provide your employees with a clear path to growth and future success to keep them engaged and continuously innovative at your organization.
  • Engage employees with authentic video testimonials from team members. User-generated video content lets employees speak about open positions or what it’s like to work on their team in their own words and AI-enabled digital assistants are designed to engage employees for potential good-fit opportunities.

Talent lifecycle best practices in action: American Heart Association

How the American Heart Association’s (AHA) innovative hiring approach creates an exceptional experience for all candidates and fosters career growth with a talent exchange.

The AHA’s success depends on cherry-picking talent out of the applications it receives from over 225,000 potential candidates each year.

However, less than 1% will be hired.

The nonprofit’s hiring process is designed to free up recruiters to spend their time sourcing and building relationships with hard-to-find talent. The AHA is also dedicated to developing the skills of its internal talent by using recruitment technology in an innovative way.

Here’s how they did it with iCIMS:

  • Recruitment marketing using the CRM to promote a unique and compelling employer value proposition and keep silver medalist candidates engaged and notified as relevant roles become available.
  • Use a combination of in-person and video interviews to vet and build relationships with candidates efficiently.
  • Foster internal talent and professional development by bringing diverse skill sets together to tackle unique projects across the organization.
  • To develop the skills of their internal talent, AHA repurposes its career site so that staff can advertise project opportunities on a separate, internal project portal.
  • The AHA uses iCIMS Opportunity Marketplace to power its Talent Exchange Portal, which brings employees from around the organization together to form teams with the skills necessary to tackle unique projects. Employees contribute to different areas of the organization, build relationships, hone skills, and flex muscles that they might not otherwise use in their typical day-to-day.