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Thought Leadership

The Three Recruiting Trends Defining HR Today

Adobe's vice president of rewards offers his take on what a successful recruiting strategy looks like.

Friday, August 5, 2016
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We're living in an always-on universe where consumers crave real-time information that's highly personalized, extremely relevant and always available. And the more they get this information, the more they demand it from the brands they frequent -- including yours.

Despite recruiting and talent management being anything but transactional, active and passive job seekers are increasingly approaching the process with the same level of heightened expectations. That means you need to optimize, personalize and be as "always on" as your next great hire is, whether it means traditional pavement-pounding or innovative engagement opportunities. It's essentially a high-tech/high-touch balancing act, marked by streamlined mobile processes, optimized talent pools and, still, a highly personal side to your recruiting efforts to balance it all out.

Trend No. 1: Going big and going mobile

Everyone's glued to their smartphones -- especially job seekers. What's more, as millennials bite off a bigger and bigger piece of the workforce, we're seeing an increasing number of candidates and new hires 100-percent comfortable carrying out high-value tasks on their mobile devices. Since they're already applying for mortgages and filing taxes on their smart phones, why shouldn't they also be using them to apply for jobs or tackling pre-screening or undergoing online background checks? This seems intuitive to me -- and, hands down, to the candidates we've seen in recent years.

Today, keeping your brand and its opportunities top of mind with high-value candidates means inserting yourself into their day-to-day lives -- into those "micromoments," even. It means being the first thing she sees in the morning, and ensuring your opportunities cut through the clutter of traditional job-search apps and experiences. Maybe it includes one-touch applications that connect candidates to hiring managers without lengthy forms. Fill an application out once and with just one click, your resume is at the top of the pile for that dream job. Maybe it involves push alerts and ongoing text messages about jobs that fit their candidate profile and desired next steps.

If you can be part of people's lives when they're not actively searching, you'll have a leg up on the competition. What's more, you'll also be more likely to stay in the mix with passive job seekers who may not want to devote time and energy to scouring recruitment destinations but, at the same time, are open to the possibilities.

Trend No. 2: Integrating a data-driven approach 

Your marketing (likely) taps into Big Data, testing and data science to optimize and personalize the conversion process for your customers. So why not do the same for your recruitment processes?

Recently, HR optimization has stepped into the light, encouraging leaders to leverage the rich data stores to create meaningful, actionable recruitment and retention plans. Given the vast wealth of employee data you've got on hand, it's easy to begin painting a picture of what types of employees thrive, and what types fall short. What type of marketer or data scientist or user-experience manager has the highest level of job satisfaction and success? Do these case studies share certain overlaps or similarities? Are there patterns that begin to emerge when it comes to experience, education or expectations?

While employing a data-driven approach often requires tapping inside talent -- someone who has the data chops and knows your company culture inside and out -- the end-results are often jaw-dropping. It can spot attrition patterns so you can troubleshoot before the next eruption. It can identify prime talent profiles, and seek out active and passive job seekers who fit the bill. It helps you understand the employee population that exists, and which candidates would be best- suited for open opportunities -- not just who has the best experience on paper. And, taking it a step further, it involves using predictive modeling to identify challenges that could be bubbling below the surface, based on years at the company, life stages and other key milestones.

Once the wheels are in motion, these optimization processes enable your HR department to be more streamlined and more more efficient. More importantly, to get a good view of potential bumps in the road before they become serious challenges. And the best part? All this information exists right now. You just need to know how to tap into it to successfully identify, secure and retain the best possible talent.

Trend No. 3: Building real relationships

Despite the shift toward high-tech recruiting processes, high touch still reigns supreme in many instances. The bigger and more streamlined we get as an industry, the more essential it is to stay focused on the "human" side of "human resources." I think being human can often get lost in the shuffle of trying to be savvy, sophisticated and, above all else, always on.

I think of two recent recruitment-related conversations I've had -- conversations that are ongoing in HR. The first conversation was with an incredible candidate our talent team had identified based on his online profile. We reached out to him, and he simply wasn't interested. But he and I still had a fantastic conversation and, at the end, I asked him what it would take to get interested. Nearly a month later he called me back with his answer -- and let me know that, now, he was ready to move forward. We hired him, and he's thriving.

The second candidate is still very much in our hiring pool, and the story is similar. She ignored our messages until, one day, I reached out and it clicked for her -- she remembered getting all those voicemails and emails months earlier. Now she's ready to talk shop, and we're looking for ways to integrate her into our workforce. While she didn't respond to our initial outreach, that foundation still made a difference when she was ready. She remembered our attempts to engage, and saw she was appreciated and valued right out of the gate. And that made a difference.

Despite the technology, automation and sophistication, I still see myself as a brand ambassador for Adobe. I'm always recruiting, actively or passively, because I truly don't know where I'll find that next great talent. Pair that with HR optimization and the power of omnipresent mobile recruitment techniques, and you've got a powerhouse process on your hands -- a process that, in today's always-on, hyper-relevant, hyper competitive recruiting landscape, is critical to ongoing success.

Mason Stubblefield is the vice president of rewards, technology and operations at San Jose, Calif.-based Adobe.



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