As we’ve all witnessed, the coronavirus outbreak has turned the talent acquisition profession upside-down in a matter of weeks. However, one aspect that has not changed is that the ability to effectively manage one’s relationship with talent will continue to have enormous implications for short- and long-term business success.
Undoubtedly, there are many large organizations that find themselves under increased pressure to hire talent—and a lot of it—as quickly as possible. Hospitals and health systems are working to attract even greater numbers of clinical professionals, while grocery stores, delivery services, pharmacy chains and warehouses are trying to hire tens of thousands of employees as soon as possible to meet the skyrocketing demand for food and essential household items.
For these organizations, candidate relationship management programs offer ready-access to the qualified, interested and available talent they need right now, which in turn, leads to much faster hiring. But what about employers that have placed their hiring plans on a temporary hold as they re-evaluate talent needs with the expectation that recruiting for critical roles will resume in a matter of months?
For these teams, it’s imperative that they maintain their efforts to engage talent already in their pipelines while attracting additional candidates so that they can respond immediately when their organization’s hiring pause is lifted.
Authentic and Credible Communications: The Right Message at the Right Time
One of the first things to look at is how to adjust your overall employer brand messaging to ensure quality and relevance in what’s being communicated across all your recruiting channels. Not long ago, your employment themes may have involved highlighting attractive attributes such as the company’s rapid growth or the extraordinary caliber of people already working at the organization.
But today, the world requires a much different approach—and tone—to your candidate communications. For starters, your career website should acknowledge the current crisis and provide information regarding how your organization is adapting its hiring processes in response.
Further, consider the situation from the candidate’s perspective. One obvious outcome is that in-demand talent will be far more averse to the risk associated with making a job change than they were before the crisis, so use your communications to build confidence in your organization by detailing the ways in which the business is positioning itself for a successful recovery.
Audience Segmentation: The Foundation for Talent CRM Success
Personalization is—and will remain—the main driver of an effective candidate relationship management effort. So, as you realign your employer brand messaging at a high level you should also establish a system for segmenting current candidates into relevant talent communities or, if you’re building your program from the ground up, identifying the talent communities that will be a priority when hiring resumes.
Depending on your organization’s hiring objectives, this could involve creating talent communities specific to hard-to-fill disciplines or those that address the interests of talent by job level, such as a community dedicated to early career professionals for rotational program opportunities.
The point of talent community segmentation is that it makes it possible to deliver the personalized messaging that resonates with specific audiences (target value propositions) and to determine the best channels for conveying recruitment marketing messages. Among the questions that you can ask and answer as you define your target audiences for talent community segmentation:
Who are we talking to? In addition to understanding basics like education and experience, think through other characteristics that target audience members may have in common, like the location where the work will be performed or the potential that talent community members will work remotely once they join the organization.
What do they care about most? Your objective here is to understand the emotional side of the target audience segment when it comes to the employment experience—beyond the paycheck, what motivates them to show up every day? Does the target audience segment care most about professional development and leadership opportunities, or do they favor flexible schedules and access to wellness programs? And, perhaps most importantly, will the employment attributes that influenced them most prior to the pandemic still matter to the same degree after?
How, and how often, do they want to stay in touch? It’s likely these preferences may differ not just by talent community but also by individuals within the same community, as frequency of communication (daily, weekly or monthly) and channel (email vs. text) can be influenced by both personal preferences and how soon someone expects to make a job change. Ideally, your current Talent CRM will allow community members to set these preferences for themselves so that you can craft and send communications accordingly.
Now that you’ve determined how to segment your talent communities, here’s where dedicated candidate relationship management software can make the process of nurturing and engaging talent communities far more efficient and effective. As few talent acquisition teams will be able to meet the demands of delivering consistent communications that are customized to the information needs of distinct target audiences, a Talent CRM makes it much easier to manage individual communities by creating template-based automated marketing campaigns that keep members engaged with what’s happening at the organization, as well as informed of future opportunities.
Talent acquisition has an enormous role to play in the ability of their businesses to recover quickly from the economic setbacks associated with the global pandemic. Teams that focus on timely messaging and candidate relationship management strategies will be best prepared to contribute to that recovery because they will have immediate access to the very best talent for critical roles as we emerge from the crisis and move forward.
Learn more about how to engage and nurture candidates effectively. Download our E-Book, Your COVID-19 Candidate Relationship Management Strategy: How a Talent CRM Plan Keeps Recruiters Prepared and Proactive, today.