How to transform your candidate experience to net top talent

A roadmap to transforming your candidate experience 

 

Sometimes it’s the journey that teaches you a lot about your destination.

– Drake

 

Who would have thought the same person who brought us “Hot Line Bling” could also provide an insightful lesson about candidate experience? He makes an excellent point though. The level of care and attention we pay to our candidate experience is the first demonstration of the workplace culture candidates can expect as employees. Employers with the ability to create exceptional journeys for candidates have their pick of top talent. 

87% of candidates say a great recruitment experience can change their mind about a company they once doubted. While 83% say a negative interview will arouse doubt and cause them to potentially change their mind about a company liked.

It’s worth investing in your candidate experience to determine how to demonstrate the quality of the destination. Here’s how. 

 

Awareness

 

“What is this place?”

This is the very first introduction a candidate has to your organisation. It could be through your job ad, online presence, or an employee referral. At the time they may not even consider themselves a candidate. They could be a customer, client, supplier or partner to your organisation. 

What’s it got to do with me?

Beyond pure brand awareness, candidates need to know you need for them and their skills. Does your organisation value transferrable soft skills (insert link to soft skills article)? Does it value inclusion and diversity?

Takeaway tips to invest in the awareness stage of your candidate experience:

  • Participate in or sponsor events and webinars for brand awareness in topics of interest to your target talent pool. 
  • Get involved in online conversations or publish topical content on industry platforms. 
  • Get public and vocal about your diversity and inclusion values and share stories about the varied professional backgrounds of your employees.  
  • Foster and maintain positive relationships with all external partners or suppliers as well as with your customers and clients. 

 

Curiosity

 

“Would I like to work there?”

They’ve gained awareness about your organisation. Now, they’ve begun playing with the idea in their mind, and they’re going to start looking for fodder to feed their fantasies. They’ll wander your website, stalk your socials, read your reviews to see what you have to offer. 

“Is it worth the trouble?”

Candidates will begin weighing the potential costs and gains of uprooting their current situation to work for you. After family and health, career events have the biggest impact on people’s stress and happiness. 

Takeaway tips to improve the curiosity phase of your candidate experience:

  • Ensure your business is putting its best branded foot forward with a cohesive online presence across social media and your website.
  • Advertise salary in your job ads – most jobs ads perform better when they list a salary
  • Show and tell your values. A value statement on one page of your website is great; but highlighting employee profile stories and content to demonstrate how you act on your values is integral. 
  • Lead with what makes your organisation unique. What makes you stand out from your competitors?

 

Application

 

“Is it worth the trouble?”

Yes, this is a question your candidates will continue to ask themselves throughout the many stages of the experience. 60% of candidates will abandon an application if it takes too long or is too complex. 

“What do they want?”

Gendered language, lengthy job requirements, complicated English, unnecessary jargon and contradictory stipulations for experience and seniority levels in your job ads will make your candidates’ heads spin and won’t net you quality applications.  

Takeaway tips to improve the application segment of your candidate experience:

  • Only collect the information you need prior to screening candidates by phone or video interview.
  • Spend more time writing clear and informative job ads, remembering to remind candidates about the unique culture your organisation offers. 

 

Interviews

 

“When do I have time?”

Top talent candidates aren’t going to sit around waiting for you to call them. They’re likely to be busy with their current jobs and may not yet feel comfortable disclosing when they’re interviewing for other roles. 

“What do I do now?”

 Did they like me? When will I know if I’m shortlisted? Should I call or email them? What if I said something wrong? So many questions, and so little communication. 81% of job seekers said continuous communication would greatly improve overall experience.

Takeaway tips to improve interviewing in your candidate experience:

  • Let candidates know as their application moves through each stage, offer timelines for when they can expect results. 
  • Share content to help them prepare for each new stage of the process. 
  • Eliminate the back-and-forth scheduling hassles by utilising the latest technology, such as Alcami Interactive’s video interview platform.  

 

After the offer

 

“Why didn’t they choose me?”

Even if candidates are unsuccessful, those who are satisfied with their candidate experience are more than twice as likely to recommend your organisation to their networks, compared to those who had a poor experience (62% vs. 28%). Candidates are also 4x more likely to consider your company in the future if you offer constructive feedback.

“Have I made the right choice?” 

Within 3 months of being hired 65% of people will look at new jobs. This is where all the promises of culture and positive work environments need to prove their word. 

Takeaway tips for your candidate experience, as candidates transition to new hires:

  • Ensure all applicants have been notified of the outcome (and offer feedback to those who reached the later stages, if possible). 
  • Between your successful candidate signing their contract and their first day, ensure they feel informed and prepared about what will be expected of them. 
  • Consider requesting feedback from successful and unsuccessful candidates at various stages in your recruitment process to understand areas for improvement and ensure your candidates feel their opinions are valued.

 

Even in an employer-drive market, the evidence about providing a great candidate experience to net top talent is indisputable. Consider every aspect of your candidate experience, from awareness to after you’ve made a successful hire (including notifying and providing feedback to unsuccessful candidates). Developing your organisation’s employer brand with an exceptional candidate experience is one of the most effective ways to attract top talent. 

 

 

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2021: The year we make hiring for soft skills a priority

Future-proof your organisation by hiring for soft skills 

 

In the midst of a national skills shortage, which is predicted to grow to 29 million skills in deficit by 2030, organisations are feeling the squeeze. While technical skills, knowledge and qualifications are essential drivers for your organisation’s success, soft skills are the currency of the future. 

Why? According to LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends report, 92% of talent acquisition professionals state soft skills are equally or more important to hire for than hard skills. 89% stated when a new hire doesn’t work out, it’s due to a lack of critical soft skills. Two thirds of jobs created in the next ten years are expected to be strongly reliant on skills like communication and empathy.

But how do you determine the soft skills your organisation needs, and what’s the best way to hire for these skills when they’re notoriously difficult to assess? 

Here’s what you need to know about hiring for soft skills to ensure your organisation’s long-term success.  

 

Why soft skills are coming to the forefront in recruitment 

Hard skills have traditionally taken centre stage as organisations keep up with rapid technological change. In our increasingly digital and globalised working world, many organisations are outsourcing or automating these responsibilities. Because soft skills aren’t easy to automate, they’re now perceived as being of higher value.

Also, the half-life of hard skills is shrinking, but soft skills stay relevant. For example, a programming language may fall out of fashion; but creativity, adaptability and collaboration skills will always be valuable. 

While smart organisations have always prioritised hiring for soft skills, these skills have typically been undervalued because they’re difficult to accurately assess and measure. With better recruitment processes and assessment tools, however, it’s possible to solve these challenges.  

 

What are the best soft skills to assess for? 

There’s a range of valuable soft skills to recruit for, but some may be more critical to your organisation, industry and role types than others.

Generally speaking, however, recruiters view communication as the top-rated soft skill. It acts as an “umbrella”, covering a range of other important skills, such as speaking, active listening, presentation, customer relationship skills and more. It’s also the foundation for good working relationships and culture. 

 

Other top-rated soft skills include: 

  • emotional intelligence 
  • prioritisation
  • adaptability 
  • work ethic
  • teamwork
  • leadership qualities
  • time management
  • decision making
  • conflict resolution
  • critical thinking
  • networking
  • empathy
  • problem-solving

 

Interestingly, many organisations choose to hire candidates with desirable soft skills into flexible structures, instead of specific teams. (In an age of automation, where 25-46% of current work activities in Australia could be automated in the next decade, the role you hire into might not exist in a year.) Therefore, flexible, agile workers are highly desirable, as they’ll be able to upskill and move cross-functionally into new and emerging roles as your organisation responds to industry disruptions.

Read more: Internal mobility – Why upskilling works for attraction and retention. 

It’s valuable to have a range of skills in your organisation, so you may like to prioritise certain skills for different roles. For example, decision making skills are important for leaders, and great communication is important for client-facing roles. 

The simplest way to determine the soft skills your organisation requires is by performing a skills audit – just as you’d do for hard skills.  

 

Build soft skills assessments into your hiring process 

After you’ve determined the soft skills your organisation needs, implement a formal strategy and integrate it throughout your screening process. 

Use resumes, cover letters and answers to screening questions to gain insights into candidates’ communication, presentation and creative skills. Use behavioural testing, video interviews and other online tools to assess leadership, decision making, critical thinking and problem-solving skills. You may even like to use group interview settings to assess adaptability and collaboration skills. Reference checks can act as another final layer to confirm your shortlisted candidates’ soft skills. 

Be mindful your organisation and culture are unique, so give new starters time to apply and demonstrate soft skills within your organisational context. 

Hiring for soft skills is critical to future-proof your organisation for 2021 and beyond. While it requires a targeted approach, it doesn’t need to consume an unreasonable amount of time and resources. Determine the skills you require, ensure everyone involved in your hiring process understands your screening strategy and build these assessments into recruitment practices from the ground up. 

       

 

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How to use recruitment videos to engage top talent

Recruitment videos in 2021:What to say and how to use them

 

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but just one minute of video is worth 1.8 million!

Think about it – at 30 frames per second, you get the value of 30,000 words for every second of video, totalling “1.8 million words” by the time you reach the 60-second mark.

This is only anecdotal math, so if you want some more objective numbers, try 88, 54 and 95.

88% of Australian internet users watch online video content. 54% of video consumers want to see more videos from the brands, businesses and organisations they support, proving it’s not just cat videos and bingeable TV episodes they’re after. And finally, viewers have been shown to retain 95% of a message delivered by video, compared to only 10% of the same message being read in text.

The question in 2021 is no longer: is it worth investing in recruitment videos? It’s become: what should we say, and how should we share them?

The best recruitment videos attract candidates by creating strong connections between the viewer and your organisation’s employer brand. Some do this through high-production lighting and video equipment, while others can achieve the same connection through more candid videos, using hand-held devices and selfie sticks.

Whichever production style you go with, you’ll need to say something meaningful. Here are four different types of video content you can create.

 

A day in the life video

The number one obstacle candidates experience when searching for a job is not knowing what it’s like to work at the organisation. A day-in-the-life video can spotlight either a single employee and how they go about their day at work, or it can spotlight a specific role, talking to all the employees with a particular job title. This style of video provides a sneak-peek of the goals, challenges, and perks of the role, along with a glimpse of the employees the candidate could be working with.

 

A workplace walk-through video

Rather than spotlight the people in your organisation, why not capture the physical workspace of your employees? Your office is a physical embodiment of what your company stands for, a visible and viable asset which can be used to attract candidates. These types of videos foster the same emotional connections and desire potential buyers get when they walk into open homes. They also create a sense of familiarity with the environment they could one day work in, not only nurturing confidence and belonging, but also avoiding those embarrassing first day questions like, “where’s the restroom?”.

 

Video interviews

Recruitment videos don’t have to be 6-minute documentaries about the history, mission, strategies and purpose of your organisation. Video can also be used to enhance your recruitment process in more pragmatic ways too. Video interview platforms allow recruiters to invite candidates to participate in interview online. This eliminates the back-and-forth contact to schedule an interview and allows recruiter and candidate to act at their own pace and schedule. The ease of this process allows you to screen a larger pool of candidates, while still maintaining the human connection between the candidate and recruiter.

 

A blooper reel video

Perfection is for robots. Human beings come with flaws. A blooper reel is an organisational video celebrating these flaws in their employees. It doesn’t have to be long, maybe just a few seconds of outtakes from the footage of one of the above videos, or maybe security footage of the CEO picking his nose in the elevator. Whatever the footage, when brands openly laugh at themselves, they break the barrier between “consumer” and “business” and instead share what makes them human, what makes them relatable. These are endearing qualities as employers.

 

Where to use recruitment videos

Stand out in the saturated job market by showcasing your videos in any (or all) of these contexts:

  • your website’s careers page
  • job advertisements
  • your social media pages
  • online newsletters
  • candidate nurture emails
  • career fairs or industry events

 

Alcami Interactive’s video interviewing platform also allows you to include any of the above videos as a welcome, in addition to your video questions. See how it works.

So, how much could you communicate in 1.8 million words? Sure, the average one-minute video usually only conveys 120 spoken words. But using videos throughout your recruitment process communicates so much more in thought, feeling and emotions than text ever could.

       

 

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Top HR tech trends solving the problems of remote working

Can HR tech trends address the problems of remote working?

 

Whether it’s been creating remote working policies, working out how to run performance reviews via Zoom, implementing online communication policies, or checking in on their employees’ well-being, HR managers have definitely earned the coming holiday break.

The sudden and unprecedented shift to working remotely this year had many benefits for organisations and employees alike. But despite all the positive press about working remote, it might not be all it’s cracked up to be. Below are just some of the struggles people are facing and the latest HR tech trends tackling them.

 

Lack of cohesion and culture

Engagement remains a vital factor in employee satisfaction and retention. Making it important for HR professionals to ensure everyone feels like a valued and included member of the community in their organisation. It can be hard for remote employees to feel like part of the team when they’re in an isolated environment, away from colleagues, and only a computer screen to keep them company.

The solution is to invest in collaboration technology capable of integrating more processes in one place. Employee engagement and experience platforms where employees can go to connect with their company and feel welcomed and supported.

Virtual reality is also rapidly transforming the HR landscape. Virtual reality can aid everything from job previews, onboarding, and even ongoing communication or education.

 

A crisis in mental health

Social isolation, employment uncertainty, and the virus itself has all affected the mental health of many around the world. A study revealed 44.4% of those working from home believe their mental health has declined. Of those who reported a decline, the top two impacting factors were ‘more stress’ and ‘more anxiety’.

Some organisations have previously only paid lip service to wellbeing, not knowing how to implement effective strategies. Now HR tech trends like gamification and wearables are becoming more prevalent to track and support employees’ physical health. And mental wellness tools are also becoming increasingly incorporated into HR software to help employees with things like burnout, mindfulness and financial wellness.

 

Restrictions to recruitment

With governments enforcing social isolation, the usual face-to-face interviews and workplace walk-throughs went out the window. Without access to a physical office space to send visual messages to candidates about your organisational values, new technologies offering the same cultural access are a must.

Automated video interviews allow the inclusion of short company promo videos offering this exact organisational culture insight. Their on-demand nature also gives candidates the convenience to take the interview online where or when they are most comfortable. Further alleviating some of the stress and anxiety mentioned above.

The sheer number of job seekers on the market has also been overwhelming. Not only thanks to the higher-than-normal unemployment rate, but remote working has meant candidates are no longer confined to roles in their location. AI software created to expedite the screening process will become an integral part of most new-age HR technologies.

 

Staying up to date is crucial

It’s clear the coronavirus pandemic has changed how HR departments think about remote working. As the workplace becomes increasingly distributed, and working from home continues to become the norm, keeping up to date with these technologies will definitely help ease many of the burdens remote working has created.

       

 

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How to mitigate data security risks in video interviewing

MUST-know tips about video interviewing and Australian data protection

 

If you’re like the majority of recruiters in 2021, video interviews form an integral part of your candidate screening process. Here’s what you need to know about Australian data privacy and protection requirements, and how to mitigate data security risks in video interviewing.

All organisations, of every size and across industries, collects, processes and transmits data – the majority of which is sensitive and requires protection. This is particularly relevant when it comes to the data you collect during in video interviewing.

Collecting sensitive candidate data in video interviewing exposes your organisation to various risk, from hosting legalities to incorrect access control. For recruiters, breaches exposing candidate data have serious financial, legal and reputational consequences. Here’s how to keep your video interviewing recruitment data private and protected by building data security into your recruitment process and systems.

 

1. Use the right systems and providers

Despite so much of candidates’ work history being available in the public domain (for example, through LinkedIn), the video interviewing process still uses personally identifiable information (PII), such as email addresses, which must be protected.

Using the right systems and providers is not only the key to your organisation’s ability to grow and scale, but to protecting the data you collect as well. The good news is your video interviewing provider should be equipped with appropriate measures to prevent data breaches and ensure candidate video interviewing data remains secure and available.

Check your video interview provider’s privacy compliance and security measures in their privacy policy. They should have robust measures in place to provide safety against cyberattacks.

For example, the Alcami Interactive application is designed with strict privacy compliance and security measures to protect both candidates and companies. A candidate’s video interview can only be reviewed by the selected hiring team in the organisation the job relates to.

 

2. Investigate data hosting

As part of many organisations’ ongoing digital transformation, the majority are increasingly moving towards cloud-based systems for numerous benefits, including flexibility, mobility and cost savings.

Cloud-based systems are ideal, as they give you more freedom to grow, and have enhanced security. Cloud-based video interviewing platforms such as Alcami Interactive allow your team to access video interviews securely, anytime, anywhere.

If you adopt cloud-based video interviewing systems over on-premise IT infrastructures, it’s important to ensure your data is hosted under the right legislation, as data is subject to the laws and governance structures of the nation in which it is collected.

By 2025 it will be mandatory for Australian businesses to host its data in Australia. Discuss the location of data centres with your video interviewing platform provider. Ideally, if your organisation is based in ANZ, data is hosted in Australia; for EMEA, data is hosted in Ireland, etc.

A note on GDPR. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) applies to organisations processing data of EU residents. GDPR places the burden of data compliance solely on your organisation, especially recruiting functions, which collect candidates’ personal data. Consult with your legal team if you collect data from EU residents in your recruitment process.

 

3. Establish permissions and access control

Work with your video interviewing platform provider to establish permissions and access control. This allows you to authenticate and authorise individuals to access the information they’re allowed to see and use. For example, you and your HR team may like to retain administrative access and delegate levels of access control to hiring managers, for the roles relevant to them.

Your video interviewing platform provider should allow you to delegate access to information, including provisioning and de-provisioning access.

While there’s always an element of risk when it comes to managing data, these measures will significantly reduce your organisation’s data security risk in video interviewing. Use the right systems and providers, investigate data hosting and establish access control to protect your organisation’s data.

 

Interested in learning more about mitigating data security risk in video interviewing? Book a live demo with Alcami Interactive.

       

 

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Recruitment algorithms can amplify unconscious gender bias

AI recruitment tools can amplify gender bias: How to make it fairer

 

Many recruiters will be familiar with, or are currently relying on, recruitment algorithms as part of their candidate screening process. These algorithms are a set of instructions telling a computer program what to look for in a candidate’s job application. These tools are intended to identify qualified and unqualified applications and make recruitment faster and more effective.

Theoretically, this should remove bias from the early stages in the recruitment process, saving hiring managers time, effort and resources. But more and more research is revealing this isn’t the case. Depending on input, recruitment algorithms have the potential to amplify recruiters’ existing unconscious bias.

Data journalist Catherine Hanrahan recently shared new research from the University of Melbourne revealing how recruitment algorithms can amplify unconscious bias favouring men over women in the job market.

 

Key findings from new research

In reviewing CVs, a panel of recruiters told the researchers they were looking for relevant experience, education and keywords, for example “bachelor’s” and “human resources.” These criteria were used to generate an algorithm to identify top candidates.

We assume AI algorithms will do the same job as human recruiters, only faster. However, comparing the algorithm’s CV rankings to the panellists’ revealed the outcome can be quite different. For one role in particular, a finance role, the panel preferred men for this position regardless of education, relevant experience or keyword match – even despite half of the panellists viewing CVs with the genders reversed.

Even though the algorithm detected men had more relevant experience than women, while women had a better keyword match, the study demonstrates how recruiters aren’t capturing what gives men the advantage in these roles. This represents a challenge since the recruitment algorithms won’t always be programmed by impartial scientists, but the very recruiters with this proven partiality to male CVs. This creates the potential to amplify unconscious bias.

 

Is the solution to use more targeted coding?

Small differences could be having a big impact on recruitment outcomes.

Study author Leah Ruppanner states: “We know that women have less experience because they take time [off work] for caregiving, and the algorithm is going to bump men up and women down based on experience.”

Ruppanner explains how certain things must be “coded in” to an algorithm to ensure it won’t discriminate against women for things such as parental leave.

Algorithms simply find associations. Therefore, AI-tools have the potential to detect or embed bias, essentially creating both risks and benefits.

The bottom line? Without further development, study and refining, these tools are currently not effective enough to be used in the later stages of candidate screening.

 

The way forward (for now)

So, does that mean we should abandon AI and recruitment algorithms? No.

While we have a long way to go with AI, it definitely still has a place in recruitment.

Alcami Interactive Founder, Jane Bianchini states, “AI sits at the top of the funnel in recruiting. This means finding and sourcing candidates, as it’s useful for processing large volumes of data and making good decisions at this stage in the process.”

Based on scientific research and analysis from data scientists, Bianchini shares that for AI-based recruitment tools to produce meaningful results, huge volumes of data are required.

“Based on scientific experiments involving thousands of test subjects, we could not find any meaningful correlation to replace human judgement. While some vendors express 1,500 written words is enough to provide an indication [of a candidates’ suitability for a role], data scientists state you’re more likely to require 10,000 words.”

To put this in perspective, this equates to an hour’s speech! Not to mention, data must be taken from the same platform to compare “apples with apples”; for example, work emails, as opposed to work emails and social media posts.

The recruitment funnel still needs human judgement. As a recruiter, give your hiring team and line managers the best conditions to minimise bias (whether it be gender, appearance or ethnicity). Reduce group-think by limiting feedback between evaluators or try other tactics such as removing names from applications.

Psychometric testing and automated video interviews are still the most robust tools to identify top-ranking candidates. These tools give you a far better understanding of candidates and their capability for the role, instead of relying on a machine at the bottom end of the funnel to decide.

“We’re passionate about seeing new technology evolve in the mid-to-bottom level of the funnel,” said Bianchini.

It’s a welcome area for further experimentation and innovation.

       

 

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Reinventing recruitment for the sports industry in 2021

Sport plays a huge part in the fabric of Australian society. People flock from all over the country (and the world) to enjoy our incredible calendar of sporting events, from the unusual, like the annual Camel Cup in the NT, to the more renowned and highly-prized, like the Australian Open usually scheduled for January in Melbourne. However, the global COVID-19 pandemic brought it all to a screaming halt this year.

After nine months of empty stadiums, the estimated number of active cases in our country is only sitting in the double digits, and our nation of 26 million people is close to finally eliminating community transmission of the virus. So, the question on many people’s minds is: when can we get back to sport as normal?

Players and athletes are certainly keen to get back to work and compete in live events, not to mention all the other workers in the sports sector; those who run the teams, sporting bodies and federations, those in sports medicine, those who sell and service sporting equipment, the data scientists and technology specialists who track and share our favourite teams’ statistics, those in media and broadcast, and those who run the on-ground logistics at the events. And of course, not to be forgotten, are the recruitment and talent acquisition professionals charged with hiring this entire ecosystem of sport professionals.

As we ride out the easing social distancing restrictions, future-focused recruitment and HR leaders in the sector are beginning to make plans for how to survive and thrive in the new world of work. So, what are the post-COVID 19 challenges we need to overcome for a quick and considered recovery in the sporting industry?

 

Curbing career anxiety

Global Sports ran a study to identify the impact of 2020 on the people in the sports industry surveying over 1000 respondents from 93 countries, covering all experience levels, sectors and across diverse ethnicities and gender identities. The results revealed 19% of those currently employed weren’t confident they would keep their jobs over the coming year, and less than half (42%) of those currently unemployed had any optimism about finding a job in the next 12 months.

The importance of employee engagement and candidate care in a post-COVID-19 environment cannot be understated.

Recruitment and HR professionals have an opportunity to create the environment for employees to feel connected, recognised and supported by doubling down on their mission and making employees feel closer than ever to their organisation’s ‘why’. And by fostering warm and welcoming relationships between your organisation and your candidates, even the unsuccessful ones, you will not only stand-out from your competitors, but you will enhance your reputation and employer brand.

 

High risks and high volumes

It’s uncharted territory for all, particularly those in hard-hit industries like sport who’ve had to make difficult decisions in the face of uncertainty. The Global Sports study found 65% of those currently unemployed in the industry believe it’s due to COVID-19.

This means in the coming year, you’ll either be needing to hire a lot of talent in a short space of time, or you’ll have a large number of applicants for your open roles – possibly even both. Automated assessment software like psychometric testing or video interviews, will help save a lot of time you could instead spend on building and nurturing relationships with top candidates.

But the kicker of life in post-COVID 2021 will be the constant looming ambiguity of whether we’ll have to endure a new wave of outbreaks. So, in the foreseeable future, we may need to put more thought into adopting temporary and/or contract hiring strategies to allow for staffing ebbs and flows, quickly and cost-effectively.

 

Lost skills and new roles

In our rush to get back to ‘normal’, you may experience a great temptation to fill new roles immediately. But if you’re not identifying the key skills needed to support your new business goals, you’ll be putting yourself at risk of enormous setbacks – landing you right back at square one.

More than half (54%) of sports industry professionals listed ‘opportunities to learn and develop’ as important when considering future employers; this was closely followed by defined employee development structure for professional growth’. This increased focus on professional development for your current team will need to be considered in tandem with the decision for new hires as you look to fill your skill gaps.

Further, the ‘fan-experience’ for sports has undergone massive change since the beginning of the pandemic, with teams, owners, and sponsors increasing their focus on virtual one-to-one relationships and substitute sports content for media. Consider the skills and talent this requires for the future. Will fans want to continue engaging with these forms of alternative content after normal sport broadcasting resumes?

 

Where will the work happen?

Overall, 68% of the Australian sports industry professionals surveyed were concerned about being at work post-COVID. It should be no surprise then, that the standout requirement for sports employees in the ‘new normal’ is more flexible working structures – remote working and flexible hours.

Remote work tantalises with its promises of diverse talent pools, increased productivity and retention, savings on facilities and smaller carbon footprints, but not all roles in the sporting industry will be able to make the move to WFH. Sports medicine can’t be administered by Zoom, and tennis balls can’t be fetched and returned to players if employees aren’t in the arena. Revisit your HR policies, contracts and documents to assess the mutual agreements and expectations of working remotely, and the safety measures for when employees must attend the office (or stadium/arena if that’s the case).

 

Diversity and inclusion

COVID-19 wasn’t the only game changer in the sports industry this year. The Black Lives Matter movement had athletes around the world ‘taking a knee’ in support, and US sports teams in the NBA, MLB, MLS and WNBA boycotted scheduled games altogether to protest the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin.

While 85% of sports professional respondents of the Global Sports survey believe BLM is important, less than half of these thought their organisation had taken the movement seriously. Almost half of all the respondents believed those of white ethnicity have an advantage over ethnic groups when it comes to job opportunities in sport.

This movement transcends a mere trend and is a reality all Australian organisations must aim to address to build a better future for our industry.

 

In summary

2020 has been a hell of a year. Its effects continue to ripple through the world’s health, educational, financial, and commercial institutions, and the sports industry is no different. COVID-19 and the movement for racial justice has accelerated changes in the recruitment industry that may have taken years, and created other changes no one saw coming – who knew ‘creating simulated crowd noise’ would ever be a desired skill?

With professional sports being such a critical aspect of community and social connection for so many people in Australia and around the world, resuming play is something we’re all looking forward to. For this to happen, recruiters and HR professionals will need to respond and adapt to these new challenges in 2021 and beyond.

 

Need to recruit top tech talent? Don’t leave it to chance

Despite the recent shift to an employer-driven market, industries with growing skills shortages and gaps still struggle to attract the best people – meaning top tech talent is in high demand. Tech talent encompasses a variety of roles, from data scientists, developers and engineers to IT professionals. Their specialist skillset and organisations’ need for rapid growth and development means great salaries alone aren’t enough to recruit these candidates effectively.

LinkedIn reveals the tech sector has the highest turnover rates and tech professionals can receive up to 32 job solicitations each week! This fierce competition is putting pressure on salaries, employer branding and HR team budgets.

To recruit the highly-sought-after tech skills you need to drive growth and innovation in your organisation, don’t leave your talent attraction strategy to chance. Whether you’re a large organisation or SME, here’s how to attract top tech talent.

 

1. Offer career development opportunities

The data doesn’t lie. LinkedIn’s latest top tech talent report reveals the top reason these professionals leave their positions is due to concern for career development; the top reason they join new organisations is the hope for a stronger career path/more opportunity.

Interestingly, 43% of organisations are boosting their upskilling efforts after coronavirus. What learning and development, or career development opportunities do you provide to your people? What about the chance to work with cutting-edge tech? How are you promoting these messages to the market?

Offering career development opportunities could be the single biggest competitive edge you have in your talent strategy. Be sure to promote this messaging in your employer brand and recruitment journey.

Check out our article: “Why upskilling works for attraction and retention.”

 

2. Optimise your communication channels 

Review and optimise your primary communication channels to ensure your employer brand messaging is on point. When competing for top tech talent, your employer brand is the key way to distinguish yourself from your competitors. Start by reviewing and optimising your careers website, job ads and social media channels.

Are your values and benefits front and centre? Are you sharing stories about your people?

Software development firm Atlassian builds a compelling employer brand by promoting their Employee Value Proposition (EVP), sharing authentic content, and measuring KPIs.

 

3. Offer a competitive salary and benefits

At the end of the day, tech professionals know their worth. Because they’re in high demand, they have the upper hand in salary negotiations and choosing the roles that are right for them.

If you can’t compete on salary, consider the overall package and benefits you can offer. Perhaps you can offer flexible working arrangements, superannuation benefits, or performance-based incentives.  Perhaps you have a great company culture and a passionate team who are excited about the work they do.

With Australia needing 100 000 more tech professionals by 2024, the ever-shifting technology landscape is making it harder to maintain a viable talent pool. For top tech talent, the right role for them isn’t always about the salary. Offering exciting career development opportunities and building your reputation as an employer of choice matters to candidates. Make a plan to attract top tech talent strategically, and don’t leave it to chance.

 

3 tips to attract top graduate talent for 2021

Whether it’s in law, tech, finance or government, all organisations are under increasing pressure to attract and retain the best of the best from the latest graduating cohort. And the current market hasn’t made this challenge any easier. Social distancing, closed borders and lock-down restrictions have wreaked havoc on recruitment; yet GradConnection’s recent survey, Impact of Coronavirus on Graduate Programs, found the demand for graduates hasn’t lessened. The majority of employers are reporting no or very little change to their hiring numbers for 2021.

This means the market for quality graduate candidates will continue to be tight for the foreseeable future. So how can you ensure your program is attractive to the top graduates? Here are three tips to attract the best graduates to your 2021 programs.

 

Prioritise diversity and inclusion

Review the language and strategies you use to attract and communicate with graduates so you don’t unintentionally turn-away high-quality applicants. The majority of today’s graduates value diversity as a crucial factor in their decision to work in an organisation.

Offering Equal Opportunity, Indigenous, and Neurodiversity programs is an excellent way to showcase your commitment to diversity and inclusion – beyond a HR mandated inclusion statement at the bottom of a graduate brochure. The language we use in our communications is also very important. Whether it’s intentional or not, we all carry implicit biases in our everyday language. It’s important to make conscious efforts to avoid this. Tools like Gender Decoder or Microsoft’s new AI tools can help when designing any communications, including recruitment advertisements.

 

Create a smooth candidate experience

91% of Generation Z (those born after 1997 and currently overtaking Millennials as the largest generation) agree technological sophistication impacts their interest in working for a company. While not all 2020 graduates will necessarily be Gen Z, you can be sure all of the top graduates will be fielding multiple offers. This means your candidate experience could be a crucial factor in their decision making.

The ever-increasing popularity of various social media platforms has produced a hypercognitive graduate cohort very comfortable with collecting and cross-referencing many sources of information and integrating virtual and offline experiences. This makes a great candidate experience paramount. Technology has continued to make dramatic inroads into the recruitment industry, streamlining systems and processes, so don’t get left behind by your competition. Ensure your application processes and response systems are efficiently engaging graduates throughout the entire recruitment process – even after they’ve accepted, continuing through their onboarding and orientation.

 

Offer the chance to make an impact

More and more studies are showing how graduates aren’t looking at the reputation of an organisation, or their entry salary but at the opportunities, their employees have to make a difference, in the world, within the organisation, and within themselves. According to the AAGE’s Candidate Surveys over the past few years, today’s graduates are accepting graduate opportunities based on:

  • the quality of the training and development program (27.69%),
  • the opportunity for career progression (24.68%),
  • the quality of the work (19.12%), and company culture (15.89%)

If you’re committed to attracting and retaining top graduates, give some thought to the culture at your organisation. Do you have clear socially conscious values? Have you presented a clear career path full of learning opportunities to your graduates? Will their work be recognised in a meaningful way? Are your current employees happy to come to work? It’s tough to attract top graduates if your newly employed grads look like they’re eager to leave.

Your recruitment strategy shouldn’t focus on attracting more graduates; rather, it’s about ensuring you remain a competitive option to the right graduates. Prioritise diversity and inclusion, create a great candidate experience and showcase how your people have the chance to make a positive impact. With the level of competition in the market, these strategies make a huge impact, so when the New Year begins, you’ll have the right talent in place for your organisation to reach its potential.

 

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Internal mobility: Why upskilling works for attraction and retention

During April 2020, there was a letter-board sign outside a church in the suburbs of Brisbane that read:

Make your choices based on your hopes and not your fears.”

While this sign may not have been targeting talent leaders specifically, it may have been more relevant to our field than we thought. Just two months later, findings from PwC’s Talent Trend report, Upskilling: Building confidence in an uncertain world, revealed only 18% of CEOs have made significant progress establishing employee upskilling programs in their organisations over the past year.

Was fear holding them back? Fears their employees might leave after they’ve gained their new skills, uncertainty around what skills their workforce will need in the future, or maybe they were scared to commit to the financial cost of employee upskilling?

Unfortunately, these anxieties have obstructed the other 82% of organisations from seeing the significant benefits of upskilling.

 

Enhanced Employee Retention

77% of employees said they’d be willing to upskill, and Deloitte reports that opportunities for career progression — or lack thereof — is the No. 1 retention incentive. Of the few companies that are making significant progress on upskilling, building employee engagement is reported as the biggest benefit.

By not only investing in employee upskilling and training but also creating opportunities to put their new skills to use, you’ll increase their value to your organisation and send a clear message that they have a valuable place in the company’s future.

 

Upskilling Attracts High-Quality Talent

Talented people want to work with businesses that value learning opportunities, making them more attracted to organisations known for their commitment to upskilling. In a Gallup report, 59% of millennials, 44% of Gen Xers and 41% of Baby Boomers stated opportunities to learn and grow were extremely important to them when applying for a job.

In addition, when employees feel a sense of purpose and engagement in their organisation, they become stronger brand ambassadors. These brand ambassadors are then more likely to refer their own network contacts and friends to open positions because they know their company will invest in their future.

 

Improving the Bottom Line

Upskilling your workforce costs money, but more often than not employee upskilling is less expensive than the cumulative costs of recruiting and onboarding new employees with the desired skillset. Extended job vacancies also lead to other potential costs like:

  • Productivity loss
  • Lower morale
  • Revenue loss
  • Inability to grow business.

 

If it’s going to take you months to fill a position, you may be able to train one of your current employees to do the job in the same (or shorter) amount of time. It’s also more likely to be easier to fill the less senior, or entry-level role vacated by an upskilled and promoted existing employee than finding external candidates with the required specialised skills and experience.

Employee upskilling can be disruptive and while it does take time and money, the benefits usually far outweigh the risks. That being said, it’s always important to measure your return on investment via financial results, customer satisfaction, employee retention, talent attraction and/or societal impact.

Great organisations are not built on luck or wishful thinking; they’re built through the passion, skills and dedication of their employees. Business cultures who support life-long learning and upskill their workforce will remain the most competitive and relevant.

 

If you need some guidance shaping the process for your hiring needs, get in touch with us at Alcami Interactive to request a personalised demo.

 

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