Employers struggling to fill jobs at a time when U.S. unemployment is at historic lows are increasingly turning their eye to data analytics to help enhance their talent acquisition efforts.
The challenge in doing so, according to Brian Wilkerson, a managing partner at Denver-based hrQ, is in making sure companies are measuring their efforts properly.
Speaking at a presentation on talent acquisition strategies sponsored by CCIG, Wilkerson advised companies to pay special attention to how often their first-choice candidates accept their job offers.
A low acceptance ratio suggests some kind of adjustment is in order, he said.
Other measures to watch, he said, include conversation rates, applicant-to-candidate ratios and first-year performance, among others.
The job market in Colorado – whose population grew at more than twice the rate of the U.S. since the 2010 Census — is one of the healthiest in the nation. The flip side to that good news is that employers have over the past few years found themselves straining to find candidates to fill open job postings.
Economic recessions aside, it’s a problem that isn’t likely to go away any time soon. Job listings in the state grew by 9.7% from 2018 to 2019.
Compensation, including benefits, and work environment are still critical to getting applicants interested in job openings, Wilkerson, an expert in talent strategy and strategic workforce planning, said.
But companies need to think beyond those areas. They should focus more on their reputation, or “employment brand,” how easy they make it for applicants to apply, the candidate’s experience during the interview process and whether the company itself is providing a realistic preview of the job in its discussions with candidates.
Linking Employment Brand to Brand Management
It’s important, Wilkerson said, for companies to remember how easy it is nowadays for candidates to collect whatever they need to know about an employer’s culture, thanks to sites such as Glassdoor and others online.
That’s why a company’s reputation, he said, needs to be monitored and managed closely. The promises made in a company’s employment brand should match as closely as possible whatever it is the company is delivering.
“The best companies have been linking employment brand to brand management. It is all part of the value proposition for the organization,” he said.
Analytics, meanwhile, are still new to most companies but are gaining ground in helping them identify ways to improve their recruiting efforts.
Data, Wilkerson noted, can help predict a candidate’s level of performance and retention. It also can help companies detect potential talent shortages and how much time it might take to fill an open slot.
Analytics also can help companies match benefits to their employees’ individual values and personality. For example, a job candidate who thrives in quiet environments may appreciate the chance to work remotely.
In other words, with the right data, employers will be able to better tell whether their talent acquisition strategy is working, including whether they need to rethink their benefits, and why their best candidates are getting scooped up by the competition.
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