From Shortlist, Tuesday, 03 August 2021 9:20am

Amid the tightest market many recruiters have ever seen, fresh takes on candidate experience and sourcing approaches are set to divide winners and losers in the talent war, an industry training specialist says.

The golden standard in candidate experience is what recruitment leaders need from their teams right now, but this is unlikely to happen unless it’s put “front and centre”, Career Lasso director Adele Last told a recent Captain’s Table forum hosted by Navigator Consulting.

One way leaders can change this is by tracking candidate contact activity and rewarding for it, says Last.

“Consultant KPIs have the greatest value when they reward the behaviour we’re trying to encourage. Traditionally, they only encourage placements. They’re paid only on placements. Sometimes we’ve got client visits in there, and interviews and lots of other activities that we think are relevant for the endgame of the placement.

“If you really want your consultants to focus on something, if it’s really important that they build talent pools, if it’s really important that they’re talking to candidates all the time, you’ve got to put it front and centre. You’ve got to track it and reward for it as well.”

Upskilling talent

Recruiters can also play a bigger part in training candidates for the role, Last says. “We’re going to have to get much better at looking at people who could do the role, not who’ve done the role.”

She acknowledges that hiring manager conversations about this can be “difficult”, but says change starts with recruiters because “industry always influences down the line in that way”.

Many recruiters have completed a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, and “what that means is actually you’re qualified to create a training course. It’s not a certified course, it’s a training workshop that you could be creating that says, ‘let me take this kind of candidate in the market and make them more attractive to this client by completing some training’.”

This is a “powerful” strategy, says Last, adding, “we have to get better at looking at training people and adapting people into roles”.

Recruiting on motivation

Another way to broaden the talent pool is to recruit on motivation, “because we are overlooking people when we’re purely looking at skills and experience,” says Last.

“We know that [we overlook good talent]. We know that clients do that as well, but I want you to think about looking at other tools that measure things like motivation. A lot of psychometric tools do that.

“Look at using the psychometric tool results with your candidate profiles going across to clients. It just gives that added layer, and look at referring people based on their motivations.”

Among Last’s 31 sourcing tips in total, she also advises recruiters to review referral incentive schemes.

“Most of us have got them, and most of us never pay anything out on them. I hardly ever see them enacted.

“Our referral schemes are not working, so I encourage you to survey your market. Start with your top five candidates who love you and have been working with you for a long time. Ask them why they work with you, ask them what’s good about dealing with your business, ask them what would incentivise them to speak to a colleague of a similar skillset and refer them to your business.

“You might be interested to find out it doesn’t actually take money. Most people do it because they’ve received good service and they like the business. The only really innovative one I’ve seen is an organisation pay for the annual association membership for the individual. The cash part is too harsh and it’s not working, so think about alternative incentive programs.”