It’s no secret that attracting qualified candidates is a huge pain point for recruiters. But the good news is that today, there’s an unprecedented amount of information on companies out there — and the best candidates are using that information to self-select into the right roles and organizations for them, ensuring success on both sides of the fence. But how exactly do you attract and retain those informed candidates?
That’s exactly the question that Glassdoor Recruit — Glassdoor’s first-ever recruiting focused conference — set out to answer. Through a series of presentations, panels, workshops and more, Glassdoor Recruit shared invaluable information on how today’s leading organizations can attract and retain informed candidates who will add to their culture and drive business results. Here are a few highlights from the event.
Defining the Informed Candidate
Glassdoor CEO Robert Hohman opened Recruit by welcoming the over 7,000 guests and shedding some light on the state of the talent market today. While recruiters struggle with things like budget constraints, competing with compensation and benefits and knowing where to advertise jobs, Hohman shared that the number one challenge was attracting quality candidates, according to 75 percent of participants in a recent poll from Glassdoor and a leading third-party analyst firm.*
Today’s companies want candidates who are highly engaged, well-researched, and have the right expectations: in other words, informed candidates. This isn’t just important for filling open requisitions in the moment — survey participants agreed that informed candidates result in better retention, productivity, engagement, cooperation, and overall employee experience. So what can you do to bring those informed candidates into your company?
“The best way to create these connections with candidates is for you to make sure that your recruiting and employer brand positioning reflects your reality,” Hohman said. “Informed candidates are literally out there right now on Glassdoor researching your company… the goal is to make sure that they understand what in your work is important and aligned with them.”
How T-Mobile, Bain & Company, Hubspot and Major League Baseball Win With Informed Candidates
To share the secrets of how they attract informed candidates, representatives from T-Mobile, Bain & Company, Hubspot and Major League Baseball took the stage in a panel moderated by J.T. O’Donnell, Founder & CEO of career advice site Work It Daily. They discussed some of the biggest challenges they face, ways they maximize efficiency in the recruiting process and how to address pointed questions.
Some of their top tips:
- Recruiting should not be one-size-fits all
“We found we were recruiting the same way for everybody, and that didn’t work. You don’t recruit technology and agile specialists in a gig economy the same way you’d hire in volume for sales, or for care. We made a big move to embed our recruiters into our business units — they still are a part of our human resources team, but they’re part of the local human resources team rather than centrally run.” —Martin Pisciotti, VP Employee Careers, T-Mobile
- Your data is a treasure trove
“Working with Bain’s deep expertise and advanced analytics — we call them the AAG team — [we bring] those data scientists in to help us find more efficient ways to screen resumes. At the very least, we can take the thousands that we’re getting in the front end and cull that down to the set that has the highest potential candidate source.” —Keith Bevans, Partner, Global Head of Consultant Recruiting, Bain & Company
- Content converts candidates
“What we’ve invested in is a lot more targeted content at every stage of the funnel, so if you’re just visiting, we make it much more likely that you’ll convert. If you’re checking us out and considering an offer, we try and make content part of the reason you actually choose [Hubspot] so you don’t have to search for an employee who fits your profile or is dealing with similar challenges to you. We want you to find that readily and accessibly.” —Katie Burke, Chief People Officer, HubSpot
- Assessments can speak volumes
“We’ve now started trying to encourage department heads, depending on the type of job they’re looking to fill, to give [candidates] a real-life test about what they might have to do — give them a hypothetical and have them write a memo, or give them a fact pattern and [ask], ‘How would you conduct the investigation?’ for example. You can learn a lot from that.” —Steven Gonzalez, Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel – Labor & Human Resources, Major League Baseball
How United Airlines Pulled Off an Employee Engagement 180
In a candid talk with the audience, United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz — one of the Highest Rated CEOs for 2017 — dove deep into the challenges he faced early on, including low employee morale, a near-death experience and one particular PR storm involving the forcible removal of a passenger from an aircraft. Despite all that, employee sentiment has skyrocketed under Munoz, in turn driving “record-breaking on-time performance” and rising customer satisfaction scores.
The key to pulling it off was “stupid simple,” Munoz said: “I just stopped and listened, and I listened intently… It’s easy to think that you’re so smart, that you know what’s wrong and you go fix that, but [employees will say] ‘I wanted my oil changed, why did you give me new tires?’ When they know that they’ve provided input, and that you’ve listened and learned from it and provided feedback, it makes a massive difference in the simple thing that I need in our business: human interaction and human connection… from that, we’ve built a pretty good dynamic that you see hopefully when you travel.”
As for what he hopes his legacy to be, Munoz shared: ‘“Churchill said, ‘It may be the end of the beginning, but we still have a long way to go.’ Flying 100 million+ customers with 700 flights in the air at any point in time in the day, there are eventually going to be failures, so we’ll continue to work on and fix that, and leave a culture of people really wanting to care about you.”
The Secret to a Stellar Candidate Experience: Data
Next up was Glassdoor Chief Economist Dr. Andrew Chamberlain, with concrete research on how employers can improve their candidate experience. This falls into four key buckets:
- Attracting Candidates
One of the best ways to encourage more employees to apply? Improving your Glassdoor reviews! One study showed that candidates who saw positive reviews of a company were significantly more likely to apply than those who hadn’t. Furthermore, negative reviews mean applicants want higher starting salaries to compensate.
- Improving Your Hiring Process
Treating candidates well is critical, but you can’t go easy on them in the hiring process — Glassdoor research shows that more difficult interviews result in better employees. Be sure to move quickly, too — employers that take longer to hire get left behind.
- Keeping Employees Satisfied
The top three factors that predict job satisfaction are career opportunities, quality of senior leaders and culture and values, all of which become increasingly important the longer employees stick around.
- Retaining Employees for the Long Run
Employees leave for three main reasons: stagnating in a role too long, the company culture is better elsewhere or the pay is better elsewhere. Being aware of and acting on these criteria can help you keep employees around for the long haul.
“[It’s helpful] to think about the candidate journey as a lifecycle model… it’s a reminder to you that even after you hire great talent and you get them on board, you’re not done. You still have to tend to the candidate journey [and] keep them engaged. Because if you don’t, the big risk is ultimately, people will start looking around, they will look at the competition, and they will start a candidate’s journey somewhere else,” Chamberlain shared.
Making Diversity a Priority, Not Just a Buzzword
With so many studies showing that diverse workforces lead to innovation and improved business performance, it’s no wonder that today’s employers are focused on attracting and retaining diverse talent. However, for many employers, it’s truly a challenge. Why is this the case? And what can employers learn from those who are leading in diversity and conclusion? Representatives from GoDaddy, Hyatt and The Washington Post joined Glassdoor Editorial Director Amy Elisa Jackson to discuss the topic in depth.
A few highlights:
- Employers need to make their companies a place where diverse talent wants to work
“We don’t want to hire a cohort of people and then have them come in and go, ‘This is not the place for me — this is not the culture that I was sold by the recruiter,’ whatever that might be. So we wanted to make sure that it was definitely a place where they would feel included, they would feel like they could do the best work of their lives.” —Katee Van Horn, Vice President, Engagement & Inclusion, GoDaddy
- Meet diverse candidates where they are
“We started an outreach and partnerships program and this was part of our talent marketing strategy, in saying let’s go and partner with the current leaders in the community — DC Web Women, Girls Who Code — and let’s partner with them one-on-one, build that relationship, and then work with them to build experiences that bring that community together… now we have hundreds of people coming together for an event, and we’re able to connect with them one-on-one and truly share our culture story.” —Brenna Child, Head of Talent Management & Employer Branding, The Washington Post
- Open up honest dialogue
“Until we can talk about this issue, it’s not going to go away. When you walk in a room, people say, ‘I don’t see color’… but the reality is that I am who I am. Let’s accept that and let’s move on to something bigger and greater where we all add value.” —Tyronne Stoudemire, Global Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion, Hyatt
Anatomy of an Irresistible Organization
If there’s anyone who would be able to identify the ‘secret sauce’ of amazing organizations, it’s Josh Bersin, Principal Researcher and Founder of Bersin by Deloitte, an HR-focused research and advisory firm founded in 2001. In his presentation, Bersin laid out the five keys he and his team have identified that make up a great company.
- Meaningful work
Employees, especially millennials, increasingly need to find meaning in the work they do. But how can you create meaning? A few key factors include autonomy, selection to fit, small teams and time for slack.
- Supportive management
Management’s role is to not only run the business, but to help employees realize their potential. Things like regular performance reviews, clear goal setting, coaching and feedback and leadership development all help employees thrive.
- Fantastic environment
Great workplaces lead to great work. Employers should focus on creating a flexible, humane work environment with open work spaces and an inclusive, diverse, recognition-rich culture.
- Growth opportunity
If employees are going to stick with an employer for the long term, they need to be able to see a career path for themselves within the company. Leaders can provide this by facilitating talent mobility, self and formal development, career growth among many paths and a high-impact learning culture.
- Trust in leadership
At the end of the day, culture truly is a top-down initiative. Rallying employees around a clear mission and purpose, investing in people, and communicating openly and transparently is a sure-fire way to earn employees’ trust.
A Hands-On Learning Experience
In the last formal sessions of the afternoon, attendees chose from three different hands-on learning labs.
- Recruiting with Glassdoor
Led by Kimberlea Kozachenko, Senior Leader of Enterprise Culture & Development at ATB Financial, this lab explored how to use Glassdoor to bring in the candidates your organization needs. Among her tips: be open and transparent so that informed candidates can truly find the job that fits their life, have recruitment innovation along with a solid process and finally, use analytics to measure and refine your efforts.
- Creating a Phenomenal Candidate Experience
“Interviewers are brand ambassadors, and the interview has a direct reflection on your brand,” said Rod Adams, US Talent Acquisition Leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers and leader of this break-out lab. One way to improve your employer brand through interviews: timely interview processes. PwC was actually able to go from 6 days to schedule an interview to less than a day by using technology, such as video interviewing, to be more efficient!
- Creating Killer Job Descriptions
Michelle Wagner-Knapp, SVP of People at Evernote and Allie Hall, Customer Success Engineer at Textio teamed up to present their findings on what makes a successful job description. Hint: the ideal job listing is between 600 and 700 words, avoids cliche terms like “data-driven” and “stakeholders” and favors short sentences and bullet points over lengthy paragraphs.
Work Hard, Play Hard
Of course, no conference is complete without a party at the end of the day, and Glassdoor Recruit certainly wasn’t an exception! After a few parting words from CEO Robert Hohman, attendees got a chance to unwind with cocktails, food and entertainment. Highlights included the photo booth full of props and confetti and the chance to hang out and network with new friends and connections.
Between the knowledge-sharing, networking and fun, Glassdoor Recruit was one for the books. Didn’t make it to the recruiting conference of the year? Keep an eye out for future events, and be sure to unlock your Free Employer Account to draw in informed candidates to your company!
— The Bosco (@theboscofeed) September 19, 2017
*Glassdoor Informed Candidate Survey, August 2017