The ‘Great Resignation’ is upon us; the world is currently in an unprecedented war for talent. This means that companies must be laser-focused on candidate experience.
To discuss this topic, UNLEASH and iCIMS brought together talent experts from world-leading organizations, including Adidas, MSCI, ING, and Expleo Group.
For Adidas, this means treating candidates like consumers and really thinking about creating a “white glove concierge experience”, especially since we are living through a candidate’s market.
Aimée Meher-Homji, global head of talent acquisition at Adidas, continued by stating: “Gone are the days where companies wait around for candidates” and then just select the best one.
But now companies have to sell themselves on what differentiates them, according to Meher-Homji. She recommended that companies focus particularly on flexibility at work and ethics, as research is showing those are the two things that candidates, and particularly Gen Z are looking for.
However, Christophe Vanden Eede, global head of talent management at multinational bank ING, notes that companies must be careful not to oversell. He uses an analogy of Instagram versus reality memes and discussions.
Many companies trying to sell the “Instagram version” of reality, but “We all know that Instagram is not real life”. The issue here is that candidates go through the recruitment process being sold one thing, but when they start at the company, they feel “spoofed” and perhaps misled.
So companies must avoid that if they want to not only hire, but also retain talent, in the future.
Talent retention in the ‘Great Resignation’
To give a sense of how competitive the market is, Expleo Group HR director of talent acquisition tools and tech Vanessa Karadimos Tonkin noted that at the consultancy they are experiencing a lot of candidates signing contracts, but then not necessarily starting the job as they have been made a better offer elsewhere.
She notes the trend is being driven by “competition, by compensation and the speed at which the market moves”. To combat this, she notes that companies need to “deploy a localized approach” to tackling it, rather than just a global strategy.
Talking generally about attrition, Woodhead notes that at MSCI attrition is low and the company works hard on keeping it that way.
She recommended that companies must constantly monitor their top talent, as well as make sure they know they are valued, and invest in their career development.
DE&I is not just a HR problem
Since Meher-Homji had mentioned the importance of values and principles to talent, it was crucial for the panel to talk about diversity, equity and inclusion (D,E&I) and how they prioritize it in their hiring and talent retention strategies.
To start with, Meher-Homji noted that D,E&I is not just a HR issue. “It is everybody’s job to ensure we are attracting, retaining and developing” a diverse workforce. Woodhead agrees that “diversity is a business imperative, it is not a people process”.
Of course, from a hiring standpoint, the aim is to remove bias from the hiring process. For Adidas, they are doing a pilot where an independent third party from outside HR is trained and brought into the hiring process to ensure that the hiring managers and recruiters are completely unbiased at every stage.
Woodhead noted that at MSCI “we lead with inclusion”; it is at the center of the company’s business as success in D,E&I is directly linked with executive pay.
However, she explained how MSCI has a global strategy – which includes blinding CVs – but a local implementation, since there are different concerns and challenges around diversity in different regions of the world.
Karadimos Tonkin joined the discussion to note that in order to attract diverse candidates, employees need to think outside the box and not just rely on email. Meher-Homji agreed, stating you have to meet the audience where they are, whether that is Snapchat, TikTok or WhatsApp.
HR tech tools
In doing this, Vanden Eede noted that companies need to be open to trying things out and AB testing, and then leverage those strategies that work best. This is a strategy ING likes to use when implementing any new HR tech tools.
Talking generally about HR tech, Woodhead was very clear that HR tech needs to catch up with the digitalization people are seeing in their normal lives.
While tech has an important role in hiring to speed up and automate the manual tasks, it is crucial for the INSPIRE panel that you don’t take the human element out of the recruitment process.
Vanden Eede commented that humans are “social animals” and “connection is so important”; ultimately, the hiring journey is an emotional one.
Woodhead agrees that hiring in the future of work must be “human-centric” and it involves listening and being humble.
To hear more from the experts at the UNLEASH and iCIMS INSPIRE European summit now, or at a later date, register here.
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