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Aberdeen Group Blog-Rethinking Recruiting in 2011

February 15, 2011

We welcome our guest blogger of the week, Mollie Lombardi, who is a Sr. Research Analyst within the Human Capital Management practice of Aberdeen Group.

Welcome to mid-February. If, like me, you’re in the New England area, mid-February is a time of short daylight, freezing temperatures, and piles of crusty, dirty, leftover snow on every curb. The perfect backdrop against which to start to dream of innovation and reinvention! What’s next, how can we grow, where is the next opportunity, and when and how will we make it different than it was before?

In November and December of last year, I surveyed over 400 HR and line of business executives, who rated talent acquisition as the number one HCM element most critical to their organization's ability to execute on its business strategy in the coming year. Clearly, innovation in how we recruit is a place we need to focus energy – to put good people back to work and to put the best team in place to support our businesses. So how are organizations going about innovating against this critical process? We are a long way from the days of putting a sign in the window or a notice in the paper and holding interviews, but what SHOULD we be doing? Below are a few of the ways top companies are rethinking the recruiting process.

1 – Focus on building a quality candidate pipeline. Aberdeen’s 2010 Talent Acquisition study found that “Proactively building and expanding a candidate pipeline regardless of current hiring needs” was the number one strategy. Treat the talent acquisition process like the sales or customer acquisition process. Think marketing, branding, brand experience and outreach. Given the talent shortages already showing up in many industries, cultivating relationships long prior to a job offer can be critical.

2 – Understand your business. Do you know what roles are critical to your company’s success? Aberdeen’s 2011 HR Executive’s Agenda study showed that top performing 20% of companies are 53% more likely than all other companies to be able to identify the job roles that most directly impact revenue or profitability. It's somewhat shocking to think that less than half (46%) of bottom performers have visibility into the roles that impact their bottom line. Without knowing what will impact your business, it’s hard to go find more of it.

3 – Be more agile. As organizations cut back in recent years, not only did many slow or stop their hiring but they also dismantled their entire recruiting functions. As they now look to grow again recruiters are looking to new tools to help them reach deeper into talent pools, such as social media, better sourcing tools to scour the digital world, and even contingent labor and RPO. Recruiters have a tougher job than ever – filtering through more applicants for fewer openings, smaller budgets, and aggressive growth timelines. If there were ever a time to be agile and innovative, this is it.

This topic is the focus one of the panel discussions taking place at the 2011 Aberdeen HCM Summit that my colleagues and I are hosting on March 9-10 in New York City, and it should be a lively one. So what are you doing to reinvent recruiting? And what questions would you have for the panel? I look forward to hearing from you - and if you need a shot in the arm from smart, driven, innovative and inspired colleagues this long and chilly winter, I hope to see you at the event.

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