When it comes to attracting top talent, enterprise companies have resources at their disposal often unmatched by their small and medium-sized competitors, like bigger budgets and bigger recruiting teams — plus stronger branding that can help attract hundreds of applicants per role.
But with so many requisitions to fill at any given time, enterprise recruiting is complex. And with so many teams across multiple time zones needing help filling their open roles, it can be challenging to achieve the necessary alignment between hiring managers and recruiters.
So how can enterprise recruiting teams get the most out of the talent attraction process? To find out, we sat down with Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Beacon Lane Consulting, Elaine Davidson — an authority with over two decades in global corporate talent acquisition.
Here are Davidson’s top five challenges of enterprise recruiting and how to solve them.
#1: Lack of requisition prioritization
“Not only is the aim to hire the best candidates, but the need to attract the right candidates for the right position is critical,” says Davidson. “Unfortunately, many organizations don’t start at the beginning: assessing true hiring needs and budgeting for them.”
Without prioritization of requisitions (e.g. the hiring brief for any given role), hiring managers are operating from a firefighting mindset. The result is a conflicting list of open roles all competing for recruiters’ attention to be filled — which isn’t a conducive process for making quality hires.
The solution: Implement a workforce plan
“A formulaic approach to prioritization of requisitions will help business leaders be very deliberate about what requisitions they approve and take action on,” says Davidson. That’s where putting a workforce plan and having strong forecasting skills really comes into play.
How to act: Read 3 Ways to Forecast for Executives for advice from our Director of Recruiting.
#2: Moving too fast when implementing technology
“The biggest mistake Heads of Talent Acquisition make is trying to implement a technological solution without first defining, developing, and outlining their entire recruitment process — the way it should be in it’s most aspirational state,” says Davidson.
Hasty implementation without due consideration, specifically with the applicant tracking system (ATS), can oftentimes be worse than no technology at all. Especially for large enterprises, whose workforce already likely uses multiple business tools throughout their day.
The solution: Involve stakeholders early
“During this phase, more mistakes are made when key stakeholders don’t have a seat at the table in developing a functional recruiting process,” says Davidson. So be sure to involve the right decision-makers in your recruitment technology decisions from the consideration phase on.
How to act: Get a framework to help you choose the best ATS for your company here.
#3: Skipping regular process “health checks”
“At Beacon Lane, our method of achieving recruiting excellence begins by stripping everything away, even if just for a moment,” says Davidson. “You have to get back to the basics before you can build a standard, stable recruiting function, which is necessary if the organization wants to achieve an iconic level of recruiting excellence.”
Because the average enterprise is usually so complex, it can be difficult to hit pause and benchmark the recruiting process from beginning to end. But it’s exactly this kind of guided approach that can help maintain a strong recruiting process across locations and countries.
The solution: Conduct a diagnostic of your end-to-end process
“The details matter. It is so important to conduct a comprehensive diagnostic of your end-to-end process along the Global Recruiting Framework. Most organizations start their initial diagnostic with Requisition Creation and end with Pre-boarding. Workforce Planning and Onboarding are also part of the framework but often need to be part of a phase 2 of the project since they are massive,” says Davidson. “But that doesn’t mean they’re ‘nice-to-haves,” they’re absolutely ‘must-haves. The challenge is figuring them out at the same time as everything else. By taking a guided approach to defining and documenting your process across the global recruiting framework, the outcome is the ability to hire talent better, smarter, faster.”
How to act: Get started today with 3 Ways to Create a Winning Talent Strategy.
#4: Supporting your recruiters to do what they do best
“One of the biggest mistakes I see being made is not hiring the wrong recruiters, but not effectively supporting your recruiting team,” says Davidson. “Even as companies grow desperate to find the right talent, the HR and recruiting budget is often the first one cut.”
In fact, a recent survey of 156 CEOs conducted by The Predictive Index, found that in 2019, the second most important priority for CEOs is talent strategy. But as is often the case for larger organizations, this prioritization can get lost in translation with so many other initiatives in play.
The solution: Hone a strategic partnership with the business
“It takes buy-in from the top to achieve recruiting excellence,” says Davidson. That’s where elevating your team’s value and thinking strategically like a business partner is critical. You can make it easier through regular and concise reporting of your team’s progress and achievements.
How to act: Discover how your recruiting compares in our 2019 Talent Benchmarks Report.
#5: Looking at talent as a short-term solution
With the pressure on to fill roles yesterday, enterprise recruiters can often get trapped in a cycle of hiring just to fill. But even if your company has great brand recognition and multiple awards as a best place to work, you still need to focus on creating a world-class candidate experience.
“Don’t look at candidates as just short-term solutions to your talent shortage,” says Davidson. “Look at how they fit with the company overall and where they might make a good fit in the future. Treat people as you would want to be treated. In fact, over deliver and exceed their expectations. They will remember and maybe even pay it forward.”
The solution: Deliver an authentic process with the right technology and people
“Cultivate talent with a longer lens, and work hard to make sure even as you automate your hiring process you don’t lose the human touch that makes people want to work for your organization,” recommends Davidson.
How to act: Give candidates a stellar experience with these 10 communication do’s and don’ts.
Bonus tip: Embrace the gig economy
“I think we’re going to see a lot more companies be willing to work with freelancers and embrace the gig economy to get the talent they need when they need it,” says Davidson. “There is a wealth of talent out there and for a variety of reasons, they don’t want full-time, permanent work. It’s actually fantastic to see people designing careers in ways that have been more ‘taboo’ in the past. Those companies not willing to embrace gig workers are going to miss out.”