How to Leverage Design Thinking in Talent Acquisition: Introduction

talent acquisition processes

We’ve made it our mission to make hiring a better experience for every stakeholder in the process. Recruiters, we want you to spend more time learning about your candidate’s favorite hackathon than getting mired in scheduling hell. Hiring managers, we want you to breeze right through feedback submission because it’s that seamless. Candidates, we never want you to get asked the same question over and over by a team of interviewers again. Each time we hear we’ve accomplished the goals above, we beam with the unbridled merriment of a kid in a candy store.

Still, there are clearly some glaring problems in the talent acquisition realm.

80% of business leaders believe talent acquisition is important to their organization, yet 61% still experience difficulty recruiting talent. That’s almost two-thirds. Why?

In part, we can blame it on external factors – there’s the constant advent of new technology, which is creating more and more open roles for organizations to fill. There’s the tightening of the labor markets, meaning that unemployment is falling. Plus, no one can deny that we’re seeing tighter competition for the most qualified talent in the market.

Yet so many pain points in the recruiting realm are surmountable with the right solutions. While it’s challenging to create meaningful candidate experiences or effectively measure recruiting success, for example, it’s absolutely doable. Often, the key is to think outside the box to problem-solve.

We’ve learned that one effective problem-solving method is design thinking, which we define as: 

An iterative methodology that seeks understanding through empathy and creates solutions by prototyping, refining, and redesigning.

Here’s what’s exciting: the research we recently conducted with our partners, the Human Capital Institute (HCI), proves that design thinking works. For example: 31 percent of talent leaders at organizations with developed design thinking say they’re effective at building sustainable talent pipelines – compared to just 16 percent of organizations which use no design thinking.

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design thinking in talent acquisition sustainable talent pipelinesYes, we recognize what this graph shows: that mastering talent pipelining is a ways off even for design thinking pros. But wouldn’t you rather be a part of that 31 percent than 16 percent? Don’t you want to more than double your efficiency at building sustainable pipelines?

Here’s yet another surprising discrepancy: 76 percent of talent leaders with design thinking say they’re effective at assessing candidates’ skills and fit – contrasted with 44 percent of companies which have no design thinking processes in place.

design thinking in talent acquisition assessing candidates

That 76 percent figure is substantial and not a coincidence. Central principles of design thinking – such as empathy with others and reimagining existing processes –  are pushing teams to create new, more effective strategies for evaluating candidates. 

With all of this in mind, we’re excited to announce the launch of our new blog series on ‘How to Leverage Design Thinking in Talent Acquisition’.

In our series, we will cover how to apply design thinking to a range of essential recruiting strategies, such as: building sustainable talent pipelines, leveling up your candidate experience, leveraging your technology more efficiently, and more. Ultimately, we hope you walk away with more tools to tackle each objective.  

What exactly does it mean to ‘leverage design thinking in talent acquisition’?

In applying design thinking to recruiting, one reimagines the hiring stakeholders as customers of a shared experience.

The main focus, therefore, is on building empathy with the hiring manager, recruiter, and candidate in order to fulfill their needs. Importantly, the emotional experience of each individual is prioritized. 

Then, once you develop that empathy, you can discern which of their problems are most painful – and create solutions through continuous experimentation. 

Below, we’ve included a simple diagram of the design thinking process. We’ll be discussing it further in our series:

design thinking process

We can’t wait to share our tips on how you can reenvision your hiring manager, recruiter, and candidate as a customer in every recruiting process. We firmly believe this mindset shift can drastically improve your recruiting success.

Subscribe to our blog at the top of the page to receive next week’s post – on how you can leverage design thinking to better measure your recruiting success!