“In some ways, incumbents have a lot of benefits over new players, over start-ups. They have customers, they have great data, and they often have a brand. They have financial resources, which a start-up may not have. The question is, can all of those capabilities and assets be deployed in a way that allows you to defend against new attackers as digital disrupts your industry?” – Paul Willmott, Director at McKinsey

Recruitment and employee retention have been top challenges for many if not all organizations over the past several years. You can find loads of HR related writing alluding to issues of key talent sourcing, talent acquisition, and especially top-tier talent retention; these are all major concerns felt widely across all business sectors the world over. The problem looms large especially since the stigma associated with changing jobs and moving companies has been lifted.  Workers are realizing their talent strengths and the assets they bring to market and leveraging these strengths producing, in essence, a sellers’ market. And organizations are appreciating more and more that finding the right talent is the most critical asset in ensuring a competitive advantage.

Fusing HR & Marketing

So what is being done about this growing concern? As it stands today and into the foreseeable and disruptive future, recruiters are learning to think, embrace, and act with a strategic marketing-centric mindset.  And since the future of recruiting is candidates, and candidates, for the most part, are behaving a lot like clients, recruiters need to develop a business model that is established around consumer marketing tactics and social media engagement.

And since consumer marketing is all about branding well then it follows that the human resource function should incorporate a branding relationship when appealing to potential workers.  And this, for the most part, is already what is happening; the HR function is being leveraged to assume a brand stewardship role. And not only that but as human resources and marketing departments collaborate to produce a unified employer brand they have begun to manage their cross-functional teamwork to produce a fully integrated digital marketing strategy. Such strategies have included significant branding and consumer engagement elements inherent in social media, brand and content marketing, CRM, and a vast array of digital marketing and talent acquisition platforms.

Primary Source Verification in the Digital Disruptive Age

Streamlined Processes

The recruitment trend has shifted, in a positive way and for the better, towards empowering the candidate in what resembles more of a vendor-client relationship.  Social sourcing and talent pools along with other digital forms of business profile engagement have significantly broadened the selection of talent that companies have to choose from.  Today candidates expect a straightforward and accelerated recruitment process one that presents a seamless and rewarding experience even for those candidates that don’t matriculate any further than an initial contact.

The onus is on organizations to remain aware of any and all efforts to expedite, and by expedite I’m refereeing to the implementation of cost-saving efforts, associates with their full-cycle recruitment process.  Employers must do their due diligence to ensure the efficiency and accuracy of their narrowing down and selection process. If the process is too lengthy there is a strong possibility that the talent could flee and find an equal or better opportunity at another company.  If the process is over automated and too abrupt there is a serious chance of overlooking excellent candidates.  Here is where harnessing innovative technology will play a major role in the shift change associated with talent-driven full-cycle recruitment.

Data-First Approach

Taking a data-first approach will modernize and further integrate the human resource function within the other core corporate competencies.  A data-first approach will allow recruiters the vantage point, high atop big data analytics, to decipher intelligent insights regarding their candidates both active and passive alike, such as Primary Source Verification (PSV); the critical verification from the original source of a specific credential (education, training, licensure) determining the accuracy of the qualifications.

These insights will assist recruiters in their efforts in taking prompt, informed, and verifiable actions.  This quick decision-making process suggests that candidates will receive a respectable turnaround time and adequate response times going forward through the process.

As recruitment rules change to keep up with a changing social and digital world the fundamental features of recruiting and hiring remain the same.  As much as times have changed certain key aspects of recruitment have remained the same for instance relationship building has remained at the centre of all effective and corroborative recruitment strategies. All candidates deserve to know that their time will be valued and employers need to know whom they are onboarding into their company including verifying that each individual has achieved the necessary education, training, and required certifications to meet the minimum verifications and privileges of the position and ultimately of the brand.