Talent Acquisition Secrets from an Industry Pro

As recently described by Forbes, there's been a seismic shift in the war for talent. The shift is a reaction to years of restructuring and cutting back benefits (including pensions and healthcare). These changes affect everyone, but they affect Millennials the most.

Today’s guest, Jennifer Boulanger, is an expert talent acquisition specialist and sourcing strategist with over 18 years of experience. You will learn…

  • Why millennials behave differently in the workforce (and how your business can adapt).
  • How to build a recruitment model that scales.
  • How to recruit like a marketer.

“If talent acquisition organizations aren’t thinking like marketers, they’re missing the boat.”
––Jennifer Boulanger

As most companies know, Millennials behave differently in the job market. They don’t tend to stay at one company for 30+ years and then retire; instead, they change jobs frequently - at an average rate of every two to three years. Millennials will soon make up most of the job market, so businesses have to adapt.

  • By 2020, Millennials will make up 50% of the workforce.
  • By 2025, Millennials will make up 75% of the workforce.

Before we address what businesses can do to attract young talent, we have to understand their behavior. Why do millennials behave differently in the workforce?

  • Student debt. 68% of college seniors who graduated from public or nonprofit colleges in 2015 had student loan debt and they owed an average of $30,100, according to a report from The Institute for College Access & Success.
  • Lack of challenge. If Millennials are not challenged, learning, and growing then they will not be invested and tend to move on.

So what can a business do to compensate for changing behavior in the workforce?

  • Adapt your workforce plan. If you want to hire young workers, plan for turnover every 3-4 years. You can also adapt how you use these employees. Break them out into small groups (or assign time) for ideation and innovation within the business.
  • Make employees feel invested. Millennials are attracted to startups because they can receive bonuses like equity. If you have key players making a big impact on your company, reward them with in a way that gives them ownership. If an employee is rewarded by the company’s overall success, they are more likely to stay and improve the company.
  • Think like a marketer. “Your customers are your candidates and your candidates are your customers, and recruiting is marketing. If talent and acquisition organizations aren’t thinking like marketers, they're missing the boat.” People want to work where they fit in and feel they belong.

“Your customers are your candidates, and your candidates are your customers.”
––Jennifer Boulanger

For years, businesses have mastered the art of marketing and branding to customers. Now they need to apply those skills to talent acquisition. Recruiting like a marketer may be an entirely new concept for some, but it’s increasingly important. You have to constantly market to your talent, whether you're hiring or not, and you have to build your brand.

It’s not just about the job posting – It's about building a community and showing the inner soul of the company to your candidates. You're building future pipelines. You want to be top of mind for those people when they decide to look for a job.

Recruiting like a marketer also means tracking data like a marketer. First, you need data. Modern recruiting platforms can use cookies to track candidates’ online behavior, and keep track of your candidates moving through the recruitment funnel. Possible recruiting platforms include…

By using data-driven recruitment methods, you can establish a ROI, learn more about your candidates, diagnose problems in your funnel, and plan a scalable recruitment model.

Three Things To Discuss With Your Team:

  1. Use data to build a case for management buy-in. Recruiters have great ideas but they don't know how to drive change or how to convince leaders to make changes. How does changing recruitment impact the business? How do you, as a talent and acquisitions person, help the business?
  2. Recruitment ≠ HR. Recruitment and HR should have a close relationship, but a recruiting person does not necessarily have the same skillset as HR and that sometimes gets mixed up within companies. Recruitment is a sales and marketing function.
  3. Research the available tools. There is so much innovation in this space and there are new tools almost every day. Before you make an investment, experiment a lot. You want a tool that solves your company’s problems and can scale.

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And remember… Develop. Always.


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