At our recent Outsmart panel, A Day in the Life of a TA Leader, Visier’s Chief of Staff Jayne Landry spoke with Charles Mah, Chief Evangelist at iCIMS, about current trends and concerns in the TA field. Here, we expand on the Dynamic Engagement strategies Charles is using to attract and retain top candidates in a talent landscape that’s more competitive than ever.
In the past, employers approached hiring reactively, focused on positions they had an immediate need to fill. Today, that notion is expanding. Forward-thinking companies are growing their talent communities on an ongoing basis by engaging them with incredible professional development opportunities.
“Look at hiring from a different lens,” shared Charles. “Every talent could also be a customer. You have the opportunity to build powerful networks of skilled, diverse talent while creating a customer community at the same time.”
Charles and iCIMS term this approach “Dynamic Engagement,” and it allows hiring companies to get to know their talent pool in a much more nuanced, in-depth way. Here are the building blocks of iCIMS’ Dynamic Engagement talent acquisition strategy:
Rather than the traditional method of emailing job postings out for each specific role, Dynamic Engagement starts with multifaceted, education-focused outreach campaigns.
Spanning newsletters, blog content, podcast appearances and more, the goal is to get on the radar of talented individuals within the company’s professional niche. By conducting outreach through a variety of channels, talent prospects can engage with the one they personally prefer.
After potential candidates have responded positively to campaigns and shown an interest in building a relationship with the company, the next step is to invite them to an in-person or virtual event, like a roundtable discussion or a hackathon. These settings provide a venue to gain a deeper understanding of candidates skills and capabilities, plus how they apply them in practical situations.
By engaging candidates in conversation with each other and with the employer’s existing community, companies can arrive at what Charles describes as an “organic understanding of baseline skills.” It’s a more well-rounded, practical way to get a sense of what a candidate excels at, rather than simply reading out the language on their resume.
Fostering these types of connections allows employers to build a thriving, dynamic talent community. “Even if someone might not be the right candidate [for a particular role], they could make a referral, or they could be an ambassador of your brand to their network,” said Charles.
These personal connections also have the advantage of helping employers get to know candidates on a personal level. Many attributes that are difficult to assess from a traditional, CV-centric application, like soft skills, personal values, and working style, will become clearer once the candidate and the company have had real-life experience with each other.
“These interactions help you accelerate ahead, but also give you a competitive edge against companies who are looking at the same talent that you are,” said Charles.
Sort and Manage
Throughout this process, insights help the employer track and assess the candidate’s strengths, skills, and preferences, including whether they would be best suited for executive, professional, or early career positions.
“One candidate might react very well to a podcast, while another may respond poorly, but react positively to a one-on-one engagement,’ explained Charles. “By understanding these insights, you can create a very tailored journey at scale for the broader talent pool that you’re trying to approach.”
At iCIMS, this tracking is facilitated by dynamic candidate profiles, which connect all candidate data, including from third-party systems like LinkedIn, into one unified view.
“The dynamic profile is hydrated by these engagements, but more importantly, the networking sessions and baseline skills give you enough insight that when you’re on the hiring journey, you can reduce the number of required interviews because many of the questions have already been answered,” explained Charles.
Building a talent community
Employers aren’t the only ones who benefit from dynamic engagement — in fact, this approach has positive implications for diversity, equity and inclusion.
“If candidates have acquired different things that may not be clear in their CV, that will be demonstrated in these engagements they have with the employer,” said Charles.
The benefits of this style of recruiting are many. But chiefly, it allows talent acquisition professionals and employers to connect with, and get to know, a much wider range of candidates than the typical application process would allow. As companies face more and more competition for attracting the most talented, dedicated and high-performing candidates, it will only become more important to look beyond the resume, and get to know talent for what they actually are—complex, multifaceted people.