#1 Talent Acquisition – Mindset of the Candidate (Part 1 of 3)


In the first episode of The Point, Scott Long sits down with Lisa Helms (VP of Client Engagement) and Melissa Harding (Director of Client Services and Engagement) of Workhere to dive deep into the subject of talent acquisition. Workhere is an app that makes it easy to find jobs now, where you want to work. Workhere also connects your business with local people who want to work for you. With nearly 22,000 open entry level jobs currently in Indianapolis, this is a timely discussion.

In part one, Scott, Lisa, and Melissa discuss how the recruitment process has changed for employers (0:40), how the process of prospecting has changed for candidates (2:40), and how companies can adapt to those changes (3:30). Lisa and Melissa also stress how important it is for an employer to take on the mindset of the candidate when going through the recruitment process and how best to do that (5:00).

Intro:

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Scott:

In this episode, I’m talking with Lisa Helms and Melissa Harding of WorkHere about talent acquisition through the mindset of the candidate. Lisa and Melissa, thank you so much for coming in this morning, it’s so great to have you in. This is, um, you know talent acquisition is a really important topic and I’ve been really excited, you know, frankly since we started talking and really you know, I guess the reason why is that a conversation that’s focused on the mindset of a candidate and I just really, um it just really sparked my interest when we start talking about this and I’ve got to know you guys, um, you know it’s energizing because i don’t care really what the salary range is. Whether you’re highest paid in a company or low-wage, I mean, it’s it’s a nerve-racking, at times, experience to find a new job and find the right job but at the same time it’s nerve-wracking but it’s also a very, very exciting time. So I thought maybe a place to start was really talking about that mindset you know, the mindset of a candidate, or dealing with I guess, with the emails that we’ve traded lately. This idea of of the most sophisticated candidates that we’ve ever seen, right, so that’s the state of the union is just a very sophisticated, um, candidate. So counterbalance to the lowest unemployment rates in many, many years. So this combination, I think, it is is the idea to really a candidate’s market. So what are the ways that I guess the job market has changed over the last 5 years, how is the way someone looks for a job changed?

Lisa:

Um yeah, I’ll take that question…So, yes, we’re dealing with it very interesting uh candidate market right now mainly because, it, like housing it’s a buyer’s market you know it’s it’s not a employer market right now so the employers really have to think about how they’re engaging talent with their organization. The way we do recruiting has really evolved, ya know, entering social media, so, while you’re out looking for a job it’s a lot like any other decision that you’re making in your life. It could be where you going to go to dinner; you’re looking at OpenTable and Yelp, you’re taking a trip; you’re looking at TripAdvisor, expedient. You know, enter employment opportunities again to make reviews. So again you’re looking at Glassdoor, you’re looking at Indeed. You know, so a lot of people are doing their homework. They’re talking to people at the organization to get feedback about what it’s like to work there, what type of engagement, what type of culture strategies the company has in place.  Is it a fun place to work? Is there career progression? You know, you want to get as much as you can out of the employees while you have them before they move on. Um but at the beginning of the process, first you have to attract them.

Scott:

mhm, good point, good point. Um, so we work with a lot of a lot of employers that are in in in real growth mode. So it if if it’s a company, for example, that’s just going through tremendous growth and they’re starting to form these corps practices for talent acquisition, where should they start? What, what are some of the first things they should consider so that this mindset of the candidate really becomes central focus?

Melissa:

Um I can take this one. So, one of the things that we find as you know we try to focus a lot on, or companies try to focus a lot on their branding. You know, let’s make our colors look pretty. Let’s make our icons, our Images look good. But Lisa and I I think we talked about this a lot, it’s kind of like Undercover Boss, you know, start with going to your website, apply to your career and see what those candidates are actually experiencing…

Scott:

…What an interesting…yeah

Melissa:

…ya ya and how hard is it to convert from an interested applicant to an actual employee and go through that yourself and kind of see you know how is the verbiage is it appealing, um, would they, right now talk when you talk about unemployment rates being so low its really key that you’re going to be attracting someone who probably has a job. So, it’s not the world and in this is where that transition Lisa speaking to is you know in the back of the day there’s tons of applicants out there looking for work. We’re now attracting and pulling people who are currently employed and that’s from you know that the entry-level worker all the way to the experienced and we haven’t felt that before so how are you going to track someone that’s in a seat doing a job right now to your organization to make you bigger and better?

Scott:

No, that’s it, that’s a, that’s a really interesting exercise in, in just something that you may not have ever thought about, so I appreciate that, thanks Melissa. So I guess, if the counterexample is, is maybe an employer that has robust talent acquisition strategies in play um but if they were to take you know a step back or or sort of evaluate you how well, you know, how well do I consider that mindset of the employee? What are maybe the top three to five areas that an employer could identify, uh, to review to make that they are are addressing that, that that mindset of the of the candidate?

Lisa:

I think, you know, that A lot of recruiting process or hiring processes are are built on the internal business structure. You know so a lot of times and the organization is is developing their hiring process based on what they need internally. So, it could be the interview structure, it could be the approval process of getting the position posted or even getting an offer um you know extended. you know so it a lot of those, thinking about that process, it’s quite lengthy for a lot of organizations. So, I think it’s changing your internal business process to kind of match the market you’re trying to capture. yOU know I mean in my previous experience I lived in San Francisco for a few years, so what I lived in San Francisco we had a business process and place specifically for engineering and Technology people that again are already so competitive. So, the candidate came in they interviewed there was a midpoint check-in, yes, no, keep going, put the offer in place and the offer was extended before they even left the building.

Scott:

Really? Okay.

Lisa:

Yeah, so when you have hiring managers sometimes that are like, “Hey can I see more resumes”, “hey I want to interview by committee” there there’s too many people in the process it can really lag down you know your effort and so because it’s a candidate market they have other options, they’re interviewing with other companies besides yours if you take too long it’s kind of, you’ve missed the bus, you’ve lost them to competition, you’ve lost them to another opportunity.

Melissa:

Yeah i was just going to say you should assume by the time you’ve put in an offer, that they have at least another offer.

Scott:

so that needs to be the presumption?

Both Women:

yeah, absolutely.

Melissa:

Yeah okay. It’s the companies, you know, it’s like a courtship, right? it’s the ones that are moving fast, showing that attraction, especially when you talk about Generations and how different Generations consumed but there is a different consumer of I want to feel like they want me, and so that archaic process of we want to have a time to fill of 30 or 45 days in our previous world like that was amazing that it would take you I mean companies were trying to get down to 30 days to hire. Um the active candidate today isn’t going to wait 30 days

Scott:

so, they may represent that demeanor a very sort of casual and sort of entering that conversation but the mindset really the representation might be headed is casual demeanor but really that’s it’s a representation hey I really want to be felt like like you want me. Yeah, yeah. How important is brand at how important is that organizational brand? How important is that organizational brand in process?

Scott:

Okay we’re going to pause the conversation on that note but Lisa, Melissa, and I had a lot more to discuss in part 2 of this interview we’ll talk about the impact of brand and mobile on talent acquisition. To find out more about WorkHere and Lisa and Melissa’s focus, go visit workhere.com and download their free mobile app.

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