Phil, Matt and The Jasons of NAS were in attendance last week at the 2017 SHRM® Talent Management Conference & Exposition in Chicago (April 24-26), both as exhibitors and hosts of a special reception for our clients and industry contacts. We asked the team to provide a re-cap of the experience and to share their observations regarding the state of talent acquisition and recruitment marketing in 2017.
Phil Ridolfi: “This year’s response was impressive. It was a really good crowd (1,300+, I believe) and the people I spoke with seemed pretty optimistic about hiring and needing some help.”
Matt Adam: “The mood was optimistic with a side of anxiety. People are feeling good about their businesses and hiring activity, yet anxious because finding the right talent is becoming increasingly more difficult.”
Jason Rellick: “An overall theme that was repeated was that companies have great stories to tell, yet still have difficulty conveying their story. There is great potential for the employment brand to thrive, but companies still need help in developing and executing their own personal narrative.”
Jason Weinhaus: “The overall feel was optimistic. Attendees were there to learn about new trends and best practices, because the recruitment landscape continues to evolve and they want to stay up-to-date with their candidates and their competition. According to conversations at our booth and reception, every company was hiring. Some more rapidly than others, but I do not recall having a discussion with any organization in a hiring freeze. It’s always a positive sign and nice to see companies doing well.”
Phil: “The ‘focus of the year’ seems to be employment branding. There was lots of talk about it and many sessions were focused on the topic.”
Jason W: “Two topics seemed to dominate, the first being employment branding. Attendees understand the importance of developing the right messaging for potential candidates, but many are still not conveying it appropriately. Another recurring topic was analytics. Organizations are finally beginning to understand that they are able to measure their results. They are moving away from the “post and pray” mindset and investing in technology to track the results of their recruitment efforts.
Jason R: “How to attract foreign talent; understanding how your employment brand and attractors change by culture. The topic focused on how organizations must be flexible while also ensuring that their messaging is fluent and targeted accordingly depending on country of origin.”
Matt: “Talent pipelining was a hot-button topic. More companies are proactively building their talent pipelines so they aren’t caught flat-footed when needs arise.”
Phil: “Lots of talk about talent being more difficult to find. That’s a good problem for us to hear about! Considering our expertise in this space, this challenge presents new opportunities to engage with our clients on a deeper, more intricate level.”
Matt: “The challenges of finding the right talent feel more acute. Organizations are facing the fact that more people are fighting over the same types of individuals and that the competition is fierce.”
Jason W: “The biggest challenge I heard throughout my conversations was around budget.
This is not something new, and seems to always be a challenge for HR/TA teams. The problem is that a lot of organizations are working off the same budget they have had for years, but are now hiring at much higher volumes than in the past.”
Jason R: “A few people I spoke with expressed the issue of career site content and platforms integrated with ATS. Namely, if they switch ATS providers, it may cause an integration issue and thus a larger expenditure. The nice thing is, NAS can work with any ATS!”
Jason W: “The most important factor is that companies are in hiring mode, some in more accelerated ways than others. They all attended the conference to learn about the latest trends and most effective ways to attract talent. Candidates have choices, and for organizations, it’s about finding ways to not only reach candidates on the right channels, but also position their organizations as an employer of choice.”
Jason R: “Although employment branding has been around for a long time, we’re now facing a candidate-advantaged, highly selective job market. With the advent of social media, transparency is more important than ever in ensuring that the EVP is clearly communicated in order to attract the right candidates.”
Matt: “The candidate experience is still a prominent focus. Organizations are finally beginning to understand the importance that employment branding plays in a well-orchestrated talent acquisition strategy.”
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