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3 Ways to Improve Your Talent Pipeline

Broadleaf’s President and CEO Lynne Marie Finn attended and spoke on From Day One’s “Improving the Talent Pipeline, From End to End” panel. From Day One is a conference series and media organization focused on how companies can develop and leverage strong values in diversity and transparency.

This panel brought together representatives from five companies to discuss ways employers can remove obstacles and enhance engagement to get the most out of the talent pipeline. In addition to Broadleaf, other organizations represented were Axios, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Google, and RecruitBot.

Three main topics were discussed, and each panelist provided insight from their own organizational experience, offering suggestions for how a company can make the most of its recruiting process.

1 – Consistent brand messaging is key.

To ensure your company’s public image stands out to prospective clients and employees, your brand’s messaging must be consistent across all platforms. The wording used to attract different and more specific types of talent pools may vary, but the overall perceived message and vision of your company by the public should be the same. Simply put, your brand must be promoted as a company that people will want to work for because just as organizations research potential employees and clients, these parties do the same research on your organization.

  • Corporate initiatives are a good place to start when building messaging. Build social responsibility programs to help create a sense of purpose for your employees. 64 percent of Millennials will not even work for a company that does not have a social responsibility policy, and 75 percent would take a pay cut to work for a company more in alignment with their values. 63 percent of Gen Z employees feel it’s important to work for an employer that shares their values.
  • Monitor public opinion: Another aspect of maintaining consistent messaging involves monitoring what the public or media is saying about the company, says Google’s Melissa Santarcangelo. Regardless of whether the organization is small or large, it needs to understand how the public perceives them. The media can significantly impact the opinions potential clients and applicants will form about the organization. In fact, 86 percent of women and 67 percent of men will not consider applying to a job where the organization has a bad reputation. Additionally, it is crucial to communicate strongly with internal teams, especially hiring managers, about the media’s opinion. Equipping recruiters with information on how to address and take a position on it can make some potentially difficult conversations more manageable and successful.
  • Employee advocacy: Jeannie Steele, Head of Global Talent Acquisition at AMD stressed the importance of employee advocacy. Brand messaging is more than just brand awareness. It also involves showcasing current and future projects, career development and growth opportunities, and receiving honest feedback about working for the company, from current staff members to potential employees.

2 – Establish diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging initiatives.

Effective strategies for successfully hiring underrepresented groups play a prominent role in filling the talent pipeline.

  • Two-step formula: Israel Gutierrez of Axios spoke of a solid, two-step formula his company implemented to jumpstart these initiatives. The first step was to include underrepresented groups in every aspect of the hiring funnel, except for the final stages. The second step was to guarantee the inclusion of underrepresented interview panelists at each part of the hiring process.
  • Technology platforms: Jeremy Schiff, CEO of RecruitBot, spoke of technology platforms his company utilizes that help broaden the talent sourcing funnel. Technology helps mitigate sourcing bias by employing filters that ensure the process is background, experience, and position driven.
  • Intentional and precise language: Likewise, Melissa Santarcangelo stressed the importance of these initiatives by starting DEI training and programs for new hires and new leaders. She also mentioned organizations, from as early as the interview phase, need to be precise and intentional about their language. Language is constantly changing, and you must be on top of that “if your company truly wants to bring this talent into your organization.” Excluding this factor might give the impression that specific individuals are not welcome in a company.

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  • DEI&B culture: Broadleaf’s Lynne Marie Finn put it bluntly, “without strong DEI&B initiatives, you will not get the right talent pipeline. It just won’t happen.” The way this is achieved starts with fostering a strong connection to this cause among your staff. She suggests that DEI&B committee members within their companies should have volunteered to be on it, not selected or mandated. She feels that the most successful counsels are orchestrated by those individuals who genuinely want to be on the council and build a strong DEI culture.

3 – Humanity goes a long way.

To maintain a strong talent pipeline despite recession fears and current layoffs, treating applicants humanely has been cited as the best approach. According to Google’s Melissa Santarcangelo, candidates want honesty and forwardness. They don’t want to be lied to or to have their hiring status sugar-coated. She offered a story about a candidate for whom Google could not find a position at the time of their interview. Because Google was upfront about the market and their situation with this candidate, the job seeker wrote to Google, applauding them for handling the process with respect. Additionally, the candidate mentioned that because of the professionalism and honesty with which Google demonstrated, they would be willing to accept a position with the company in the future, should one ever become available. It’s been found that 61 percent of candidates would be more inclined to apply for future jobs at a company if they received feedback during the interview process.

To that point, Lynne Marie Finn added that the labor market is tight. And the reality of this economic situation is that “there just aren’t enough people with the right skills to fill all the jobs.” If a company chooses not to be upfront with applicants, it will not maintain a “robust talent pipeline” and eventually fall behind its competitors.

Related: Six Tips to Streamline Your Hiring Process to Win Tip Talent