RECAP: ERE Recruiting Conference Fall 2019

Posted by Ryan Frazier

Last week, the ERE Recruiting Conference brought together hundreds of talent acquisition leaders to Washington D.C. to talk recruiting strategies and tactics. The jam-packed conference was filled with great thought leadership and tactical/actionable takeaways for TA leaders to take back and implement with their teams. In addition to the great content, it was inspiring getting to speak to attendees about their current challenges, the creative ways they are overcoming common hurdles by implementing diversity and inclusion initiatives and how they are thinking outside of the box to engage with their candidates. Here are a few of our favorites sessions from the event.

How to Stand Out in the Era of Machines

Ed Nathanson of Red Pill Talent brought his usual passion and energy to this session which touched on this very important topic. In today's landscape, a lot of companies are adopting technology to help increase efficiency in their recruiting process, which can sometimes lead to generic, auto-populated messaging that can get lost in the shuffle, or potentially push candidates away. He shared key stats that emphasize the point that your technology needs to actually help the candidate get the information they want to know/help move them along in the process. [48% of those surveyed in a recent Sitel Group survey said they would rather correspond with a human because they weren't confident digital assistants could understand and help with their request.] So, if you utilize a chatbot on your career site, ensure that it actually functions in a way that assists the candidate and can have smart conversations rather than just regurgitate information. He also stressed the importance of personalization and transparency: Three of the top five ways jobseekers land a job are “high touch,” according to the survey findings. You need to be honest and communicate frequently -- not only explain the full hiring process/timeline, but also the pros and potential cons of working at your organization to ensure you attract those would align with the work environment and values.

The Business Impact of Candidate Experience

Talent Board president, Kevin Grossman, spoke on the every-increasingly important topic of candidate experience. Kevin unveiled Talent Board's Candidate Experience Awards benchmark research on the cost benefits and differentiators around improving the recruiting process and candidate experience. He also shared key tips on communication from pre-application to onboarding and how you can successfully provide feedback to rejected candidates.

Some high-level differentiators when it comes to CX include:

  • Listen more and communicate often
  • Set better expectations about the recruiting process
  • Ask for feedback and provide feedback more often
  • Employers that hold themselves more accountable
  • Be perceived by candidates as having a “fairer” process

Talent Acquisition Experiments at Amazon

Alan Henshaw from Amazon discussed how traditional sourcing and recruiting lifecycles can become stagnant at some companies;

often true of how you build teams to tackle attrition, SME recruiting and training/onboarding ramp time. He looked at different challenges recruiting teams face and innovative solutions to tackle them. Alan shared two experiments he ran at Amazon; reverse engineering their sourcing function and tackling the lag recruiter attrition can have on pipeline.

Reverse engineered sourcing: How do we avoid candidates reading our JD and feeling that the team we’re sourcing for doesn’t fit their career journey. To combat this, we honed our candidate personas and tested outreach of general messaging for AWS team. The first conversation was with the recruiter as a advice-giving career agent who can tell you what life is like at AWS and help you find the right team. Some measured results were that more truly passive candidates took a conversation based on the lighter touch.

Attrition: how do we prevent a slow-down in hiring when a recruiter leaves? Create a bench of Jr. recruiters who are ready to answer the call.

Some experiments may not be slam dunks, but the important part is for the experience to be seamless for hiring managers!

As for Alan’s necessities to create an environment of experimentation, three key things: accurate data, a risk-taking leadership team and a culture for accepting failure. When looking at any challenges your team faces, you need to look at the 'how,' the 'what,' and the 'necessities.'

The How:

  • What is the problem?
  • What is the benefit?
  • How do you know your candidates need it?
  • What is the outcome?
  • What would the experience look like?

The What:

  • Potential problems to solve

The Necessities:

  • What's needed for success

All in all, it was an exciting two days of networking and learning from industry leaders. You don't want to miss out on this event as ERE Recruiting Conference heads to San Diego next April. 


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