Whitepaper on Recent Trends in Job Seeker Decision Journey and what companies ought to do



My whitepaper published in Infosys has attracted some really good attention. It even found mention in quarterly email the CEO sends to all employees!

Here is the link: http://bit.ly/TSnTdu


In recent times, there has been shift in the way talent approaches career progression and job search due to changing socio-economic factors and rise of digital platforms. This is causing talent to look for opportunities in market more often and allowing talent to effortlessly search information, connect with people who could provide first-hand experience and crowd source information on organizations where opportunity exist. Organizations are seen to be behind the curve in adapting to this change and are paying the price by escalating talent acquisition costs and inability to attract top talent. This paper details the new talent phenomena and discusses how organizations could measure impact of these phenomena on them to adapt and win their War for Talent.

Zappos gets rid of job postings…What are you planning?

Zappose has been taking many bold steps in Talent Management and has been reaping its benefits. One the bold new step it has taken is to scrap job posting. Yeah! You heard it right! They have decided to STOP posting any JDs on their career site, or on job boards! Here is a link https://jobs.zappos.com/insider_faq

This shift is a general shift in the way corporations are thinking about talent attraction. In yesteryears companies had a simplistic view of the way talent could be attracted. They believed that talent is constantly looking for opportunities and companies need to just communicate opportunity far and wide to ensure good response from Talent. However with dwindling response to job posting on Career page, companies are puzzled how to improve their response rates. During this time, the HR thought leaders started talking like marketer; talking about differentiators! Answering “How is my company better from yours”. The world coined “Employer Branding” and the organizations embraced it. But it all happened so quick that companies never had enough time and resources to do it right. They all followed the “Me Too” approach and this led to every company project similar employer image. So the effort didn’t yield desired results. Parallel efforts led companies also to write better Job Descriptions (JD) but it too isn’t yielding much results because companies manage hundreds of JDs and improving across for all positions and customising every JD for individual openings seems an impossibility.

Zappos has found its workaround, people can become part of their community and be warm candidate. JD will be customised for you and you could start and be ready to be productive very fast. Other companies will of course try to follow thsi approach and others will come up with something more innovative. But essential challenge will remain, what is being communicated to talent at large? Is it consistent, accurate and interesting enough? As long as this is right, any approach would work!

Improving predictability and control over talent supply chain

Companies have always been been keen on improving predictability and control over talent supply chain. The bottle neck in the process was essentially sourcing quality talent for recruitment. Rest of the process was always more predictable and in control.

Companies now can have better control over their talent sourcing by leveraging:
1. Extending Recruitment Funnel on Top by Engaging with Talent on Social Media
2. Analytics

Everybody today is on Social Media; excellently put by The Economist, if Facebook were a country, it would be the second most populous one! By companies establishing firm presence on social media and connecting with target talent, companies can create skill basket of talent who could readily be sourced when need arises. Of course, in theory, this system alway existed but in practice it never created starts..but now the scale that companies can achieve by leveraging social media and systematisation made possible with social ATS allows companies to execute on theoretical models better. Doing this essentially has profound impact on the hiring funnel. Where traditionally companies measured recruitment funnel from submission stage, now the funnel will get extended on the top to include talent listening to company, followed by talent actively engaged, followed by application received. This extension results in better control over sourcing.

Here is the new sourcing funnel:

New age Recruitment Funnel
New age Recruitment Funnel

Emergence of Analytics has improved predictability in many aspects of business. The impact is same for talent sourcing. Historical data analysis, better predictability based on statistical models will help companies improve predictability.

ZMOT, Key to Successful Talent Acquisition

ZMOT for Talent Acquisition
ZMOT for Talent Acquisition

Talent acquisition has become synonymous with selling. Corporate and product brands have been paralleled with employer brand and decision journey of both a job seeker and a purchaser has been paralleled. This blog intends to bring the concept of ZMOT to Talent Acquisition and enumerate the benefits of adopting the new science to ensure companies with war for talent.

What is ZMOT?

A decade ago, marketers advertised their brands in mass media and instigated the people to check out their brand and products in the stores. The first experience of the product at store was called the first moment of truth. At this point the buyer trys to check if the product lives upto the promise made in the advertisment.  Once the buyer purchases the product, while using it, he again scrutinises the product to check if the product lives upto the promise made in the advertisement. This is called the second moment of truth.

Drawing parellels, in talent acquisition, when a candidate gets the offer letter, its the first moment of truth. Candidate at this point will try to check if the work offered will live upto the promise made by the recruiter and the hiring manager. Once he joins the company, he experiences the company first hand and will again scrutinize the company to check if the company lives upto the promise. This would become the second moment of truth.

ZMOT stands for Zero Moment of Truth and Google introduced this term to explain the phenominon in this decade where people before they go to stores, check the product out in digital platforms. And having experienced the product online (ZMOT) then they go to store and experience the first moment of truth.

This phenominon is true with candidates as well where they check the company and the job opportunity online before they get offer. ZMOT study conducted on job seekers revealed that on an average, a candidate will check with 14.5 sources before deciding on First Moment of Truth, an offer. Therefore we could say that companies loose their candidates even before they identify right candidate, resulting in loosing of War for Talent.

In order to prevent this from happening, companies need to ensure they communicate positive aspects of working for the company, the company EVP, proactively on channels that talent trust; Facebook, LinkedIn, Career Page. But this isnt sufficient. People trust people and thus companies need to create platform where their employees could connect with target talent and communicate good things about the company and its EVP.

In conclusion, companies need to recognise the presence of ZMOT and take positive steps to build communication channel and content to ensure its target talent pool hears good things about the company and its accurate EVP from all sources. Doing so would allow it to build good employer brand and win war for talent.

Gamification for Recruiter Productivity Enhancement and Social Recruiting

Gamification has become a buzz word today. Everyone is talking about it but only a limited few are successfully applying the principles to improve living. But the few applying gamification are reaping great success and with much fanfare, adding to the buzz. Advent of total digitization of work, ERP and corporate social media is making adoption of Gamification very friendly and straight forward! Therefore I believe gamification is the next tectonic change that we will be experiencing in this and next decade.

Recruitment industry is also undergoing dramatic change. Social Media is seen as a huge opportunity and social hiring is catching on as a wild fire. These changes are forcing recruitment companies to upskill recruiters to hire socially using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. However social recruiting requires paradigm shift among recruiters who today are more adapted to job board hiring where recruiters follow a transactional marketing approach. To be successful in social hiring, one needs to be good at networking and relationship building and companies are finding hard to bring this required paradigm shift and get recruiters to follow a relationship marketing approach consistently.

If recruitment companies are to succeed then they need to quickly bring the change and bring it quickly! But how could companies bring such a change and sustain such a change? Perhaps GAMIFICATION is the answer. There are several benefits in choosing gamification as the tool to bring requisite change:

  • Change is required among recruiters who are in the age group 20-35 that has experienced game and gamification since their childhood and are receptive to it.
  • Gamification has methods to bring a person to experience, up-skill and bring mastery among participants. A skill development program needs to be in these phases to bring any lasting change.
  • Gamification fits very well in places where one wishes to encourage competition. Time and again gamification has been successfully implemented among sales teams and call centers to improve productivity.
  • Recruitment has always seen as a stressful job. Adding FUN to it can go a long way in improving quality of life and thereby reducing staff attrition and productivity. Gamification inherently brings the element of fun and therefore is apt for the situation.
  • Team work is seen as a major motivating element and thus gamification uses this element to its benefit. Recruitment firms are moving from individual star performance and winner takes it all mentality to a more team driven, process driven approach. Gamification can aid the over all movement and support the transition.

My next blog will deal with what gamification is and how exactly game elements and game design could be used to improve recruiter productivity and get recruiters to adopt social recruitment.