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  • Writer's pictureBen Jackson

Are we wasting our effort in Talent Attraction?

I had a conversation the other day with the Chief Talent Officer of a large media business who, when quizzed on their onboarding strategy, thoughtfully told me "We don't have one, I know we probably should, the stats point to that, but we're more focused on Talent attraction, our priority is to get people into the business".

This doesn’t seem to be an uncommon or isolated opinion. But - and I'm going to stick my neck out here - it's wrong. I recently gave a webinar and touched on this point; we're experiencing significant challenges finding people who want to work for our businesses, so to focus on this alone and not on the first significant employment experience of our most essential assets seems a little bonkers.

Ok, I understand we need the TA function to be efficient and source lots of lovely people, but if the experience post-offer fails to engage our new employees, following through on the promise of the employer brand and creating a compelling reason for our employees to stay, then we risk them walking back out the door into the arms of our competitors (who may invest more effort into engagement with them). This isn't just about experienced hires/high-value employees either; the competitive nature of call centre and logistics staff, and even graduates and apprentices, and the relative parity in their salaries and benefits (especially where minimum wage is offered), means there's little to prevent a customer service rep or a packer walking across the road to another employer.

People stay because they like the place in which they work. That positive experience starts in earnest in the pre-onboarding phase. The Society for HR stated that 54% of companies with an onboarding strategy reported higher employee engagement, but only 1 in 4 companies have an onboarding strategy. What’s more, research by Josh Bersin tells us that the cost of an employee leaving a business is twice their salary, a figure substantially higher than a typical cost-per-hire.

And it's because of these reasons that there's an exciting flurry of activity in onboarding and engagement technology — a rash of new products to the market and a reinvigoration of some old favourites. And with over $1.5billion of VC investment in HR tech in the first half of this year, it's clear that the money men see the opportunity too.

Thankfully, it's not just the big boys like Workday and SAP that are investing in their onboarding technologies; there's an exciting development of smaller players that are bringing real innovation to the market. These solutions provide different approaches to the onboarding process, broadly split into:

  • Candidate flow-based solutions

  • More traditional information portals

  • Document management systems

  • Robotic Process platforms.

And of those we can broadly categorise them as servicing the following functions:

  • Employer Branding

  • Employee Communications

  • Process/workflow

  • Learning Management Systems

Something for every type of business then? But selecting the solution best suited to your company and priorities can be a bit of challenge; it's critical that the solution you choose meets the needs of your business, your employees and maximises the investment you've already made in your Talent Acquisition.

If you’d like to know more about how we can help you navigate this crucial part of the HR tech landscape, feel free to give me a call on +44(0)7775 565 805.

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