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Four Ways to Invest in Your Talent Acquisition to Succeed in a Candidate-Driven Market

Four Ways to Invest in Your Talent Acquisition to Succeed in a Candidate-Driven Market

In today’s climate, attracting and winning top talent has never been more difficult. Unemployment is at an all-time low, and the most recent ManpowerGroup Talent Shortage Survey found that 38% of employers are having difficulty filling jobs with a reduced number of applicants per requisition.

Here are four ways your organization can invest in your talent acquisition function and win the war for talent.

1) Revamp your employee referral program.

Hiring employee referrals is a no-brainer. Referrals are a cheaper, faster way to hire and generally produce higher quality hires who will stay longer at your firm. According to a Jobvite study in 2018, 46% of referrals stay over one year, 45% stay over two years, and 47% stay over three years.

At West Monroe, 38% of our hires come from employee referrals, and we are aiming to get closer to 50% this year. To help encourage referrals, we recently rolled out a new employee referral program that promotes our employees to refer their contacts with increased referral bonuses, particularly around diverse candidates. It’s an easy three-step process to refer them in our internal portal.

We also recently hosted “sourcing parties” across offices, where we spent the lunch hour teaching our employees how to “source” through their LinkedIn connections to find prospects for open requisitions. 52 new potential candidates were messaged during the “party" - four of which turned into viable referrals! This was a fun and easy way to yield more referrals. Promoting and enhancing our referral program has helped us win top talent at a lower cost.

[Related: The Secret to Diversity … Is Us.]

2) Remove the unconscious bias from your interviews.

According to a McKinsey report, in which 366 public companies were interviewed across different industries and countries, diverse hires performed significantly better than those with a homogeneous background. When companies keep hiring the same types of backgrounds and experiences, they are ultimately missing out on a larger talent pool that will bring more innovation and success to the organization.

This past year, I attended the Greenhouse OPEN recruiting conference and listened to Alex Moore and Amy Giangregorio explain the importance of shifting from a “culture-fit” interview to a “culture-add” interview. They explained how more diverse teams are proven to be more successful and drive more revenue.

I’m proud to say that West Monroe recently underwent a similar change in our hiring process, where we moved from a “fit” interview to a “values alignment” interview. We have trained 400+ employees on the new values interview training, which also focuses on taking bias out of our hiring decisions. This has elevated our hiring process, and more importantly, led to more diverse hires. The interview ensures we are judging candidates based on their alignment to our values, rather than “fit.”

[Related: Want to Save Your Company From Scandal? Give the Gift of Culture]

3) Invest in a sourcing function.

As recruiters, we spend our time finding and vetting the best and brightest talent to join our organization. The finding part is typically the most time consuming and most important, especially during a time where most people aren’t looking for a new job.

We recently rolled out a sourcing function within our larger talent acquisition group. These individuals focus solely on sourcing and engaging with talent across our markets. Since the roll out, our sourcers have brought 1,000 additional prospects to our pipeline. This has helped keep us engaged with top talent in the market while providing a “white glove” experience to our candidates.

[Related: These Are the Benefits Women Actually Want at Work]

4) Elevate your employer brand.

Without a strong employer brand, we wouldn’t be able to attract high caliber candidates to the firm. Our firm has invested in an internal employer brand team, made up of recruiters and marketers, to drive our employer branding efforts.

They drove the revamp of our career site to give potential candidates an inside view on what it’s like to work at West Monroe. They have helped us increase our presence on Glassdoor and submit our firm for “Top Places to Work” awards across our markets, which ultimately led to some great wins!

Without the partnership with our marketing team, candidates would not recognize our brand as a top employer. Partnering with your marketing team is a great resource to use to build your employer brand.

In an organization where people are your biggest asset, it is crucial that you continue to revisit and update your talent strategy to ensure you are keeping up with the evolving talent landscape. With the talent market more competitive than ever, following these tips will help you attract and hire the best and brightest candidates.

[Related: Five Steps for Building Diversity Awareness – Even if You’re Not a Manager]


Rachel Beckerman is a Talent Acquisition Specialist at West Monroe Partners, where she is responsible for hiring talent to add to the consultancy’s uncommon blend of business and technology. She has four years of recruiting experience and has worked both on the corporate and agency side.

Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.