The Real Problem In Talent Attraction #HRTechConf

Well, clearly, Tim, it’s our process sucks! We need to fix our process! Once we fix our process everything will be fine!

Well, clearly, Tim, it’s our technology! Our ATS sucks! SUCKS, I say! Once we get our new ATS everything will be fine!

Well, clearly, Tim, it’s our career site! Have you seen our site, it sucks!? Once we get our new career site everything will be fine!

It’s our recruiters. It’s our brand. It’s our…

It actually might be all of this but the real problem you have with attracting talent is friction.

Friction is every step we put in place between a candidate and that candidate getting hired. Fill out an application – friction point. Answer these screening questions – friction point. Go through five in-person interviews – friction points.

The only thing a TA Leader should be doing is working to eliminate candidate friction. How can I get a candidate to connect with a hiring manager with the least amount of friction?

The best talent will come to work for you, but the better talent the less open they are to adding friction into their life. “Well, if you just let me talk to Mary the manager of that group, I’ll take that call. But if you make me click 8 times to find your job, then make me register to apply, then make me take three calls from your TA team, then make me take a pre-employment assessment, etc. I have no interest in going through that amount of friction!”

I’m out at The HR Technology Conference this week and I’m doing a presentation today with a great friend and super smart lady, Shaunda Zilich. Our talk will be about Real-Life Recruitment Marketing, and one of the big topics we talk about is the concept of friction elimination. How do I connect a candidate with the hiring manager in as few steps as possible?

Shaunda and I share a belief that getting candidates and hiring managers to have conversations is a big key to being great at hiring! See, real high-level stuff, right!? I joke, but think about your own process and how many steps does it take to get a candidate and a hiring manager together?

I put this tweet up a while back:

In a nutshell, this is all bad talent acquisition. We add friction. We make candidates search to find our jobs. Jump through hoops to apply to our jobs. Then jump through more hoops to ‘show’ us they want to come work for us.

Then we tell our CEO we need to spend a million dollars a year on third-party search because “there’s just not any talent available”.

The real problem with talent attraction has everything to do with the amount of friction you add to your recruiting process. In the end, are you making it difficult for candidates to tell you they love you or are you making it really easy?

Talent acquisition is super hard if you don’t make it easy.

7 thoughts on “The Real Problem In Talent Attraction #HRTechConf

  1. Great article Jim,

    It can be quite challenging to get management to see that the current process of getting a candidate in front of a hiring manager, can be quite tedious and can also contribute to losing the ideal person, especially if it’s passive candidate.

  2. Tim,

    Are you saying that recruiting top talent is similar to any sales process? Gasp. In all seriousness when did Human capital become dehumanized. Simple design thinking – the user experience should be paramount.


  3. To quote Ricky Bobby – “Yup, bingo!”

    1000% agree that Friction is more and more becoming the main culprit to employers keeping candidates engaged in their hiring processes…SPEED is the name of the game!

  4. Great topic! The fewest steps possible means less chance for errors!
    Years ago, I had a set up where the sourcer/recruiter would identify if the candidate was a good fit for the company/line of business, and the hiring manager would identify if the candidate was a fit for their specific functional role. It worked out great, and we minimized the number of times that recruiters would rule someone out because they didn’t understand the nuances of the actual work, or the transferable skills between different (but similar) jobs in a person’s career.

  5. Great point. Our hiring managers/technical staff are the best recruiters b/c they provide the most realistic preview of what the job will consist of. Removing me from the pre-screen process and letting them run with it helps tremendously…once we actually get candidates. Ha!

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