Regardless of critical talent shortages or busier seasonal hiring periods, mass recruitment requires an abundance of time and resources. As we navigate through volatile economies and continued periods of uncertainty, we must leverage the most of our limited resources to hire the best (and right) talent, and keep our existing workforce engaged and happy.
With the world of recruitment and people management changing so swiftly, having the right tools is a key piece of the puzzle.
That’s why we sat down with Lauren Scholtz (former recruiter and now Learning and Development Manager at intelliHR), and Corinne Glass (Head of Talent Acquisition Operations at Scout Talent) to discuss how investing in specialised, or “best-of-breed”, systems like Scout Talent :Recruit and intelliHR can lead to better hiring outcomes, saved time, and increased employee retention.
Q1: What advice would you give employers affected by the current staff shortage crisis?
Lauren: It’s a big question. I’d like to break it up into three parts — namely recruitment, retention, and re-engagement.
Firstly, being the most attractive employer throughout recruitment is key. A solid employee value proposition (EVP) along with practices like clear gender-neutral position descriptions, pay transparency, and good relationship-building with candidates during the hiring process can set you up for success as an employer in a cut-throat talent market. And once that contract has been signed, a solid onboarding experience is a good way to round up the recruitment process as the new hire transitions from candidate to employee.
Secondly, remember that recruitment is a big piece of the puzzle – but it’s not the ONLY piece. Employee retention is critical, too. Just like maintaining customer loyalty over finding new customers, it’s much cheaper, easier and more effective to retain as many of your existing quality employees as you can. Often you might also find opportunities for internal mobility. Identify the employees with the potential and interest to grow (in different levels or different areas of the business entirely) and work with them to see if they’d be up for a challenge.
Lastly, make sure to reengage your existing resources. Are there any past employees you want to reach out to? “Boomerang” employees (those who leave and return) bring an incredibly rich skillset from their time in the “outside world”, plus they already know your business! You can also consider referrals. Existing employees might have some incredible gems in their networks who’d fit right into your business so it can be of great value to look inward before you search externally.
Corinne: The first thing to consider is having a proactive recruitment strategy in place. Make sure your strategy consists of multiple touchpoints — Seek, Indeed, LinkedIn, social media, and so on. Jobseekers have more platforms than ever before for finding new opportunities. In a market where the demand for top talent surpasses supply, you want to catch people’s attention and remain a top prospective employer in their minds.
Your Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is another key consideration. On top of having a standout EVP, you want to go one step further and consider HOW you’re communicating your EVP to potential employees. Be clear about your benefits and highlight them throughout the recruitment journey. Candidates always want to know “What’s in it for me?”, so answering the question proactively leaves a positive impression.
Last, but certainly not least, focus on retention. Do you have a strategy to ensure your current employees are and remain engaged? Losing high-performing employees can cost your company significantly so do your best to hold onto them for as long as you can. Set aside training budgets and discuss their career development and progression. Set up regular 1-on-1 meetings to discuss:
- What is expected of them
- What they are doing well
- What they can improve
- What they’d get as a reward or consequence of their performance, flexibility, diversity and inclusion, etc.
Q2: Industries like healthcare and technology are not only informed by data-driven practices, but they are also tasked with responsibly handling sensitive data effectively. How can a specialised talent management system support data-handling from recruitment through to the entire employee life cycle?
Lauren: We’re well aware of the importance of protecting our data. When applying for jobs, candidates need to supply sensitive information to prove who they are. Any organisation, in any industry, has not only an obligation but also often a legal requirement, to keep that information safe. Spreadsheets just won’t cut it anymore — employers need a system that is built for handling and protecting that kind of information to earn and keep candidates’ trust.
When we break it down based on industries, healthcare, for example, is such a compliance-heavy industry. Employers need to gather and manage so much documentation upon recruitment and beyond — registrations, qualifications, training, the list goes on. Tracking each individual’s compliance requirements manually is a tedious and time-consuming process. So, automated workflows and reminders built specifically to suit the business and industry is a game-changer.
Healthcare workers are also more prone to burnout as frontliners. These dedicated individuals need to be looked after in a high-pressure environment so having a customisable HR system for monitoring wellbeing and people analytics is critical.
Corinne: A specialised talent management system should understand the importance – as well as the associated challenges and solutions – of responsibly handling sensitive data.
Having all personal information in one centralised place is a key risk mitigator. Another thing worth noting is that HR software businesses are required to be up-to-date on the latest security requirements and practices. Software platforms, such as Scout Talent, have various systems and protocols for protecting and safekeeping sensitive information.
Q3: What is a HR tech stack’s role in improving staff retention over time?
Lauren: Making it easy to do the job well. As consumers and employees, we are becoming more and more used to seamless ecosystems that allow or help us do what we need to do. People are bringing that expectation to work — which is extremely reasonable!
When systems don’t talk to each other, are clunky to use, or just require too much effort to do what’s needed, this creates friction. Nothing massive or worth complaining about, but those tiny friction points add up and steal energy from the work you need your people to do. A frictionless system (or group of them) on the other hand can be incredibly empowering. When the right systems work as intended, staff can wholeheartedly dedicate their time and resources to the work they were hired to do.
Another important role of your HR tech stack is giving insights. The best HR tech stack goes beyond enabling people to do what they want to do and helps them identify new opportunities. On top of streamlining processes and centralising data, we are also seeing a growing emphasis on analytical capabilities in HR tech. Forward-thinking HR leaders can take things a step further by using analytics to not only make data-driven decisions that support their people better, but to also predict future trends or challenges and tackle them proactively. When this happens, employees feel seen and heard and may therefore be more loyal to an employer.
Corinne: Your HR tech stack can support increased employee retention over multiple touchpoints. Using your ATS to support ongoing engagement through employer branding content during the initial recruitment process is one of them. This also retains standout candidates in your talent pool.
Your HR tech stack should also encompass software to support a positive onboarding experience. Setting up everything early means both your HR team and the candidate(s) can skip out on tedious admin and paperwork on day one. The saved time can instead be spent on training, team introductions and familiarising the new hires with their new role.
Skills development is another area to optimise through your HR tech stack. While your ATS can carry out an effective skills assessment and behavioural fit through testing tools that identify the best-equipped candidates, the learning never stops. Upon hire, build upon your tech stack to identify learning and development opportunities and then address them through a dedicated learning management system (LMS), such as Scout Learning.
Q4: More and more leaders and organisations are opting for specialised or “best-of-breed” solutions over all-in-one solutions. How are specialised systems more suited for mass hiring and employee engagement from day one?
Lauren: No two recruitment processes are the same. Different roles will have different processes and there are always those unique extra things to consider. You’ll need different kinds of information and procedures. A pre-built all-in-one solution is will have limitations around its configurability in as a result and hinder you from executing those unique extra things that make your organisation special.
A lot of the desire for an all-in-one solution comes from recruiters who have had to double or triple-enter data. I’ve been one of them and it’s not fun. It’s tedious and takes time away from my actual role of talking to candidates. Integrations between platforms solve that problem by putting together specialised platforms that do what they do best.
I always think about best-of-breed vs all-in-one in terms of cars. An all-in-one is an automatic car – it’s easy enough to just hop in and drive away but it’s only ever going to perform the way the manufacturers believe it should perform.
A best-of-breed or specialised solution is more like a custom-built racing car. Yes, there are a couple more decisions to make early on, but when it’s time to hit the track, you’re confident that you have everything you need, nothing you don’t and it all works together in unison. It’s good value for money too as you’re only paying for the things you need.
Corinne: Every business is different, and therefore needs a tailored solution to meet its specific needs. I like the car analogy. Similarly, a tailor-made suit would fit better than a ready-made one. Even in mass hiring, each role would be its own unique suit. An all-in-one solution would struggle to keep up with the intricacies, and lead you to lose out on quality talent.
A tailored, best-of-breed ecosystem enables you to make the most of your tools to effectively attract, screen, hire, onboard and train candidates. Plus, you can include a future pipeline by building effective and engaging talent pools during your recruitment process, thanks to the capabilities of a best-of-breed ecosystem. This allows for a more proactive hiring process.
A specialised system also helps you store resources for high-value communication with candidates, and lets you support employer branding and candidate engagement with minimal additional time and effort. These elements create a smooth candidate experience, leaving a lasting impression of what they can expect when they officially start working for you.
Thanks to the nature of best-of-breed systems, you can also tailor all the modules in your system to ensure the transition from candidate to employee is a smooth and cohesive one.
Q5: What are some tips for scaling up recruitment volume, without losing the positive experience?
Lauren: Start wide: You want to attract as many applicants as possible. Things that can help with this include advertising in the right places, job descriptions that are attractive and requirements that are realistic. And importantly, make it easy to apply — the best candidates have the least spare time.
Be fast: Once you’ve got those applications, treat them with care. Just like prospective customers, there is a time limit after which they’ll go stale, especially the quality ones. Connect with them ASAP – even if it’s an automated email letting them know what the next stage will be. Recruitment can be a race in such a challenging market so providing candidates with clarity can do wonders in holding onto the right ones for your company.
Stay human: When recruiting at scale, it’s easy to start thinking of applicants as names on a list, but these are all real people who want to work with you. Today might not be the day, or maybe they’re better suited to being a customer than an employee, but keeping the human aspect strong throughout the process is never a wasted effort. Your interactions during recruitment are an extension of your company — leave a positive impression even under negative circumstances and they might just return in the future when you need them most.
Corinne: Have robust marketing strategies across a variety of platforms to maximise reach and candidate attraction. Based on the roles you’re recruiting for, consider where the right platforms to market to would be and place yourself where the right candidates are looking. Make sure to use your networks as a part of your strategies as well and even reach out to industry bodies if applicable.
It’s also important to create engaging content and communication for candidates who apply. Chances are they have applied for other jobs elsewhere too. Given that you’ll likely be competing for their time and attention, communicate your organisation’s EVP consistently throughout recruitment to help you retain their interest. Like customer behaviour, candidates may need multiple reminders to consider accepting your offer over someone else’s.
Last but certainly not least, consider group interview and information sessions (GIIS). The interview process can really drag out the recruitment time so when possible, consider facilitating a GIIS. Through a GIIS, you can assess candidates en masse and observe them in a group setting; this allows you to get a snapshot of their skills, as well as how they work in a team. Utilising a GIIS in conjunction with a specialised system to manage candidates can help you to scale your recruitment efficiently without sacrificing the positive experience.
Q6: How does the intelliHR and Scout Talent integration support employers for mass recruitment and beyond?
Lauren: As a former bulk recruiter, an integration between an ATS and HR system like this would have made my life so much easier!
The intelliHR and Scout Talent integration is such a win-win — we get to partner with a likeminded business that shares the same philosophy, and our mutual customers get the best value out of it.
Customers who use the integration can streamline mass recruitment thanks to Scout Talent’s comprehensive Recruit CRM, and then pass on all that information to the intelliHR platform upon hire so the new hires are onboarded right and looked after from thereon.
Corinne: The native integration between Scout Talent and intelliHR allows for seamless flow of information between two systems. It eliminates double-handling of data and lowers chances of human error.
The Scout Talent platform is specifically designed to achieve your talent acquisition goals. With great capability for mass recruitment, Scout Talent enables you to efficiently advertise open positions, identify top candidates, schedule and manage interviews, and strengthen your employer brand throughout recruitment.
We firmly believe your tech stack should be built to suit your business and it’s great that intelliHR shares the same sentiment. Users with the Scout Talent and intelliHR integration have the ability to safely share data and information between the two platforms from a recruitment CRM and ATS to a HRIS. This powers businesses to positively shape the candidate experience from recruitment to onboarding and beyond.
Found this Q&A useful? Check out this article on ways to support high-volume retail recruitment with a best-of-breed platform.
To learn more about the intelliHR and Scout Talent integration, visit the Scout Talent Marketplace listing.
About the authors
Lauren Scholtz – Learning and Development Manager at intelliHR
Given her official title, Lauren’s mission is to distribute knowledge across the business, ensuring all teams have the tools and knowledge needed to deliver the consistently amazing experience intelliHR’s customers have come to expect. She is passionate about delivering experiences for impact, something that has followed her through previous roles as a Customer Success Manager at intelliHR, a successful recruiter, travel consultant, and in the entertainment department at Walt Disney World.
Corinne Glass – Head of Talent Acquisition Operations at Scout Talent
An MBA graduate, Corinne has over 10 years’ experience in senior leadership and operations across multiple industries including retail, services, and recruitment; with large global brands, including Flight Centre Travel Group, Robert Half Talent Solutions and Virgin Australia.