George Tate is interested in growth. Sometimes, it’s on the big, company-wide scale; other times, it’s growth on the smaller, more personal side, such as developing employees to lead in the business or drive success wherever they land.
That’s good news, because as the senior vice president of business development at PeopleScout, he’s about to lead a lot of growth as the Great Rehire kicks off and employers around the world start adding more workers to their ranks. We spoke to George from his home in Michigan to find out what he’s hearing from talent leaders in 2021.
We’re in the middle of a really unique year. What are talent leaders looking for right now?
I don’t want to say that we’re past COVID-19 because we’re not. But, we are on the downswing when it comes to how severely COVID-19 is impacting businesses. What we’re hearing from talent leaders is that teams are very lean and they need help. They need to hire people back into organizations and we need to help.
The challenges talent leaders are facing are no longer industry-specific. They are widespread. Right now, leaders are concerned that their organizations could experience revenue loss if they can’t get workers in open roles. This is just the start of what we’re going to see related to both challenges for employers and increasing job growth, especially as we move into 2022 and 2023 and these organizations continue to grow.
What do talent leaders want new talent partnerships to look like?
The one thing I keep hearing is, “I need help.” But, what that statement often means is, ‘What do you have to offer? Because I don’t know what questions to ask.’ When COVID-19 hit last March, no one was prepared. Now, we’re in the recovery and it’s still hard to predict what things will look like. So, talent leaders want a partner with the experience to guide them through this time and their specific needs – whether that’s talent advisory, RPO, Recruiter On-Demand, Total Workforce or MSP.
Additionally, a lot of organizations have really lean internal talent acquisition teams at this point. They need a partner who can come in and handle the volume of hires they need to make right now and who can scale with them as volumes change and uncertainty continues. Talent advisory services are also becoming a bigger portion of partnerships, as employers need help building a strong employer brand or designing assessments to identify which candidates out of a mountain of applicants would make the best fit.
What are the biggest challenges employers are facing this year?
I think its three-pronged. One is around using technology to drive applications and attract the right talent. The second relates to employer branding and brand awareness. What does the job look like? Is it meaningful? Is it going to be impactful? The third is, as I mentioned before, managing the large candidate volumes to identify the best talent. I spoke with one leader recently who received 21,000 résumés off a single job posting.
That means that employers need to look for providers that: come in with the right technology to pair with what employers already have in-house; [have] a strong advisory background to help strengthen employer brands; build candidate personas and deploy effective recruitment marketing campaigns, and then [have] the recruiting expertise to identify and hire the best candidates quickly.
You mentioned technology. Many talent acquisition leaders got a crash course in the power of technology at the start of the pandemic. Are those lessons carrying over?
Yes, and part of the reason for that is the staying power of remote work. Employers are now determining what part of their workforce will remain virtual. Some workers have struggled working at home and need to be in an office. Other positions will be more effective if that role remains virtual.
In the past year, employers have been able to build a virtual candidate experience using text or SMS technology, virtual interviewing, and more. I think now we’re seeing that employers want to expand and improve beyond that, especially into virtual onboarding. Some employers have developed ways to handle this at a smaller scale. Now, they need to put those lessons to the test at a larger scale.
What are the biggest opportunities for employers moving forward?
I think the biggest opportunities come when you’re looking to 2022, 2023 and beyond. What are your three-, four- and five-year strategic plans? What does your talent acquisition team need to look like to accomplish that? Who is the right partner to help? Do you have the right technology in place to meet those goals? We’re all going to need answers to questions that we don’t have yet, so the partnership piece is key. At PeopleScout, we’re already hearing different challenges from all different types of organizations. We’re finding solutions and then we’re going to carry those ideas forward. That way, we can continue to set clients up for success when those challenges and opportunities come.