Jeff Livingston, host of ADP Canada’s Insights@Work podcast recently sat down with ADP Executive HR Relationship Manager Iman Masud, ahead of their June 2ndFirst Class Recruiting Tactics During the Talent Crunch” webinar. Read on for an extract of their conversation about the evolution of recruiting.

Jeff: How do you feel the recruitment process was changing before the pandemic arrived – and how did the pandemic accelerate these changes?

Iman: HR professionals have always had reason to embrace new technologies, especially those that grant them more time for activities that focus on the human element in the employee experience through the employee lifecycle.

Prior to the pandemic, the introduction of automation and AI processes allowed for better candidate pool targeting and screening. The pandemic highlighted the need to find a balance between these technologies and a more human-centric approach, where candidate engagement is prioritized. We need to treat candidates the same way we treat customers, first attracting them with a strong employer brand and then guiding them through a process that reflects the alignment of company and their personal values.

Jeff: How would you define the term ‘talent crunch’?

Iman: To me, the term “talent crunch” can mean many different things. It can mean that there isn’t enough talent to fill the available positions in an industry, or that there are many organizations competing for the same talent. It can also mean that the positions available aren’t attractive enough for candidates. 2022 has been coined “The Year of the Employee,” meaning employees have the power to share their priorities and what’s important to them, inside and outside of the workplace, and to choose organizations that best support those priorities.

The pandemic shifted such priorities for a great deal of Canadian workers. While salary and benefits historically topped the list of incentives for current and prospective employees, a recent ADP survey found that a new top priority has surfaced over the past couple of years – work-life balance.

Furthermore, with 15% of Canadian workers transitioning to a new role or industry during the pandemic, we were curious as to why they chose to change career paths. We learned that workers were looking for positions that supported changes to their personal lives (33%), expressed a need to limit workload and stress (29%) and desired more flexible hours (28%). These are the type of priorities workplaces should be thinking about and offering if they are competing for talent.

Jeff: So.. how does that affect recruiting?

Iman:  Great question! With 63% of Canadians starting to think about leaving their current role, recruiters will need to listen closely to what employees are looking for, and effectively illustrate how a potential employer can meet their more heavily weighted priorities. This can be illustrated directly within job postings and/or highlighted during conversations with potential employees.

Conversations with candidates will also have to be a lot more candidate-focused and organizations will have to be more flexible when recruiting. Given that there is a talent crunch in many industries, organizations will have to be willing to listen to candidate priorities, and to adjust their employee value proposition accordingly.

Jeff: How important is DEI and how can HR include it in their recruitment strategy?

Iman: A strong and effective DEI strategy is critical for every business. Not only are current employees paying attention, so are job applicants who prefer to work for an organization that strongly supports and aligns with their principles. Moreover, building a diverse workforce can create a more collaborative, inclusive and unique culture, which can help retain current employees and encourage a company’s recruitment activity. 

To effectively communicate a company’s priorities and overall DEI strategy when recruiting, HR can:

  1. Review posting and interview processes to remove opportunities for explicit and implicit bias,
  2. Include information on DEI policies or initiatives in job postings and employer branding activities;
  3. Recruit from diverse talent pools by advertising through websites and forums that prioritize diversity of candidates;
  4. Offer targeted internships and scholarships, as and when possible, to ensure diversity within their workforce.

Most importantly, organizations should make sure that their DEI policies and activities are accurately represented in discussions with candidates. There’s nothing worse than damaging an employer’s brand and a relationship with a new employee when the picture painted during recruitment does not accurately reflect the workplace’s reality.

Want to know more? Register for a free webinar: “First Class Recruiting Tactics During the Talent Crunch” Thursday, June 2 at 11am EST.

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