TALA: The Vision for 2021 in Talent Acquisition

TALA, also known as the Talent Acquisition Leadership Alliance, is focused on connecting corporate talent acquisition professionals in a collaborative environment. Recently, the group met in a virtual environment to focus on The Vision for 2021 in Talent Acquisition. The attendees moved into breakout groups and shared ideas and best practices for varying hot topics. The topics included: 

  1. Keeping and improving morale and Employee Engagement while working remote/hybrid 
  2. Changing expectations for TA professionals; reviewing the challenges that TA Professionals face in the changing economic landscape 
  3. Best practices around strengthening your talent brand and what your organization has done during the pandemic to strengthen your talent brand 
  4. Reviewing Diversity & Inclusion efforts for Talent Acquisition and Retention  

“The four topics discussed during this virtual TALA event have continued to come up in conversation with Talent Acquisition professionals through early 2021. Displaying your company’s virtual culture through a video or social media has become a popular recruiting tool since candidates can no longer enter the physical office space to gauge the culture. Take a look at an example from CSS,” Says Evan Violette, Managing Director, CSS Professional Staffing Group. 

“In our last TALA webinar in November we had a robust discussion on the fact that Talent Acquisition is going thru a major shift due to the Pandemic and other economic factors.  I was very impressed with what our area TA leaders are doing for themselves and their teams by adapting and being flexible with areas such as Covid response efforts, remote working arrangements, onboarding, bolstering morale and diversity and inclusion.  Hats off to our local TA leaders.  You are truly leading the way as a critical part of the HR function,” Says Scott Rosen, TALA Co-founder.

Improving Morale and Employee Engagement 

This group focused on the fact that employee engagement and internal morale are going to be much different in remote/hybrid environments. Some thoughts on improving these were high levels of communication on employee expectations, so they know how to handle various situations like working with children at home, etc. Other suggestions included weekly HR newsletters, webinars about WFH topics, and “coffee chats” to have conversations about topics, aside from work. Communication with employees early and often was a common theme. 

To increase employee engagement, some organizations have provided virtual fitness instructors, holiday gifts, and other creative COVID-safe ideas. One example given was a group that set up a “drive-thru” to provide employees with a fun meal and a safe experience. Read more here.

Challenges TA Professionals Face 

This discussion is focused on the many new hurdles that TA professionals are facing in the new professional landscape. Some of the many challenges highlighted were recruiting 100% remotely, video interviewing, hiring managers approving candidates that they have not met, conveying company cultures in a virtual environment, and workforce planning for the coming months. 

This group highlighted the importance of investing in physical headquarters, as well as investing in work-from-home infrastructure. Additionally, the process in which candidates are hired is anticipated to be very different. The hiring process will include no travel, may include medical screenings, and time-to-hire is expected to decrease.  

Recruiting events will take place virtually for the time being and conveying company culture to candidates will take much more effort. Read more here. 

Strengthening Talent Brand 

This breakout group focused on creating a cohesive talent brand, sharing best practices, and how the global pandemic has changed the way companies are building their talent brands.  

The group shared that they organize their talent brand identity by identifying key pillars of their organizations. One example was safety, growth, efficiency, and engagement. This organization shared their key pillars with candidates through highlighting these pillars in offer letters and via social media. Some best practices to get these messages out included providing employees with pre-made and sharable content to share on their own Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. Associate referrals were highlighted as a powerful way to build talent brand. 

Additional to sharing key pillars, the group highlighted the importance of displaying stability and safety during COVID. The group discussed the importance of sharing COVID safety protocol on social media to continue building a strong talent brand. Read more here. 

Diversity & Inclusion 

This breakout room discussed the importance of Diversity & Inclusion efforts in talent acquisition and how it affects retention.  

Some noticeable shifts in the TA space included leadership collaborating with talent acquisition teams to drive change, an emphasis on more diverse candidates, especially at a leadership level, and surveys to get employee feedback on D&I.  

Many of the members of this group saw that their organizations had some D&I initiatives prior to COVID, but these initiatives have seen a much stronger emphasis during. One example was the creation of a D&I council consisting of 10 members to boost internal morale and take stronger action toward becoming more D&I focused. Some highlighted that their employees have expressed positive opinions towards these initiatives and one member has even had candidates express interest based on D&I initiatives.  

Some of these organizations are facing challenges in implementing these new initiatives due to budgets impacted by COVID. However, the groups are seeing the most success in breaking large, long-term D&I goals into smaller projects. One positive effect that COVID has had on D&I recruitment is the expansion of geography that candidates are being recruited from. With remote opportunities, candidate pools are vastly expanded and encompass much more diverse candidates. Read more here.  

About TALA

The Talent Acquisition Leadership Alliance’s mission is to create a safe, no pressure association for corporate talent acquisition leaders to learn, network, and share challenges. Click here to request to join.

Contemporary Staffing connects job seekers to hiring managers nationally in the following professions: Accounting & FinanceCall Center & OfficeHuman ResourcesITSalesforce, and Sales & Marketing