Modern Strategies for Success in HR Talent Acquisition

Applying for a job, filing a resume

The year 2023 was a doozy for talent management professionals, particularly within the tech sector, with some companies laying off over 50 percent of their talent acquisition staff. However, amidst these challenges, the future is looking exceptionally bright for recruiters in 2024. A recent Robert Half survey found that 57 percent of hiring managers intend to add new permanent positions during the first half of 2024, with a notable focus on expanding their Human Resources Departments.

As talent acquisition professionals gear up to reclaim their space within these tech companies and beyond, it is vital that they come equipped with knowledge of the latest industry trends. Primary areas of expertise they must cultivate include diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB), artificial intelligence (AI), and talent management practices following a new hire’s start date.

DEIB Can Be the Decision Maker

A recent EY survey found that 63 percent of respondents would choose an employer that prioritizes DEIB over one that does not. This is why students in the Master’s in Human Resources Management program at Georgetown University are considering the DEIB implications throughout every step of the talent acquisition lifecycle.

This goes beyond simply telling prospects that X percent of your workforce are veterans and Y percent are women. You need to prove it. Candidates need to know there is a place and path to success for them at your organization. This can be done in many ways, such as influencing both your employer and talent brands.

For example, to positively influence your employer brand, consider highlighting your diverse workforce on the company’s website and social media accounts. The careers site must establish the company’s commitment to DEIB and interview panels should include diverse representation.

Similarly, to bolster your organization's talent brand, consider asking satisfied employees to leave reviews on Glassdoor and launching an employee-focused blog on the company’s website. These blog posts should be vetted by Marketing and HR Departments prior to posting.

Buyer Beware of Artificial Intelligence

For years, we have been hearing that AI may put the jobs of human resources professionals in jeopardy. Well, folks, that time has come. But before you get defensive, hear me out.

Do I think AI will result in a mass reduction of HR jobs? No. AI lacks the emotional intelligence necessary to be an effective HR professional.

That being said, we in HR need to be exceptionally careful when utilizing AI. While ChatGPT can be effective when executing administrative tasks such as creating a standard list of exit interview questions or canned responses to frequently asked employee questions, we must use caution when using the tool for more complex projects.

For example, if you are using ChatGPT to create job descriptions, candidate scorecards, and performance reviews, you are inadvertently allowing the biases ingrained in the tool’s training data to creep into your hiring, promotion, and termination decisions. This may result in cases of disparate impact. Additionally, relying solely on an applicant tracking system’s resume screening ability risks AI discounting the soft skills and cultural fit of applicants.

Influence Past the Point of Hire

Companies want to see that recruiters can not only source for great talent, but that they can contribute to the candidate’s success past the point of hire. This may be an uncomfortable concept to the everyday recruiter, but it is the cornerstone of the Talent Acquisition & Management course offered at Georgetown.

In this course, students gain insights into crafting comprehensive orientation, onboarding, and retention plans for new hires. Although expanding their expertise past the point of initial hire may force some recruiters outside of their comfort zone, by doing so they are increasing their value to the organization, and in turn, making themselves evermore indispensable.

The central theme that underpins all the trends discussed is the vital need for humanness or Cura Personalis, a Jesuit value that inspirits Georgetown University and translates to “Care for the Person.” Amidst the evolving landscape of recruitment, the role of human resources professionals becomes even more crucial. Now, more than ever, talent acquisition professionals have the opportunity to showcase their distinct abilities and make a profound impact.

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