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A rise in employment toward the end of this year, accompanied by a spike in job openings, served as a microcosm of the turbulent 2021 job environment, which involved a worker and budget shortage alike. Despite a rise in employment stats, labor participation trails far behind pre-pandemic levels, and challenges await hiring teams in the new year to add to the recruitment impasse that characterized 2021.

While organizations enter 2022 with replenished budgets, the obstacles on the horizon of the talent acquisition landscape leave the work cut out for recruiting departments. This all comes amid rising inflation, a new Covid-19 variant and shifting candidate expectations that go beyond the status quo of competitive salaries – making it necessary for recruiting teams to seek out new approaches to ensure a positive return on their hiring budget.

To navigate the turbulence continuing, recruiting arms can utilize talent acquisition (TA) planning workbooks to approach hiring in the new year with a reimagined game plan. Some aspects are captured below. 

Create an audience strategy. As the candidate market meets the changes awaiting them in 2022, recruiters may find it critical to develop a firm grasp of their target audience. The most important audiences for an organization include:

  • Key talent audiences: These audiences possess the experience and skill set to fill high-volume, geographically targeted or critical jobs.
  • Strategic audiences: These audiences contribute to an organization’s high-level strategy and include underrepresented candidates and university interns and graduates.
  • Relationship audiences: These include existing relationships, internal employees, referrals, contingent workers and past applicants like silver medalists and high-potential candidates.

Once teams determine these three overarching groups of audiences for their organization, recruiters can further segment their audience pool based on shared motivations, pain points, stages within the candidate lifecycle, and geography, among other data points.

At this stage of the audience strategy, recruiting teams can achieve accurate segmentation by involving current employees from various departments. Teams may find success highlighting and recording audience specifics by creating audience personas for each segment – a fictional presentation of a pool of people based on common characteristics.

To conclude the strategy, teams must generate resonating content that is specific to each audience segment and dedicated to contributing to the organization’s recruitment goals via the appropriate channels.

PREMIUM CONTENT: January 2022 US Jobs Report

Create a robust employee referral program. Employee referrals offer speed and quality with recruiting talent – and they are incredibly cost-friendly and effective. Jobvite’s 2021 Job Seeker Nation report revealed 82% of workers are likely to click on a job opportunity posted by someone in their social network.

Talent teams should take several steps when establishing an effective referral program, including:

  • Determining goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based (for example, aiming to hire 15% of new members in the sales department from employee referrals over the first two quarters).
  • Offering an incentive to current employees encourages them to share referrals to their circle.
  • Tracking referrals, which helps measure the program’s performance in each department. If teams lack a referral tracking system, they may find success tying it to one of their extant HR tools, such as their applicant tracking system (ATS) or customer relationship management (CRM) program.
  • Sharing referrals via social media and texting. Nearly 70% of recruiters reported that they use social media to post job openings, while 47% leverage it to reach passive candidates.
  • Differentiating job referrals from those of competitors, especially for high-demand positions. Branded content tied into referrals that shares an organization’s overarching ideals sets their job openings apart, appealing more to potential candidates.

Looking back at 2021 makes it difficult to predict what the new year holds for recruitment teams. While the talent acquisition outlook will likely shift over the course of 2022, this Planning Workbook equips hiring teams with tools to assess their high-level strategy and each tactic involved from the ground up, so teams are positioned to align with the changes that may await the talent acquisition market.

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