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How to Create an Impactful Recruitment Strategy in Today's Market

Over the past few years, the job market has certainly changed a great deal. We’ve witnessed one of the largest periods of growth in the recruiting industry, we’ve seen the power shift from employer to employee, we’ve watched the “Great Resignation” where employees voluntarily quit their jobs and found work elsewhere, we’ve worked from home and then gone back to the office, we’ve observed a significant push for diversity and inclusion, and now we are hearing reports of tech companies cutting staff and even rescinding job offers. No wonder recruiting teams are exhausted.

Recruiters may find themselves scrambling once again when a booming job market turns into more than 20,000 tech worker layoffs this year. But talent teams are no strangers to this up and down roller coaster and they know what it takes to triumph through challenging times—a strong recruitment strategy. 

Here are some important points you’ll want to keep in mind when improving your recruiting strategy to meet today’s market conditions. 

Diversity Is Now Even More Critical, Not Less 

The pressure is on to increase representation with fewer headcount. Before, you might have had ten open headcount. Now you might only have two. However, even with the tightening of open roles, the importance of improving the diversity of your organization remains. Your talent team must make the most out of every open position. 

Now is an ideal time to analyze your diversity hiring efforts and identify areas of improvement. Which aspects of the candidate journey would benefit from more attention? How appealing is your organization to historically underrepresented talent? Do you demonstrate your company’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion? What are you doing to attract and connect with untapped talent? How are you progressing on DEI improvements to your overall hiring and talent management approach?

Alexandria Spiva, Engagement Manager, Workforce Inclusion at Converge Firm (A DEI Boutique Firm), shares this sentiment, “There's a move away from pure volume and towards more efficiency with every headcount. How do you attract and close great underrepresented talent? How do you hire in a smart way that pays dividends in the future?”

Effectiveness > Volume

Traditionally, volume has been the key to winning the talent game, but this is changing. It's now more important to make sure every person at the top of the funnel matters rather than trying to have as many candidates in the pipeline as possible. Effectiveness is key in our current climate. Rather than focusing on building a large top-of-funnel pipeline, strive to build an equitable pipeline.

Interested in learning what talent and DEI experts say are the best ways to attract untapped talent and build a diverse top-of-funnel pipeline? Download our guide, The Ultimate Guide To Building An Equitable Top-Of-Funnel Pipeline

While hiring is slowing down, Recruiters at Lyft are spending their efforts on their top-of-funnel pipeline and reinvesting in diversity. Katelyn Amidon (She/Her), Head of Early Talent Programs at Lyft, shares, “Now that we’ve temporarily slowed hiring, we’ve decided to focus less on pure volume and more on our diversity programs and outreach. By slowing down, we can have a bigger impact.” 

Caroline Escalante, CEO and Founder of Escalante Media Group and recent interim head of TA at Twitter, also emphasizes the importance of effectiveness, saying, “At this point, the biggest challenge to growing representation is not just attracting the right people, but closing and retaining them. Building an interview and hiring experience that demonstrates your culture and values, particularly to underrepresented talent, is key."

Think about all of the ways you are creating barriers to entry for your candidates and how to make your hiring process more inclusive. John Graham Jr., VP, Employer Brand, Diversity & Culture at Shaker Recruitment Marketing and author of Plantation Theory echoed this viewpoint. He shares, “You’ve got to step your game up in all facets.

Your offers have to be better and your candidate experience has to be more inclusive.”

A good rule of thumb is to run through these important questions:

  • Who is being left out of your job description?
  • Who are you partnering with to source untapped talent? 
  • What tools does your team leverage to minimize bias? 
  • What factors and qualities in a candidate are you screening for? 
  • What events are you attending to attract historically excluded talent? 
  • Where are you posting your job opportunities?
  • Where are you showcasing your organization’s commitment to DEI?
  • Why should untapped talent want to come and work at your organization? 
  • How is your team reducing bias?
  • How are the minimum qualifications for a role decided upon? 

Being able to uncover diversity gaps, pinpointing biases, and tracking your DEI progress along the way is crucial right now. Fortunately, with Untapped, talent teams can turn insights into action with our full-funnel diversity analytics. Teams can drill down to view analytics for individual candidates, job postings, or events to hone in on the insights that matter most. Untapped gives you the unique opportunity to make impactful decisions with data you can trust: Self-reported data. 

Learn more about Untapped’s Diversity Analytics

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Underrepresented Talent Is Entering The Market After Layoffs

The news of layoffs is never good, especially if historically underserved talent is negatively impacted. However, talent teams have a unique opportunity to turn this unfortunate situation into a better one. Now is the time for recruiters to capitalize on the best talent available. If you are lucky enough to be one of those tech companies who can continue to hire strategically, this is the moment to double down on closing underrepresented talent. Many other organizations are struggling to survive, with layoffs and little runway left. “Survival” is a competitive advantage right now, so if you’re in that camp, take advantage of a less crowded playing field. 

This is not a time to take your foot off the gas regarding your company’s diversity recruitment initiatives. Organizations that genuinely cared about diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) will double down on those efforts. Unfortunately, others will abandon it. Jason Miller, Senior Director, Recruiting at Roblox, shares, “Companies that genuinely value diversity will invest more in diversity. Those who just paid lip service or checked a box, won’t.” For the organizations that truly want to push past barriers and create a diverse workforce, now is the optimal time to source and attract historically underrepresented candidates. 

Furthermore, superstar talent may be looking to leave at-risk companies. Employees are looking for stability in this time of uncertainty. What better time to source talent and showcase what your organization has to offer. Take advantage of this moment where incredible talent is looking for their next opportunity. And during this period of unpredictability, a little help goes a long way. Make sure to check those inboxes, take those networking calls, look over resumes, and offer interview advice. Let’s not forget those impactful moments where we can pay it forward. 

Gen Z Isn’t Compromising on Values 

While there might be less of an abundance of opportunities, the tide hasn’t changed when it comes to what job seekers are looking for from prospective employers. Gen Z won’t be compromising their values overnight. You’ll want to ensure your employer brand is set up to attract talent based on shared values. According to ManpowerGroup, Gen Z, who were born between 1995 and 2012, currently make up 24% of the global workforce and will be 30% by 2030. So, it’s critical you pay attention to what this generation wants and values when searching for their next employer. 

What Gen Z deeply cares about when joining an organization:

  • Diversity: It shouldn't surprise any talent or DEI professional that Gen Z believes diversity matters at work since they themselves are a very diverse group. In fact, this generation is the most diverse group to enter the workforce to date, and they expect their employers to be a reflection of that diversity. Additionally, they value working for an organization that fosters inclusion. Is it possible for them to bring their whole selves to work? When they join your organization, will they feel empowered? These issues matter to this generation.
  • Belonging To A Mission-Driven Organization: Gen Z is a passionate group of individuals, so it makes sense that this would carry over into how they choose their employers. In this case, young talent is seeking to join a company usually in a niche space that they deeply care about, such as climate technology, diversity tech, ed tech, etc. To go a step further, Gen Z often evaluates companies based on their values and morals. Therefore, this generation will be attracted to ethical, transparent organizations that go beyond talking the talk.
  • Opportunities for Growth: Gen Z employees may be in their early career stages, but don't forget that they are looking toward the future. Ideally, they want a clear career path and the opportunity to grow within an organization. Showcasing how interns and early talent have found long-term success at your company is a great way to demonstrate a clear route to advancement—whether that is through events you host or on your career page. If your company doesn't properly communicate that, they have no problem looking elsewhere to find that opportunity to grow. 

Take Advantage Of Technology  

Despite having less bandwidth, recruiting teams still have the pressure to meet ambitious goals. Take a page from The Beatles lyric book when they said, “I get by with a little help from my friends.” In this case, your “friends” is the tech stack you’re utilizing. Using tools to scale and work more efficiently is a smart move now more than ever. Untapped’s VP of Product, Aaron Cannon, emphasis this point, sharing, “Software that helps you focus on quality, effectiveness, brand, and allows you to take advantage of a moment of massive change should be your best friend right now.” 

A less intense hiring climate allows for a better focus on the overall hiring process and recruiting strategy. Technology can make it easier for teams to do more with less. Using an all-in-one recruiting platform, like Untapped, helps organizations effectively hire a representative workforce, without the guesswork. Having the ability to instantly reveal the demographic data of your pipeline, source from a pool of incredible and qualified underrepresented talent, and track your DEI goals and successes along the way will help you succeed through this economic downturn. (Hint: Untapped does all of that and more) 

The problems that talent teams currently face, like understanding where untapped talent sits within the existing pipeline, how to measure the ROI of diversity recruiting initiatives, and how to build a diverse top-of-funnel pipeline aren't going away any time soon. The pressure is even greater to improve representation, while hiring has slowed down. 

In a downturn, Aaron stresses the necessity of pushing forward, explaining, "It may seem counterintuitive in a difficult economic climate, but implementing a set of diversity recruiting tactics against others in the field will deliver substantial returns. As legendary investor Jason Calacanis famously says, ‘Fortunes are made in the down markets, and collected in the up markets.’ The same holds true for recruiting—incredible, diverse teams are forged in down markets, and pay off in up markets."

He continues, "This is a critical (and smart) time to address these challenges and opportunities in hiring a diverse team in the future. Untapped is uniquely positioned to help customers capitalize on this uncertainty by giving you instant access to underrepresented candidates across tech and offering diversity analytics to help you interview, recruit, and hire smarter.

Make Every Hire Count 

Despite uncertain times, talent teams have shown their ability to withstand the highs and lows. Optimizing processes and efficiencies, employing a strong recruitment strategy, and placing emphasis on the important factors, like diversity hiring, can help you turn this talent market slowdown into a major opportunity. Focusing on what you can control allows your team to take the reins of this next fluctuation period and ultimately turn a momentary hardship into a time of growth.

Hundreds of company partners are using our platform to connect, source, and engage top underrepresented talent, and even more are already a part of our Communities.

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