Talent Acquisition Best Practices for 2019
and Beyond

By Alexandra Levit

According to a Recruitment Process Outsourcing Association interview1 with Pam Verhoff, president of Advanced RPO, because the unemployment rate is at a record low and the open job rate is at a record high, it is becoming more expensive for employers to find and attract the top talent in the marketplace.

And, with the growth of automation in many fields, talent acquisition professionals may experience the especially high demand in technology fields such as robotics and computer operations. Given my role as a human resources and workforce consultant and futurist, I’ll recommend the following best practices to stay competitive in a tight labor market.

Focus On Your Candidate Experience

Your hiring process can blend the high tech, high touch approaches and give prospective employees a strong sense of your mission, vision, values, and culture while maintaining speed and efficiency. Your experience can answer the questions: What is this organization about and why would I want to work there? Is this the right organization and role for me? How can I be a part of what this company delivers its customers?

Strong candidate experiences may convert top talent by telling a compelling story that hooks candidates on inspiring company messages. They may leverage mobile and one-click apply apps to simplify the process, create and deliver personalized messages for consistent touchpoints, and solicit and implement feedback on the recruitment and hiring experience once candidates come aboard.

Strive for Objectivity

The first step to eliminating bias in your recruitment process is to realize it exists, and often isn’t anyone’s fault. An unconscious bias is an automatic attitude about gender, age, race, etc. that we are unaware we have and act upon. Unconscious biases are hard-wired into humans, but unfortunately, they can prevent us from seeing candidates’ true abilities.

Fortunately, today there is software to help phrase your job descriptions with neutral language and removes faces and names from social media profiles. You can routinely remove names from resumes so your interviewers don’t make assumptions about gender, race, or ethnicity that could lead to bias or false logic. It’s also a good idea to structure your interview process so all candidates are asked the same questions.

Use Your Data

Many talent acquisition organizations collect a great deal of data, but is it being used to its utmost potential? Predictive analytics is the practice of extracting information from existing data sets in order to determine patterns and predict future outcomes and trends.

In talent acquisition, predictive analytics can tell you how and why your efforts are hitting the target (or aren’t hitting it) with a particular audience of candidates. 

Both internal and external approaches to predictive analytics may be effective. An example of internal talent analytics is HP’s Flight Risk score, described by Eric Siegel in his book Predictive Analytics2. By gathering and analyzing a number of employee data points, HP could predict who would quit their job with 75 percent certainty.

External talent analytics focuses on gathering market intelligence that can help you decide how to recruit most effectively around the globe – for example, where to open new offices, which sourcing channels to use in a given region, and how to sell the organization to candidates in different areas.

Go Virtual

As I wrote about on the Fast Track blog3 last fall, virtual reality is an artificial environment that is created with software and presented to the user in such a way that the user suspends belief and accepts it as a real environment. 

In just the last few years, this technology has improved and become more mainstream, and talent acquisition professionals are using it to immerse candidates in real-world, on-the-job experiences that assess skill acquisition and role performance, to school them in the organizational culture, and to launch a comprehensive onboarding process that hopefully leads to faster assimilation and time to productivity.



1Abourahma, L, (2018), Recruitment Process Outsourcing Association, Industry Report: 2018 Talent Acquisition and RPO Trends, accessed from the Internet at https://blog.rpoassociation.org/rpo-market-report/industry-report-2018-talent-acquisition-and-rpo-trends (June 15, 2018).

2Siegel, E (2016), Predictive Analytics, Wiley, New York.

3Levit, A (2017) The Fast Track blog at QuickBase.com, HR As A Service and 3 Other Disruptions, accessed from the Internet at https://www.quickbase.com/blog/hr-as-a-service-and-3-other-disruptions (June 15, 2018).

About the Author

Alexandra Levit is the chairman of DeVry University’s Career Advisory Board. She is the author of nine published books on careers and the workplace, including the international bestseller They Don’t Teach Corporate in College. A former columnist for the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, she has consulted with dozens of organizations around the world about issues facing modern institutions and their employees.