Top 2019 talent trends: Meet the Talent Makers

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As we inch closer to the end of the year – and decade – we’re taking a moment to reflect on some of the trends that have been shaping talent in 2019. How have these trends informed our work in the recent past and what does this mean for the future? If you missed the other posts in this series, you can find our piece on the remote and distributed workforce here and our article on candidate experience here.

The hard-working (and under-appreciated) talent team

For all those hard-working talent professionals out there, we’d like to take a moment to recognize how difficult your job has been in 2019. You’re navigating a competitive market, rapidly changing technology and people who are notoriously hard to please (we’re referring to both your business leaders and candidates here). The Greenhouse Workplace Intelligence Report found that talent-related issues are two of the top three business concerns, according to respondents from across the enterprise.

So perhaps it’s not too surprising to hear statistics about how talent teams are falling short. Our own CEO, Daniel Chait, discussed some of these data points during his opening keynote at Greenhouse OPEN 2019. He shared, for example, that 46% of new hires fail within the first 18 months and 60% of candidates have had a poor experience.

Meet the Talent Makers

However, Daniel’s keynote was not intended to make talent professionals feel bad. Instead he offered inspiration, describing companies that are beating the statistics and succeeding when it comes to talent. The key to their success? Bringing recruiters and the business together under a single umbrella. In the companies doing it right, leaders are dedicated to helping the entire company become great at hiring.

Daniel described three types of Talent Makers who are making this happen: the talent leader who builds and leads a culture of hiring, the talent magnet who engages the market by creating a place that attracts the best talent and the talent partner who empowers the in-house recruiting team to do their best work.

Great hiring is magic. Once you know how it works, the rest is just practice.
–Daniel Chait, CEO, Greenhouse

Want to dig into the Talent Maker concept a little more? You can watch Daniel’s keynote here on demand.

In the following sections we’ll take a closer look at some of these seemingly magical practices that have been guiding top talent teams in 2019.

Getting down with data

According to a recent report from KPMG, 57% of HR executives believe that if the HR function doesn’t modernize its approach to understanding and planning for the future needs of the workforce, it will rapidly become irrelevant within today’s organizations. One of the skills the report calls out is using data to generate actionable insights.

We’ve seen that Talent Makers feel comfortable digging into data, whether it’s to understand how a recruiting pipeline is performing and tracking toward its goals or to make informed predictions about future headcount and hiring needs. As our access to data continues to grow, we can only imagine that the ability to wrangle and draw insights from it will become increasingly important for the talent professional.

Forging strong partnerships with executives

“Talent and recruiting is not a call center. They’re really partners to the business. We’re not just pushing paper anymore; this is a strategic partnership,” Tom Gerrity, Director of Talent at Stash Invest, said onstage at Greenhouse OPEN 2019. But how can these strategic relationships be formed and strengthened?

It all starts with data. In order to be taken seriously by executives, talent professionals are learning to speak their language and make a business case for talent team requests. Next, these leading talent professionals are seeking ways to align their goals with executives’ own priorities.

Talent teams become a strategic partner to their companies when they set a high standard for themselves and focus their work to support business outcomes.
—Jacqui Maguire, Director of Talent Acquisition, Greenhouse

Identifying your competitive advantage

What makes your company different? The ability to answer this question well is a key factor for Talent Makers. Hired’s 2019 Global Brand Health Report found that the top factors that turn job seekers away include not being interested in a company’s product, a company’s poor reputation, not knowing enough about the company and not being interested in their mission. In other words, companies that aren’t differentiated enough or don’t articulate their value proposition risk losing out on top candidates.

Talent Maker Porter Braswell, CEO of Jopwell echoes this sentiment: “In order for Jopwell to meet its vision, we have to have people on board who care, who are motivated by our mission and who want to find success and make as much impact as I do. It's so important to me that we're hiring amazing talent and, to find that talent, we have to be incredibly creative, to think outside the box, because we are competing with other amazing organizations with equally powerful visions and missions.”

A continued focus on employer branding will be a key strategy for establishing competitive advantage as an employer in 2020 and beyond.

Taking action

The steps we’ve discussed so far – getting down with data, forging strong partnerships with executives and identifying your competitive advantage – are all essential tools in the Talent Maker’s toolkit. But what really matters is what comes next: cracking open the toolbox and getting to work.

It’s not enough to just talk about better talent practices; Talent Makers know that they have to build structured hiring processes, set up reports, get creative with candidate experience, invest in employer branding initiatives, dedicate resources to promoting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion – the list goes on and on. And hey, if you need any ideas, we share plenty of them here in the Greenhouse blog.

One final thought: Talent Makers understand that their actions are not just ticking off boxes on a to-do list. They’re always mindful of why they’re starting or continuing initiatives. SeatGeek’s Chief People Officer Susan Lee recommends asking yourself, “What are we trying to get out of it? What do we want to achieve?” Susan says, “That will help inform how we get there.” Hear more from Susan in the Talent Makers Studio podcast.

Greenhouse is here to support you as you prepare for 2020 and beyond. We’ll continue to keep an eye on the trends and offer you insights from forward-thinking talent practitioners and leaders. Stay tuned for the next installment of our 2019 talent trends article series.

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Melissa Suzuno

Melissa Suzuno

is a freelance writer and former Content Marketing Manager at Greenhouse. Melissa previously built out the content marketing programs at Parklet (an onboarding and employee experience solution) and AfterCollege (a job search resource for recent grads), so she's made it a bit of a habit to help people get excited about and invested in their work. Find Melissa on Twitter and LinkedIn.