Hiring Success

The time is now: Leaner operations, higher ROI

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Right now, many TA teams are being put to the test and challenged to drive outcomes with fewer resources than they’re accustomed to. Sound familiar? Fret not—you aren’t alone. And, luckily, I recently discussed this topic at length with three other TA experts for one of SmartRecruiters’ TA Today webinars.

TA Today is a five-part series that brings together talent acquisition experts who share their ideas on how to emerge from the current economic downturn—stronger and better equipped than ever. Below, you’ll find a recording of the session, as well as key insights to keep in mind after viewing it.

Session 4: Leaner operations, higher ROI


What we’re seeing

  • Cracker Barrel: The main focus has been how to manage retail shops closing, keep our employees safe, and keep in touch with our hourly employees. We really mobilized our field, H.R. team, our talent acquisition team and our field leaders to start staying in touch with our hourly employees through a platform we have called Front Porch.
  • Acadia: We haven’t stopped hiring because we continue to see patients. We treat mental health, behavioral health, substance abuse—those health issues don’t go away in a pandemic.  It’s definitely been unique dealing with the logistics of how to get candidates connected with leadership and with facilities in a time where people are afraid to go out while also reconciling that we are still essential business and that our health care operation is still very much needed. 
  • NATO: It’s been a massive leap having the organization go digital—it’s sped up approval processes and onboarding.  We’re not seeing a surge in hiring, but we are still hiring. Remote work has forced NATO to go digital quickly, but that has its own difficulties such as working on classified networks and onboarding someone in another country.

What you can do right now

  • Focus on the fundamentals:
    • Invest in your hiring managers—make sure they are engaged and treat candidates the way they would want to be treated.
    • Make sure your candidate experience and onboarding  is updated for remote experience, helps them feel safe, and gives them the tools to succeed. Find ways to shorten the application or update your interview guides so they’re more effective for hiring the right people  during this time.
    • Diversity hiring is still just as important now as it was before.
    • Optimize your career site to maximize candidate behavior, it may be different now. 
  • Do more with what you already have:
    • Pull back spend that’s not as needed such as agencies or job advertising.
    • Take full advantage of your tech suite (CRM, Texting, and other ATS features).
    • Re-evaluate your application sources, some may be more effective than others.
  • Have a “Keep in touch” plan:  TA teams check-in on remote folks to see how they’re doing, making sure mental health is supported, re-allocate work where necessary.
  • Use your TA teams to research and roll up to the legal team the mandates and state guidelines on reopening.
  • Furloughed employees working less hours get “Furlough Fridays.”
  • If needed, evaluate from top down how essential roles are from C-level all the way down to hourly employees. For hourly, work to bring back those with the most training first, those that are most effective.

Quotable session quote

“As simple as it sounds…it comes down to treat a candidate how you want to be treated.”

Check out the other TA Today sessions

Rebecca Warren

Rebecca Warren is a senior director of talent acquisition at Cracker Barrel.