10 ways staffing and recruiting have changed since 2012
By Lisa Rabasca Roepe
It’s been 10 years since TorchLight opened its doors. Since then, it’s become one of the leading marketing recruiters in the Northeast and is a five-time honoree on the Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest-growing private companies. TorchLight continues to help companies source, screen and place the top marketing candidates across a multitude of industries and regions.
Thanks to advances in technology, the popularity of social media and adjustments employers have made since the COVID-19 pandemic, the ways in which we attract candidates have changed and expanded. At the same time, many candidates’ needs have changed, transforming what employers should consider when hiring new employees.
“So much has happened over the past 10 years that has affected our personal and professional lives—the explosion of social media, the pandemic, the focus on diversity, equity and inclusion, the prevalence of remote work and the importance of company culture,” says CEO and Founder Heidi Parsont. “We can’t ignore these changes when we are looking to hire. The process and the people have changed.”
Parsont shares 10 ways staffing and recruiting have changed since 2012.
- Candidate communications: In the past, email was the primary way TorchLight communicated with candidates. Now, texting is often the preferred way to engage, and it typically gets a faster response. Surprisingly, calling candidates on the phone remains one of the primary channels we use. LinkedIn is also a major way Torchlight contacts people who are actively looking for work. There’s not one channel that fits all.
- Video interviews: In the past, TorchLight conducted all of its interviews in person. While it can be harder for recruiters to get to know a candidate over video, it does speed the process by allowing more flexibility in scheduling. Candidates also don’t have to make multiple trips to the office, shortening the time to fill a role.
- Social media: Social media is an essential recruitment tool. Recruiters use more than just LinkedIn and Facebook these days. New platforms like TikTok, Twitter and Instagram are now viable places to find and recruit candidates. As more professionals apply for jobs using their phones, these newer platforms will continue to grow—we already count on them to drive traffic to our job listings, and this will likely increase over time, especially as more Gen Z job candidates move into the workforce and newer social media platforms emerge.
- Candidate experience: Candidates understand it’s a job seeker’s market and they aren’t willing to settle—especially those who have ‘hot’ skill sets like paid media, MarTech, and analytics. To keep candidates engaged in the hiring process, the candidate experience must be simple and fast. This means streamlining screening calls and assessments, minimizing the number of interview rounds, and making decisions quickly – the power is with the employee right now and employers must adjust if they want top talent.
Panel interviews should not be homogenous and should represent different genders, races, ethnicities, sexual orientations and other diverse perspectives to better reflect different experiences and ensure a candidate can see themselves working at your company.
- Flexible work: A flexible work environment is no longer a carrot but instead an essential part of retention and hiring. As we all know, the pandemic accelerated this trend with many working fully remotely these past 2 years. These days, most candidates demand some level of flexibility, or they aren’t interested in the job.
- Closing the pay gap: Some states now restrict recruiters from asking about current compensation. Instead, we now ask candidates how much they want to make. This can help with pay parity because if a candidate was underpaid (or overpaid) in a previous job, the salary offered will be based on what they are expected to do in the new role rather than using past salary history.
- Women negotiate: We’re also seeing a significant increase in the number of women who negotiate their salaries. When TorchLight first opened its doors, many women accepted the terms of their initial offer without pushing back. More recently, almost 75% of Torchlight’s female candidates request more than the initial salary offered. In fact, the March 2022 Pew study shows that younger women are now out earning their male peers in some markets.
- Values matter: The pandemic gave many people the time to assess what’s important to them both personally and professionally. Many people discovered that they want meaningful work that aligns with their values and aren’t willing to settle for jobs that don’t match their values. This means employers must demonstrate a commitment to more than just the bottom line and look for ways to support causes and issues that are important to their employees.
- Mobile job searches and applications: A majority (67%) of job seekers are looking for jobs on their phones, according to a survey from Appcast. At the same time, the number of applicants per job has dropped precipitously with a significant increase in cost per application in 2021. This means that anyone promoting jobs online must pay close attention to their website’s mobile experience and make it as easy as possible for someone to apply using their device.
- Role of technology: AI and algorithms have made finding candidates easier and new talent management platforms enable recruiters to automate a lot of the recruiting process—instead of manually tracking candidates using spreadsheets like Torchlight did in the past. These tech-related advances allow us more time to personally engage with candidates, which generally leads to better outcomes.
What will the next 10 years look like? Parsont sees technology and AI continuing to transform recruiting and hiring. “Technology and AI have already driven important changes in recruiting and hiring,” she says. “I believe they will continue to help evolve our industry—whether through continued process efficiency, improved talent sourcing, assessment-based evaluations or other aspects of recruiting we can’t even foresee right now.”