Opinion

IT firms hiring as marketers

Kshitij Jain | Updated on September 08, 2021

Skilful use of data can get recruiters the best talent

For India’s IT industry, hiring has made a roaring comeback in 2021. Following a tumultuous period of uncertainty and layoffs last year, the gradual stabilisation of the global economy over the last few months has unleashed the pent-up demand for larger workforces to support growing business demands.

Nasscom recently reported that the top five Indian IT companies alone are planning to add over 96,000 new employees in FY22. The resulting intense competition for candidates and the increasing gap between candidate supply and demand worldwide, have made it very difficult for IT firms to source and hire high-quality talent.

Adding to this difficulty is the fact that multinational India-headquartered IT firms often drive their global recruiting efforts from India.

Adapting to change

For their talent sourcing needs, most traditional recruitment teams rely on a few well-known job sites like Naukri, Indeed, LinkedIn, and Monster, to distribute and track their job ads individually and manually.

Such a manual approach to recruitment media buying and management is woefully prone to error, bias, inefficient budget utilisation, and intuition-based decision-making. It also slows the speed to hire — the true cost of which goes beyond wasted recruiting budget and includes the significant loss in business output (and, hence, revenue) due to not hiring in time.

Besides, these are the same sources their competing businesses bank on as well. Where, then, is the competitive advantage they need to succeed?

In today’s market, such legacy approaches to source talent simply won’t cut it.

There are hundreds of online talent sources. The challenge, though, lies in being able to identify the right sources, access them, and consolidate all of them effectively and without hassle.

Modern recruitment teams think and work like marketing teams.

Talent acquisition leaders and recruiters at some of India’s largest IT firms, such as TCS, HCL Technologies, Wipro, HGS, and others, are attracting job seekers in a way similar to how marketers attract potential customers.

In the world of job advertising, this translates to adopting cutting-edge technologies (such as programmatic job advertising) that leverage data — instead of instinct or intuition — to target, attract, and engage a large volume of relevant candidates quickly and cost-effectively.

The use of data is critical. It ensures that the expectations of recruiters are grounded in market reality. For example, a combination of historical campaign data as well as data on the current levels of job vacancies and unemployment in the market, can help talent acquisition leaders and recruitment advertisers predict the yield (number of applicants or hires) of their job ad campaigns — as well as the cost and the time to acquire a job applicant (or hire) for a specific role at a specific location.

This level of predictability across talent sources also enables them to make better (data-driven) decisions on where to advertise a job and how much to spend on each channel.

Successful recruitment teams rely on a number of different talent sources or channels — niche job sites, local job sites, diversity sites, and job aggregators. They also target candidates outside of job sites, when they are surfing their favourite websites. Both active and passive candidates are targeted based on their interests, behaviour, demographics, and similarity to the ideal candidate profile for a job.

With a programmatic job advertising platform, recruitment teams can automate the distribution of job ads as well as their ongoing optimisation (determining the right bids, budget allocation, and more). The result is democratisation of job advertising: data-driven investments across job ad publishers, big and small.

Only the best-performing publishers “win” — the ones that deliver the most relevant candidates fast and at a low cost, get the most budget.

In addition, increased automation in talent sourcing allows recruiters to spend more time engaging with candidates at a human level.

By spearheading the adoption of data-driven recruitment advertising approaches and technologies, Indian IT firms are well on their way to competing with the most sophisticated global employers in the ongoing battle for high-quality talent.

The writer is Founder and CEO, Joveo

Published on September 07, 2021

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