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How to Play The Talent Game: Digital Talent Acquisition in the Pandemic Era

How to play the new talent game and win the hearts and minds of employees.

If the pandemic has taught organisations one thing, it’s that the power has shifted to people.

Exposure to new ways of working has highlighted a stark contrast, giving people pause to reflect on the meaning of their work and its influence on their happiness. The increase in bandwidth and the ability to manage our daily lives better has magnified the pressure, anxiety, and impact of the “rinse and repeat” workday to our mental health. The bottom line is the competition to retain and attract talent has reached fever pitch.

A retail CXO reached out to Vibrance for help on their talent management strategy. Digital talent acquisition in the pandemic era was critical and the organisation is only as good as the people and to survive in 2022, they needed to respond to this evolving dynamic in an intentional manner in order to survive.

And so began the implementation of the Vibrance Talent Engine, a framework specifically designed to accelerate digital talent acquisition and build a foundation for an enhanced candidate-centric experience.

The Vibrance Talent Engine, a framework specifically designed to accelerate digital talent acquisition

We started by conducting one-on-one interviews across the organisation and with potential candidates to establish a fresh perspective on opportunities, deeply understand unmet needs, and assess strengths and weaknesses within the current state.

These synthesised insights provided a form of objective connective tissue between stakeholders that often is unseen due to varying perspectives and priorities. With alignment and a clearer understanding of internal challenges, we began a series of collaborative workshops that acknowledged blind spots and refocused the team on ‘intentional solutions’. By tapping into a collective intelligence, we quickly co-created a prioritised backlog of initiatives to overcome blockers.

Our next step was to stand up a talent war room, supported by HR, business owners, technical leads, enabled by a suite of tools and assets. While Vibrance brings best practice assets to the table, our experience has taught us that evolving each through a continuous cycle of test and learn sprints leads to better outcomes for each organisation.

Where previously there had been a lengthy hiring process with experiential inconsistency, the company now operated with a concrete hiring speed supported by fortnightly sprints. Additional benefits included:

  • improved conversion rate of talent with multiple job offers

  • educated HR on digital roles

  • implemented CV and telephone screening standards that made talent identification timely

  • committed dedicated digital talent specialists to full lifecycle recruiting

  • introduced online testing of digital skills by discipline, helping to confirm capabilities prior to the investment of effort

  • introduced a structured interview assessment which created a shift from ‘jobs’ to ‘capabilities’

  • enabled consistent candidate calibration for decisioning

The war room was supported by a clear governance process with KPIs, dashboard tracking and a status update cadence that kept varying levels of authority informed and able to contribute expertise.

The war room became the central hub for all digital and analytics needs, driving pace and change to the process. A key measure of success is the engine’s ability to scale and respond quickly to candidate feedback across the funnel, iterating and testing improvements as required to transform the experience. A key motto for the team became ‘if we want to secure the best people, we need to provide the best candidate care’.

While the pandemic has upended the world causing many organisations to be reactive, the key to success in our experience is to take a step back and understand the drivers of attrition and adopt a candidate centric mindset across the entirety of the pipeline. And you need to address this now.


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