Data-Driven Recruiting

Why recruiting teams need a talent engagement platform

Lauren Shufran

Lauren Shufran

Content Strategist

Posted on

May 16, 2022

Let’s start with something that—if you’re in talent acquisition—you already know. The labor market has experienced historical shifts in recent years—in terms of who holds the power, and in terms of candidates’ expectations. It now takes more than it’s ever taken to engage with, and hold the attention of, talent. Which means organizations have to market themselves like never before—and candidate experience matters more than ever, from first touch all the way through hire.

In the paradigm shift that COVID carried in its wake, talent is looking for meaningful work and values-alignment, and they expect potential employers to foster personal connections in the recruiting process. They want to understand companies' location strategies, how they think about parental leave, what work-life balance means, and how they approach diversity. They want to feel that they’re top-of-mind for the hiring team when they’re in process. Without continual engagement—driven by data and context—they’re not likely to enter your hiring process to begin with… and they certainly won’t remain there without those touchpoints. 

At Gem, this desire for a more human-centric process—relational rather than transactional recruiting—is one we’ve recognized and built our product around. But businesses have little choice but to acknowledge it now. 

The challenges of talent engagement in today’s environment

Of course, you live it. You want to engage deeply with talent—and you often do. But doing so comes at a cost: time spent poring back through spreadsheets or compiling data from sub-par and siloed tools. (According to a recent Forrester report, TA leaders are relying on 5-10 tools on average for their processes, without a single source of truth or centralized—or adequate—candidate insights to improve their processes or decisions). 

Writing personalized emails is often a haphazard exercise. Sourcers and recruiters have no source of truth for the context of relationships with prospective candidates: Has the organization engaged with this person before? When, and through what recruiter? Why did the person decide not to move forward at that time? They also don’t have the ability to easily reach out to new talent at scale: organizations most often use LinkedIn, where follow-ups aren’t automated, personalization is manual, and outreach data is sub-par. These challenges are only amplified by the number of roles recruiters are supporting at a time. 

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What’s more, there’s a lack of time, context, and data to deliver great experiences (“engagement”) once candidates are in the funnel, and no single source of truth in which to manage them. Siloed tools lead to inefficiencies, poor collaboration, missed touchpoints, and slow funnel progress, which means teams can’t predictably hit their hiring targets. Without the quality data and deep context to move candidates efficiently through the funnel, those candidates start exploring other opportunities in the meantime. 

The New Paradigm: Talent Engagement with Data, Context, Efficiency, and Ease

At Gem, we’ve recognized the tension between talent teams’ desire to truly engage with talent, the lack of insights to do so, and the lack of automation to do so at scale. So we’ve made something possible with our product: context-rich engagement, in a scalable way, throughout the entire recruiting process. Here’s what our 1,200+ customers have been able to do with a Talent Engagement platform

Build Diverse, High-Quality Talent Pipelines

When teams dispense with reactive strategies in which each new req starts from scratch, the top-of-funnel becomes a well-oiled machine of warm relationships. The organization not only reduces time-to-hire (and therefore cost-of-hire), it also brings higher-quality candidates into the company: talent that’s bought into the company’s mission, vision, and culture, and that’s more likely to stick around—and to thrive—in the long-term.

In order to do so, recruiting organizations need these things:

  • Insight into every touchpoint a prospective candidate has ever had with anyone on your team—and therefore the context with which to reach out to them at the right time, with the right message

  • A system that auto-refreshes the data from talent’s professional profiles so you don’t have to go looking for it anew each time you want to reach out

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  • ‍The ability to set-and-forget follow-ups and nurture campaigns that keep your organization top-of-mind, and keep talent warm until they’re ready to have a conversation with you

  • Visibility into outreach stats so you can optimize messaging based on behavior and interest

  • Visibility into the demographics of the recipients of your outreach so you always knew how diverse your top-of-funnel is

  • The ability to quickly search your recruiting solution for former silver medalists when a new role opens, allowing you to reach out to talent that’s already been vetted and knows your team and culture—ultimately reducing time to hire

Deliver Unforgettable Candidate Experiences

With full-funnel data on how to better engage talent both at the outreach stage and in the hiring process, terrific candidate experiences become part of a recruiting team’s DNA. Data allows each candidate to feel seen, heard, remembered, and taken care of, no matter where they are—or whether they are—in your process. With a talent engagement platform that alerts you to how long specific candidates have been sitting in certain stages of the funnel, which candidates need actioning, and where talent is dropping out of your funnel, teams move toward ever-greater hiring efficiency and deliver ever-greater candidate experiences. 

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The best talent engagement platforms will allow you to slice your pipelines by any number of filters—role, hiring manager, location, gender, race/ethnicity, and more. Is there something being done in your London office that’s allowing for a shorter time-in-stage for a particular role? What are best practices you can share between locations? Are certain demographics falling out more often than others at your assessment stage? If so, are there unwitting biases in that assessment? 

Teams can benchmark themselves against themselves, which means not only more delightful (and equitable) candidate experiences, but also better recruiter experiences—since your team now has the data they need at their fingertips to do their jobs well. 

Use Data to Shift From Reactive to Strategic Recruiting

Breaking out of reactive hiring requires talent teams to focus on building meaningful relationships in this candidate-driven market. It demands that teams understand when to re-engage with candidates, that they drive personalized engagement with new prospects, and that they don’t neglect the active candidates that are in process and that are best fits for their organizations. 

What all of these demands point to, ultimately, is a centralized system that pulls together the deep contextual data across your existing tech investments (your email, your ATS, your CRM, and the places you source talent from). Ultimately, this unlocks the ability to be better business partners: when recruiters have the right data in a single source of truth, they can plan strategically and focus not just on hiring, but also on optimizing the end-to-end process.

With full-funnel data from a talent engagement platform, your VP of Talent can now relay the finer points of the recruiting motion to your C-suite. “Here’s what’s happening with our VP of Engineering role: We started looking based on this job title; we recalibrated after realizing we also needed this skillset; we sent this much outreach and got this response rate; we updated our messaging; now our response rate is this.” Your recruiters can sit down with hiring managers and say: “We have x number of candidates in this stage of the funnel and x number in this stage; and the data tells us we need this many candidates in-stage if we want to hit our hiring goals. So what do we need to lean into given our current pipeline?” 

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Rather than conversations around individual candidates, teams have more vital and dynamic conversations around hiring as a whole: best practices, how and where to optimize their process, and where to place their efforts. ‍

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It’s Time to Get the Most Out of Your Existing TA Tech Stack

Continuous talent engagement, driven by data and context, is the best way to architect a sustainable, scalable recruiting strategy. That’s why Gem integrates with your tech stack and becomes your source of truth across candidate interactions—you’ll always have context around what has happened and what needs to happen next, so you can be both timely and personalized in your communications, driving the right actions every time. 

Imagine finding a prospective candidate on LinkedIn and seeing in Gem’s Activity Feed that they bowed out at the top of the funnel a year ago because the timing wasn’t right. That’s invaluable context with which to pick up the conversation again. Or imagine opening up Gem’s Talent Pipeline—a color-coded kanban board that shows the entirety of your pipeline for an open role—and immediately seeing that your hiring manager hasn’t yet submitted feedback on the candidate that you, recruiter, are certain would be a great fit. We’re talking about taking the right action—and sending the right message—at the right time, throughout the entire process. 

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With a centralized talent engagement platform that unifies your existing tools, strengthens collaboration, and increases productivity, it’s possible to:

  • Discover and attract qualified candidates from past applicants, former silver medalists, prospects on social networks, and talent communities to build diverse, high-quality talent pipelines across any channel

  • Build custom talent pools based on skills, experiences, or history with your company; and automate targeted, multi-channel outreach to them so you’re not jumping into reactive mode when new roles open

  • Automate the tedious manual work tied to tracking candidate interactions, reaching out, and providing pipeline updates to the hiring team

  • See a simple, visual view of the pipeline for any open role while accessing full-funnel insights to optimize the hiring process

  • Have the data and analysis tools to put the right people, processes, and technology in place and deliver what the business needs—including forecasting against goals, planning, and assessing capacity needs

  • Keep senior leadership informed (and the recruiting org visible) with high-level dashboards; and candidates pleased with the personalized, efficient, and equitable experiences you offer 

Gem’s Talent Engagement Platform is enabling over 1,200 talent teams to deliver a modern source of truth for all talent interactions. Customers love us for our usability, the depth of our analytics, and the ROI they see with us. Our customers see 2x response rates, 4x faster sourcing, and 10-day drops in time-to-hire. Last year alone, we enabled our customers to make over 232,000 hires. Those same customers remind us, day after day, what a difference it makes to approach hiring strategically and relationally, rather than transactionally. That’s talent engagement. It’s how you hire great talent, faster. 

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