Haley Ennes is a Senior Program Manager of Recruitment Enablement at Sprout Social, a publicly-traded social media software company and a Glassdoor 2023 Best Places to Work. Her role works to drive improvements to their global recruitment processes and workflows and enhance their ability to find, attract and hire exceptional talent.
Previously, she was a Recruitment Partner and supported their global Sales & Success teams in the U.S., Dublin, London, Sydney, and the Philippines. She graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree in Advertising and has lived in Chicago for the last 5 years.
How has the role of a recruiter changed and what new skills do you think they need to possess and develop?
The role of a Recruiter has changed tremendously over the last few years, especially following the start of the pandemic. Many Recruiters are now responsible for the hiring of remote roles and are now competing for talent at a global level. This means they can no longer depend on and succeed by only being familiar with top-talent competitors and the nuances of the market in their own unique regions.
It’s now critical that Recruiters have access to labor market data and insights. But it’s not enough to just have access, Recruiters must now also develop the skills to analyze this information and turn it into a story that they can then communicate with stakeholders and hiring managers. Being able to find this type of information and then turn it into a story means the difference between a Recruiter showing up as an order taker and showing up as a talent advisor.
Additionally, in order to support the new geographies available for hire, Recruiters must understand the nuances of various local, state and federal laws. Depending on the location, employers may be prohibited from asking candidates for information like their salary history, or they may be required to share a salary range for an open role. At Sprout, our Recruiters always refrain from asking for salary history and we include salary transparency on all of our North American job postings.
Labor market insights, like supply and demand data, can be a critical source of information for a Recruiter when beginning their sourcing strategy. Recruitment teams that invest in providing their teams with access to labor market data and insights and in enabling their team to analyze and understand this type of information will find themselves with more strategic Recruiters and a faster time to hire.
What do you think is the biggest challenge and biggest opportunity facing Talent and Recruitment?
In today’s labor market, the line between active and passive candidates has become increasingly blurred and candidates’ values and desires from an employer have evolved. With the increase in flexibility to work from home, it’s now easier than ever to take a networking call or an interview on almost any given day of the week and candidates are often faced with many more options when choosing a potential new employer.
While this can sometimes make it easier for Recruitment teams to schedule interviews with candidates, this also means that candidates have the ability to take more interviews. Even after a candidate has accepted their offer with a company, who’s to say they aren’t still having conversations with others?
This challenge presents an opportunity for Recruiters and interview teams to ensure they’re creating an engaging candidate experience throughout the entirety of the interview process and speaking to the company’s EVP in ways that matter to the candidate. Recruiters must understand at a deep level a candidate’s key motivators for seeking a new opportunity and then speak confidently towards their own company’s EVP and sell the relevant points that meet those candidate’s motivators.
While a solidified EVP can help attract candidates who will be a great addition for your company, if done right, it can also help retain current employees, including new hires who have just signed their offer.
Additionally, it’s critical that each new hire feels like they are already a part of the company before they’ve even had their first day and this means making them feel like they already have a place on the team. Hiring managers and their teams should be reaching out to their new hire before day 1 and making time to either meet virtually or in person to show just how excited they are to have them join the team.
It’s important that companies understand that in order to attract and retain talent, it’s not only the responsibility of Recruiters but also hiring managers to create an engaging experience throughout the candidate journey and make each new hire feel as if they are already a part of the team well before their first official day.
What is the next stage of transformation for Talent functions?
Something that seems to be on everyone’s mind at the moment is the idea of how we can be using AI and machine learning in the recruitment process to more quickly attract, convert and hire quality candidates.
At Sprout, our Recruitment team is already intimately familiar with the use of automation to help us be more efficient, accurate and productive. However, as a Recruitment Enablement team, we’re still exploring how we can better be using generative AI to help us with a variety of the team’s daily tasks that can often feel a bit time intensive.
For example, we know that many Recruiters are already using tools like ChatGPT. ChatGPT can help individuals draft incredibly targeted messaging based on the details of a job description and the intended audience. Diving deeper, a Recruiter can use ChatGPT to create a boolean search string based on a job description for targeted sourcing or for overcoming a character limit on a sourcing platform. Then, they’re able to create a candidate persona based on that same job description and then use that persona to ask ChatGPT to also create a persuasive LinkedIn outreach message that would earn a response from that persona.
While not everything that ChatGPT produces will be spot on or exactly what the Recruiter would want to send to a candidate, it’s a great starting point, especially for an individual who maybe doesn’t find themself to be a strong writer.
Furthermore, while ChatGPT is great at generating frameworks, it still requires a human element. If you’ve ever read a message generated by the tool it’s fairly obvious that it came from a robot. This means that Recruitment teams need to develop the new skill of balancing what ChatGPT can write for you plus adding the human touch. In other words, we can rely on what it’s able to do but we also need to know when to take over. Similarly to other web tools we’re familiar with, let’s take Google Sheets for example, it’s a great tool to help you organize and present information but unless you know how to create pivot tables, you’ll never be able to get everything out of the tool unless you develop the skills.
ChatGPT is just one example of how we can be using AI and machine learning in the Recruitment process. We already know that candidates are using tools like this to help draft resumes, cover letters and more, so it’s time that all Recruitment teams become intimately familiar with the tools available to them and start thinking about how it can be used to eliminate some of the more time blocking tasks that exist within the function.
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