Most finance leaders recognize the value of an HR function that can effectively harness talent to drive profitability and business performance. They realize that people are an organization's greatest asset, but also understand they are the single largest expense. Before significant labor costs like compensation and benefits enter the equation, finance leaders should first account for the costs associated with hiring new employees. This requires HR professionals to take a hard look at their recruitment strategies.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 5.7 million job openings at the end of May 2017. Compare this to a recent report from Gallup indicating that 9.4 percent of Americans are either "unemployed, underemployed or barely attached to the labor market." If there are plenty of workers available to fill these roles, it's no surprise that many HR teams are feeling the pressure to think outside the box when pooling for talent.

So, why should finance leaders consider investing more money into recruiting? Here are a few ways that implementing more innovative recruitment strategies can attract the talent your business needs, while making a positive impact on ROI.

Using Technology to Improve the Hiring Process

Advancements in technology have transformed the way people work by delivering new solutions and enhanced capabilities that are much more efficient (and, often, more accurate) than traditional methods. HR organizations around the world are leveraging the power of technology to reshape their recruiting and hiring practices, attract top talent and meet the needs of the business.

Applicant tracking systems (ATS) have become one of the most widely adopted tech solutions in the talent acquisition space. These digital resources can help organizations make better hiring decisions and improve their bottom line in many ways. Automated screening questionnaires and resume processing, for example, can reduce the time it takes to fill vacant positions. This can have a positive impact on ROI if it reduces the associated costs of having unfilled job roles — including expenses related to finding and interviewing candidates, lost productivity from having vacant positions as well as onboarding and training new employees once they've been hired. Applicant tracking tools also allow recruiters to shift their focus to more strategic work if they're no longer spending significant amounts of time on administrative tasks, like sifting through resumes and submitted applications.

According to Deloitte, some of the most innovative ATS providers are enhancing these capabilities by incorporating other recruiting technologies, such as candidate relationship management, video interviewing, analytics, as well as simulations and gaming to better connect with job seekers. Video solutions, in particular, can be an effective way to improve the overall candidate experience and cut costs by reducing the need for travel expenses and lengthy hiring processes.

Incorporating Diversity Into Recruiting Efforts

Leading businesses understand the importance of having a diverse workforce — it differentiates them from their competitors and better positions them to win top talent, connect with customers and grow their market share. Unfortunately, many organizations treat diversity as something that's "nice to have" instead of an essential part of their business strategy because the metrics used to gauge the success of these efforts are rarely tied to anything that demonstrates actual ROI. The Society for Diversity points out a number of metrics for diversity and inclusion efforts that directly connect them to the positive impact they have on an organization's bottom line, including employee retention, positive PR, mitigation of legal risks and increased market penetration.

Similarly, McKinsey & Company found a significant connection between having a diverse workforce and better financial performance. Organizations with the most gender diversity financially outperformed others, and organizations with the most racial and ethnic diversity were more likely to financially outperform industry competitors.

It's no longer an option to view diversity and inclusion as separate from core business practices. As such, developing new recruitment strategies to identify more diverse applicants can be critical to ensure business success. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, there are many ways to incorporate diversity into your organization's talent acquisition efforts. For example:

  • Reflect a diverse workforce in your recruitment materials by including images that depict racial minorities, females, people with disabilities and of different age ranges
  • Update the career section of your website to include statements that reflect your organization's commitment to creating an inclusive work environment
  • Visit historically black colleges and universities, women's colleges and schools that don't charge "elite tuition rates" during campus recruiting efforts to attract diverse candidates

It's important to remember that enhancing recruitment strategies are only useful if they're matched by strategies that will engage and retain your workforce. Once you have the diverse employees you need, the next step is investing in areas like training and development that will allow you to hold on to them.

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Tags: Diversity recruitment