Q and A: Exclusive Interview with Anuradha Rao

December 29, 2021 by Verified First

Q&A EPS Blog Image

A competitive hiring market and a selective talent pool has changed the course of the HR and talent acquisition space. To keep up, recruiters need to adjust strategies to align with candidate demands.

We hosted Anuradha Rao, EPS Corporation’s Senior HR and Talent Acquisition Recruiter in episode 12 of our HR at the Table webinar series. We talked about the state of talent recruitment in a chat titled “Keeping Up with Candidate Demands: Recruiters New Challenges.”

In her interview, Anuradha answered three key questions that shed light on the current state of the talent market, including how to address the biggest challenges facing talent acquisition professionals today.

  • What challenges are HR leaders facing in today’s talent market?
  • What challenges are here to stay?
  • How can HR use recruiting to combat these challenges?

How are the challenges in today’s hiring market affecting HR professionals?

The war for talent has changed today’s talent market. There’s now an emphasis on catering to candidates as opposed to reverting to benefits predetermined by employers. Anuradha mentioned that the “previous way HR and TA professionals referred to employer and employee relationships as “parent and child” has now evolved to “adult and adult.”’ This references back to the shift in power and the now level playing field where candidates can leverage their stipulations.

HR professionals must actively listen to candidates if they want to win over talent. Anuradha stressed the importance of placing value in their demands. She noted the rise in candidates seeking relationships within the workplace and benefits that allow for flexibility outside of the office. This desire for building relationships is reflected in a company’s culture, which Anuradha considers a key factor in recruiting talent today.

The data certainly holds up to Anuradha’s advice. In today’s talent market, 50% of candidates are millennials. Of that group, 80% say that they’re specifically seeking roles that value work-life balance. In order to remain a competitive player in today’s talent market, companies must offer benefits that match the values of candidates today.

What challenges are here to stay?

Over the last year, changes to the talent market have been a constant hurdle. Much like the market of the past two years, it seems as if the foreseeable future is still up in the air. Fortunately, Anuradha doesn’t see it that way. She believes that based on current trends and the direction of the market, the effects of the great resignation will stabilize. However, that doesn’t mean that the effects of the candidate-led talent market will return to a previous state. 

Anuradha gave us some insight into what factors will continue to be prominent players in recruiting top talent, including:

  • More flexibility - Many roles will need to include remote flexibility in some capacity that allows candidates to have a say in their schedule.
  • Relational benefits - Candidates will seek ways to use their relationships with coworkers to grow professionally such as mentorship programs or specialized training.
  • Investment in company culture - HR professionals will need to give candidates insight into the company’s culture during initial recruiting stages for a candidate to understand if the role is the right fit.

In short, Anuradha stated that HR strategies must adapt because the changes in candidate demands are here to stay.

How can HR use recruiting to combat the challenges?

Being that EPS Corporation is in the government contracting sector, some aspects of Anuradha’s job are based on previously established policy. However, that isn’t the case when it comes to recruiting, and she spoke on thinking outside of the box when attracting talent. 

There are other ways to recruit the best people besides relying on online job postings. Anuradha provided a list of places to grow your applicant pool and further your diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts at the same time.

  1. Alumni networks - While many recruiters attend college job fairs, the talent pool in attendance doesn’t meet the requirements for many middle or senior level positions. Consider reaching out to alumni networks of associated universities to find applicants for positions that require more experience.
  2. Nonprofit organizations - Anuradha mentioned that EPS Corporation uses nonprofit hiring resources to attract candidates. Organizations such as Hire Our Heroes market open positions to veterans that have relevant experience.
  3. Employee referrals - Asking employees to recommend candidates utilizes word of mouth advertising. By listening to employee recommendations, you’re also building a company culture that gives employees a voice.

In Conclusion

For more insight from Anuradha Rao, watch the entirety of this HR at the Table webinar here! To be a part of our next discussion with an HR and TA professional, register for an upcoming HR at the Table webinar. Next month, we’ll host Minh Hua, the Chief Talent Officer at Stanley Black & Decker, for a chat on the war for talent and how companies (like you!) can win talent from large organizations. 

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