Three Hurdles to Avoid in HR’s Race for Top Talent

November 10, 2021 by Verified First

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Over the last year, HR and Talent Acquisition (TA) professionals have competed in the evolving hiring market for top talent, and it’s not slowing down anytime soon. According to Bankrate’s Job Seeker Survey, 55% of Americans will be looking for new work opportunities in the next 12 months alone. Even more outstanding, 28% of employed Americans will most likely branch out from their existing roles to new ones with the start of 2022. That’s a lot of future candidates to win in the war for talent! 

Verified First spoke with Debbie Rosenburg, Vice President of HR at Chesapeake Regional Medical Center, in episode #10 of our HR at the Table webinar series. Debbie provided great insight on the race HR and TA professionals must run to attract top talent. By looking at the many battles fought already in the war for talent and the long road ahead, we identified three pitfalls of a hiring strategies that trip up HR and TA professionals. In order to cross the finish line victorious, consider avoiding these hurdles when creating an effective hiring and recruiting strategy.

Hurdle #1: The Unfamiliar Candidate Route

Talent Acquisition professionals work hard to attract new talent by posting open positions online. But once the posting is live, do you really know what happens next? 

According to SHRM, 60% of people quit filling out a job application midway through if the posting is too lengthy or complicated. Sections such as forgoing the option to upload a personal resume are likely to cause a job seeker to leave your posting for another one. If your application process isn’t designed for ease of use, you can’t expect candidates to stick around when there are more user-friendly postings out there.

Debbie suggested going through your company’s job postings as if you were the candidate. Fill out each section as a potential candidate would and look for over complications or unnecessary, lengthy questions. If you can flow through your job applications with ease, then so can your candidates. You’re more likely to attract top talent with a concise and accessible application flow.

Hurdle #2: Dropping the Communication Baton

Candidates aren’t waiting around for you to call. Today, it’s more common for applicants to apply to multiple positions at once rather than applying to one at a time and waiting for an interview. If you want top talent to come to you, you need to quickly communicate your interest.

Debbie suggested replying to all applications within 24 hours of submission. This quick turnaround time serves multiple purposes: it lets the candidate know their information has been received, and it shares that your company isn’t going to waste their time. While sending a personalized message is preferred, the use of automated messages on when an HR or TA professional will provide more information and possibly set up an interview is adequate. 

Even if the candidate isn’t the right person for the role, communication shouldn’t be dropped between the company and the candidate. Let them know that you’re moving on to other candidates, and thank them for their time. Good communication fosters great relationships, and you want every interaction candidates have with your company to add to a positive reputation.

Hurdle #3: Running Away from New Technology

In the past year, 55% of businesses world-wide offered a form of remote work. These businesses shifted their strategies and opted for new technologies to ease into the future of work. HR technology is constantly evolving to keep pace with how the world is changing. Applicants aren’t satisfied with old work patterns. They’re interested in companies that utilize technology in a way that meets their needs. 

Debbie remarked that her organization now offers Zoom interviews. They communicate with candidates through texts and chat apps to reach people where they live — their smartphones. By utilizing technology to benefit the candidate, Debbie is making the application process easier and ultimately creating a positive candidate experience

Companies that attract top talent are adopting new technologies into their hiring strategy. While every tech option isn’t a universal fit for all organizations, there are plenty of personalized uses to consider for your company. 


The war for talent is a long race. In order to compete in stride, HR and Talent Acquisition professionals must keep up with the best ways to attract top talent. Reframe your viewpoint of the hiring process to prioritize the candidate. Streamline your communication, and utilize new technology to benefit candidates. By avoiding the pitfalls, your hiring strategy is sure to win. 

About Verified First
Verified First is known for delivering streamlined background screening backed by the best client support, and for developing the easiest, fastest HR system integrations, for free. Our client support team is U.S.-based, answers calls in seconds, resulting in hundreds of positive testimonials and a 96% customer satisfaction. Verified First's patent-pending, award-winning integrations include over 100 applicant tracking systems, and provide clients a turn-key experience.

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