Talent Acquisition: What is Old and New

February 19, 2020 by Madeline Laurano

The new year brings new opportunities to reset and reprioritize. And, for many people (both professionally and personally) that means slowing down and taking time to reflect on the past and look towards the future. But in talent acquisition, we can’t always push pause. Competition for talent is intense, pressure from the business is increasing, and the challenge of balancing old and new priorities can feel overwhelming. Sometimes it is hard to know what to do or where to start. 

According to Aptitude Research, 67% of companies stated that the greatest threat facing their organization is the competition for talent across industries. Every company is competing for the best talent, whether that’s engineering roles, sales positions, or customer-facing roles. The job of attracting and recruiting talent has never been more difficult. 

Companies need to get back to the basics and think about core processes to see what works and what needs to change. It doesn’t necessarily mean pushing pause, but it does mean reflecting on the old and the new. Here is a look at three core processes.

Recruitment Marketing

Recruitment marketing is a major investment for companies today with over 70% of companies increasing their investment in this area (2019 TA Tech Buyer’s Guide). It involves all of the activities that connect a brand to the right person at the right time and with the right communication and messaging. 

Old New
  • Targeting the same message to everyone
  • Segment messages to candidates and post the right content to the right candidates through different stages of the candidate journey
  • Candidate communication only when a job is open
  • Engage with individuals consistently
  • Generic email campaigns
  • Create personal campaigns and messages
  • Blasting jobs to the same audience
  • Segmenting and targeting audiences with personalized content

Background Screening

Although it's considered a tactical area of recruitment, background screening can have a dramatic impact on a company's overall recruitment strategy. Over 80% of companies of all sizes use screening in recruitment. Background screening includes employment verification, drug testing, credit reports, education verification, and criminal background checks. 

Old New
  • Screening as a tool in talent acquisition
  • Screening as a strategic source of data to make better decisions around quality of hire
  • Screening only for certain positions
  • Screening should be done consistently for every position in the organization
  • Screening candidates only when they are far down in the funnel
  • Screening can serve as an effective way to help narrow down your candidate pool early in the process


Interviewing is one of the most broken areas of talent acquisition today. Companies need to think about a more standard approach and the solutions that can help empower both candidates and hiring managers. 

Old New
  • Ad hoc interviews
  • Standardizing interviews across the organizations
  • Leveraging interview guides that use reference call data from former colleagues
  • Going with a “gut feeling”
  • Including assessments in the interview process
  • Multiple one-on-one interviews
  • Leveraging digital interviewing platforms and interview management systems where multiple interviewers can participate

If you are rethinking some of your talent acquisition strategies this year, starting with the basic areas and taking note of what doesn’t work and what companies should think about in the future is a great place to start. Sometimes that greatest change can happen from starting small in the process. 

About Madeline Laurano
Madeline’s primary focus over the last 12+ years has been on the talent management market, specializing in talent acquisition. Her work helps companies both validate and reevaluate their strategies and understand the role technology can play in driving business outcomes. She has watched HCM transform from a back- office function to a strategic company initiative with a focus on partnerships, experience and efficiency. She is co-author of Best Practices in Leading a Global Workforce and has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, Yahoo News, and The Financial Times. She is a frequent presenter at industry conferences including the HR Technology Conference and Exposition, SHRM, IHRIM, HCI’s Strategic Talent Acquisition conference, GDS International’s HCM Summit, and HRO Today.

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