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The Basic Pillars of Talent Acquisition

Talent acquisition has changed dramatically over the past few years. Emerging trends focus highly on the candidate experience— ensuring that candidates have a solid journey with your organization, and that you have the right tools on hand to provide that solid experience. 

Candidate Experience Makes an Impact

Whether you ultimately hire a candidate or not, you want them to have a good experience with your company. Consider this: 58% of job seekers have declined a job due to a negative hiring experience. That means that you could have the best possible candidate interviewing with your company, but if you don't provide them with a quality experience, you could end up missing out. 

Furthermore, a bad experience does not just end there. Candidates share their experiences widely. Among job seekers, 72% have shared their negative candidate experiences online, and 55% of job seekers note that they will deliberately avoid companies after reading those negative reviews. One bad candidate experience turns into the loss of many potential candidates.

As a recruiter, it’s critical to offer a great candidate experience, regardless of whether you think that the candidate is a good fit for your role. Here are some of the basic pillars of a solid candidate experience:

Respect Candidates' Time and Effort

From the earliest point at which you engage with a candidate, make it clear that you respect them and the time and effort they've put into connecting with your company. Keep in mind that the interview process is twofold: an opportunity for both sides to decide whether you'll ultimately be a good fit for one another. 

Respond as quickly as is reasonable to candidate communications. When you hold an interview, either in person or virtually, be on time for the interview. When you do decide not to go forward with a candidate, let them know. That simple symbol of respect means that candidates will have a better overall experience with your company.

Make the Application Process Simple

Don't make candidates jump through unnecessary hoops when they connect with your company. If you have specific requirements for the job, be up honest and communicative about those requirements from the beginning. Let candidates know what they should expect, and don't make them work through a difficult application portal or go through multiple irrelevant questions. Keep the application process streamlined. 

Offer Feedback When Possible

While you don't necessarily have to offer feedback to every candidate, it can be very helpful to your candidates to let them know a few things about their applications. 

Did a candidate make it to a late-stage interview with the company, only for someone else to win out in the end? Let the candidate know why. Did the candidate simply lack the skills you really needed for the position? Take the time to let the candidate know that so that they can brush up their skills before applying for other jobs in the future. 

Prioritize Interview Training

 In Crosschq Data Labs research, we found more than half of interviews had experience doing only one isolated interview, and 76% consistently conducted just one interview per year.

It’s worth your time to invest in employee interview training.  Many interviewers have no idea how to ask practical, useful interview questions. In fact, they may find themselves struggling to actually connect with candidates or get a good feel for whether those candidates can do their jobs effectively.

In addition, varying levels and approaches to interviewing can lead to biased feedback. The goal is to give every candidate the same chance to answer the same questions. 

Providing your team members with interview training gives them insight into:

  • How to tell when a candidate might be stretching the truth
  • How to ask effective questions
  • What questions are really useful for specific positions
  • How to observe candidate strengths in a technical interview
  • How to create a deeper connection with candidates

Give interviewers the chance to practice. Invite them to sit in on interviews for other departments, conducted by experienced interviewers. Those simple steps can go a long way toward helping interviewers develop stronger skills that will allow them to better screen potential applicants. 

Diversity Initiatives Now

Fifty-seven percent of employees feel that their companies need to be more diverse and  working harder to meet those diversity goals—and with good reason. Diverse workplaces see better overall performance, including higher profits each year. Unfortunately, all too many workplaces lag behind on diversity awareness and hiring initiatives.

Attention to diversity has become more critical due to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on women in business. . Women have lost their jobs more frequently throughout the pandemic, whether they have been employed in industries that were more likely to have to downsize or have had to leave the workplace due to childcare challenges throughout the crisis. 

Initiatives to aid in diversity, including strategies that can help eliminate unconscious bias, can have a huge impact across your organization and your bottom line. Not only is it important to identify intrinsic bias in hiring so that you can avoid them, but you may also find that actively seeking out diversity for your workplace can have a huge impact on productivity and capability.

Funnel Analysis = Improved Efficiency

Many organizations have allowed their hiring funnels to simply continue to exist for years, with no real thought about why things are the way they are or what they need to do differently. One of the strategic trends emerging in recruiting, however, is funnel analysis: a hard look at your current funnel and what it's accomplishing. 

Funnel analysis looks at several key details. 

Are Your Hires High-Quality Employees?

In order to take a solid look at your recruiting processes, start with analyzing the retention and performance of the individuals you ultimately hire to fill those roles within your company. Are they a good fit for your organization? Have they received the training and tools they need to be successful with your organization? How long are they likely to stay with your business instead of moving on to your competitors? Carefully analyzing overall quality of hire can make a big difference in how you view your recruiting funnel.

How Long Does It Take to Fill Open Positions?

When you have an open position, how long does it take your organization to fill it? A lag in hiring can mean several critical things for your organization. First, it means that you may be missing out on great candidates. The best candidates may end up hired out from under you before you have a chance to move them through a slow, lagging hiring process. 

Second, in the meantime, that role is going unfilled within your organization. That may mean that vital work is going undone or that it is performed by increasingly stressed members of your existing team, who may suffer higher levels of burnout and frustration due to slow hiring processes. 

Routinely analyze your time to hire and determine whether it is effective based on the current needs of your company.

Employer Branding Matters

Employer branding plays an important role in your recruiting and hiring process. Your brand, as an employer, helps establish who you are and more importantly, why candidates should want to work for you.

Ask yourself these questions: What do you bring to the table? Do you have great benefits? Is your company offering great opportunities that will allow candidates to expand and grow in their chosen fields? Are you able to provide great resources for your employees? When employees leave your company, what do they have to say about you and the experience they have had with you? 

By clearly identifying your employer brand and taking steps to control perceptions of your brand, you can often improve the way candidates view you and increase the quality of candidates coming your way. 

Recruitment Metrics to Track & Improve

Data is become more important than ever— and recruiting is no exception. If you want to stay on top of the latest trends in talent acquisition, it's critical that you learn to watch your recruitment metrics. As a recruiter, you need to accurately track:

  • First-year attrition rates
  • Hiring manager satisfaction with candidates
  • How many candidates you have per opening
  • The quality of the individuals you're able to hire for your open positions
  • What percentage of the positions within your company are open at any given time
  • What percentage of candidates accept offers from your company
  • The time it takes new hires to start being productive in their new roles
  • The cost to hire new employees
  • What the overall quality of your candidates looks like for each open position

The specific metrics that are important to your company may vary, but the point remains the same: to use data-based strategies that will allow you to adapt your recruiting and hiring processes so that you can move ideal candidates into your positions more effectively.

Talent Acquisition Resources

These books cover the pillars and best practices of recruiting. While not required reading, you may find your ability to be strategic and agile depends on understanding a lot of the best practices and proven strategies covered in these resources. So, grab a cup of coffee and read up!

Talent Acquisition Tools and Technologies

Successful recruiting means utilizing the latest tools and technologies to help locate the ideal candidate, bring them on board, and ensure that they have the tools they need for success.


  • Crosschq allows you to gain better insights into your candidates, the skills they may bring to the table, and the tools they may need in order to be successful at your company and in your industry. 

    • With Crosschq Recruit, you'll also get access to a larger, better-qualified pipeline of candidates who are more likely to succeed with your organization.
    • Crosschq TalentWall: Hire faster, more collaboratively, with greater visibility. Sitting on top of your ATS, recruiters will have a quick snapshot of their talent pipeline and priorities at all times, and hiring managers will easily be able to see the health of their pipeline.

  • Chatbots: Regardless of the platform you choose to use, chatbots are becoming an increasingly important part of connecting with candidates and ensuring that they have the tools they need to excel across your organization. Chatbots allow candidates to easily ask vital questions and can encourage those candidates to submit the information you need.

  • Lever: Streamline the recruiting and hiring process, both for your benefit and for your candidates'. With Lever, you'll be able to integrate with the other platforms that you use on a regular basis while simultaneously shortening your time to hire, which increases the odds that you'll be able to get great candidates in those positions quickly.

  • CareerArc: Build your brand on social media while reaching out to qualified candidates. With CareerArc, you can establish a more solid social media presence that will help give candidates a better idea of why they should choose your business out of the array of businesses available to them.

  • Enboarder: Create a more effective onboarding experience for new members of your team. Recruiting doesn't end once you hire a candidate. It's also critical that you have the tools needed to keep those candidates within your organization and provide them with the tools they need to be successful. Enboarder helps create a better overall onboarding experience, which can increase candidate satisfaction and make them feel more comfortable in their new roles. 

The face of recruiting may change, but the needs of your company do not. You still need high-quality candidates who are ready to move into your open positions. By building your tech stack, you'll find that your business is overall better positioned to reach your goals. 


Katie Kennedy

by Katie Kennedy

Talent Consulting Lead

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