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What are Europe’s TA leaders talking about today?

August 30, 2023
4 min read

Since joining the iCIMS team earlier this year, I have connected with a host of TA leaders looking to enhance their talent acquisition model, scale hiring and stay ahead of the curve.

In this post, I’ll share my insights from an established career in TA and the trends I witness from Europe’s industry leaders.


Building ROI with less budget

It’s been a rough year for talent acquisition, there’s no denying it. Talent acquisition teams are being asked to do more with less, and tools that help drive efficiency are key.

Some members of the iCIMS team and I recently had the opportunity to attend RecFest, the world’s largest talent acquisition festival, which was held this year at Knebworth Park in the UK. While there, Stephen McGrath, Solutions Consultant at iCIMS and Oliver Beckett from Stowe Family Law presented their insights on marketing automation for long-term hiring wins. In the presentation, Oliver highlighted how marketing automation can be more than simply an automation tool – but instead, used to build long-term pipeline and hire for the future. This is key in a profession that is driven by boosting the bottom line.

Traditionally recruiters begin sourcing candidates once there is a vacancy to be filled. Today, we know that a short-term mentality can cause long-term recruiting challenges. The industry is becoming more strategic in its methods, and the tools and technologies we use need to accommodate for it. By automating recruitment marketing, you can nurture the candidates already in your ATS with content that is relevant to them. This not only frees up recruiters’ time for more strategic endeavors, but it helps turn your database into an engaged pipeline of talent, ready for future openings.

Innovative tools like automation are key in futureproofing your talent acquisition strategy and building sustainable recruiting methods for the future.


Progressive hiring methods

iCIMS team presents on stage at RecFest

The industry is moving forward, and TA is becoming more progressive by the day. Leaders speak of neurodivergence, better engaging diverse candidates and tapping into cultural drivers to create meaningful employer brands. Employers are tuning in to a younger generation of talent and realizing that progressive hiring methods are no longer a ‘nice to have.’

According to iCIMS UK Class of 2023 Report, 36% of UK final year university students specifically look for a diverse workforce represented in employee pictures on career sites and social media pages, 35% pay attention to diversity showcased during the hiring process and 33% focus on diversity among company leaders. In 2023, candidates expect authenticity – your recruitment team is a window into your business and how diverse your team is plays a role in influencing your candidates and their decision-making.

An effective career site with strong video content is key when it comes to showcasing your diverse culture. Solutions like iCIMS Video Studio can transform your culture from a buzzword into a competitive advantage. By showcasing its employees through video, Uber increased job description page views by 21.7% and saw a 14.3% increase in time spent on the page. Video recruiting is a valuable tool in an era that values transparency.


The importance of talent experience

iCIMS team networks at RecFest

In recent years, there has been a huge switch in focus to the talent experience. The market for candidates is competitive and leaders are looking for new tools, technologies and methods to help better attract and engage candidates. At RecFest, I found leaders asking the question, “how can we make the job search less soul crushing for candidates?”

We know that long recruiting processes and laborious job applications make the job search hard for candidates. But how can we as leaders cut down processes without losing quality of applications? My answer to this is simple – texting for recruitment. Text recruiting allows recruiters to connect with talent anytime, anywhere – on the platform of their choice. By giving the control back to the candidate, you improve their initial experience with your employer brand and make the talent journey a supportive experience. Not only this, text-to-apply campaigns can help remove barriers to apply for under-represented candidates, helping widen your talent pool and take additional steps to become a more inclusive employer. It’s a win-win.


AI is here to stay

For years, the industry has discussed, debated and predicted the emergence of AI. But now it’s really here, and from the dialog at RecFest alone, it is clear that this technology has the potential to revolutionise the way we hire. Candidates are already embracing AI to apply for roles, with a third of final-year university students saying they have either used an AI bot to write their CV or cover letter or are planning to. And recruiters are using it within their strategies too. Tools like iCIMS Talent Cloud AI are helping TA teams simplify, accelerate, and inform hiring and mobility processes.

The consensus in TA is that we as leaders need to assess how we can embrace AI and move forward in an ethical and responsible way – the AI recruitment wave is sweeping the industry, and we are here for it.


Building a winning workforce

It’s clear that in today’s world, a thriving business relies on an inclusive and progressive workforce. Conversing with some of the industry’s most insightful leaders leaves me with a renewed appreciation for the talent acquisition function, and the role it plays in defining the future of the workforce.

From AI recruiting tools to diversity hiring, TA teams are leading the way forward. I can’t wait to see what the next year holds for our ever-progressing industry.

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About the author

Eric Gelle

I bring more than two decades of HR technology experience, leading the strategy, growth and vision execution across European markets for international sales organizations.

I serve as SVP of EMEA sales at iCIMS, and has held leadership roles with SmartRecruiters, Avature, Lumesse and Oracle.

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