Getting to Know Your Market Before Going to Market: The Talent Industry

At Weave, we create solutions to solve real problems for customers.

During our first round of in-depth interviews for Weave Talent Solutions, one of the first pieces of feedback we received from a seasoned recruiter was:

“If you’re going to create solutions for the Talent Industry, know the Talent Industry.”

That resonated with us.

We had naively assumed that market research would provide us all the insights we needed. But his emphasis on the word ‘know’ — with the weary-eyed cynicism of one who had seen a million pedestrian sales pitches stuffed with trite buzzwords du jour — was a clear signal to us that we needed to go much deeper. And that’s what we did.

For our first focus group in Seattle, we invited both in-house and agency recruiters from various industries to share their perspectives on the market and their specific pain-points. Here’s what we learned — and how we are working to solve them:

1. Recruiters are strapped for time. 50 percent of recruiters say screening and matching is still the most difficult part of their job — despite the myriad of vendors that claim to solve the problem. So, we proceeded to automate it by using a novel approach. We integrate not only visual storytelling to bring job postings to life; we also integrate screening and matching right into the transformed posting. Essentially, we turn job postings from lifeless textual documents into full-fledged applications. With Weave a smart job posting coupled with smart candidate profiles largely obviates the need for recruiters to scour through active and passive candidates.

2. The majority (75–85 percent) of candidates who apply are unqualified. The key insight to us was that it isn’t enough to attract qualified candidates; recruiters must also repel unqualified ones before their resumes reach them. Weave Talent Solutions automates this self-selection process. Recruiters now have more time to focus on the most qualified applicants.

3. Job descriptions are boring, for both recruiters and candidates. In an increasingly competitive market for top talent nothing says, “Come work for us!” like recycled text and a list of (often inaccurate) qualifications, right?! No.

Job Description Weaves leverage artificial intelligence to transform static, textual job descriptions into visual, mixed media stories — relevant videos, photos, social media, information on the team and its culture, and much more. Job descriptions are brand touch-points and should be regarded as such. With Job Description Weaves candidates can now get a 360-degree view of what makes the job unique, exciting and inspiring. Expressed succinctly, Job Description Weaves turn boring and mundane looking job postings into rich, visual, interactive stories.

4. The #1 thing candidates want to know is a company’s culture and “brand.” However, effectively communicating this can be overwhelming for recruiters. The story elements of a company are now scattered on many fragmented mediums: photos and videos, multiple social media channels with mixed objectives, corporate testimonials on LinkedIn, information on career websites and so on. It can be hard for a recruiter to curate and synthesize these fragmented pieces of content and package them in a concise and clear way for potential candidates. A Talent Brand Weave gathers all the pertinent information about a company, its history, its culture, its people and its market position and delivers it in a visually engaging way.

5. Talent Analytics aren’t being leveraged as much as they could. There is an ever-widening gap in knowledge about the precise nature of a company’s candidate pool — what makes them engage or not engage with specific jobs, their specific career interests, etc. Unlike textual job postings which generate absolute no insights, Job Description Weaves extract structure from text and track engagement, data for which is reported back to recruiters and companies. Weave now makes it possible to learn the specific demographics about interested candidates, as well as what interests them about a position.

This is also very powerful for passive candidates — Weave aggregates and reports deep engagement information on passive candidates even if they might not be ready to apply. Recruiters can then use this information to not only deepen engagement via highly targeted and personalized outreach, but also for strategic planning relating to hiring pools, optimal capital allocation, and recruitment goals such as diversity.

Are you a recruiter with another problem we didn’t address? Let us know! We are always learning.