Talemetry recently sat down with Amy Butchko, Talent Acquisition Manager at SAIC, for a quick, but insightful Q&A about how SAIC improved their recruiting results in the competitive world of government contractors.
It’s a timely conversation since recent data revealed that "only about 1% of the US population has some level of security clearance," and that statistic doesn’t indicate how much of this small percentage includes different levels of clearance that are often needed for federal contracting roles.
So how do we reach these specialized candidates? What can organizations do to stick out from the crowd — and screen job seekers quickly for the proper clearances and certifications? How do you identify the right technology and systems you need and get executive buy-in?
Kerry Gilliam, Director of Marketing at Talemetry, tackled these questions and more in our webinar, and these are some of the biggest takeaways from our conversation with Amy.
1) Appeal to the head AND the heart to gain executive support.
Amy knew that their legacy CRM and career platform was underperforming. “We were getting less than half of the conversion than any of our peers. It was a good system when we implemented it 10 years ago, but we could watch it fall from quarter to quarter.”
She could pull data (or lack thereof) from the system to show the executives, which she knew would satisfy their desire for hard numbers. But she wanted to make a bigger impact to provide the leadership team with a deeper understanding of the problems candidates were facing.
She chose to invite an executive to fill out an application on their existing career page, so she could experience the poor candidate experience, first-hand. 30 minutes later, the executive was armed with the data AND the personal experience needed to make the decision to implement significant changes.
2) Say “no” to the shiny objects...for now.
When we asked Amy about the discipline needed to synchronize and implement an improved recruitment strategy, platform, and process, she made a distinction between discipline and focus. “There are many, many good ideas out there. But to make a change, at scale, we needed focus.”
Because of the nature of the cross-functional team she built, the team had many voices to consider, and they all had valid needs and concerns, so they “literally scored and ranked our priorities and stuck to them.” Amy goes on to say that there are more bright and shiny objects than ever before. But she has seen that these tempting tech tools will still be there after a successful implementation, and they will most likely even be upgraded and more improved by the time your organization is ready for them.
Amy points to self-guided approaches like Talemetry’s EVOLVE Maturity & Efficiency Framework that are key in helping organizations prioritize and focus in a collaborative and transparent way that ensures a plan that works for every type of company.
3) Don’t underestimate the inclusion of the operations and HRIS team.
When implementing a new recruiting strategy and technology, people know that it’s wise to expect the unexpected. Amy’s team, however, experienced two incredible events during their implementation process. The first challenge came when SAIC ended up having to integrate Taleo and Talemetry three different times in 10 months. They launched the initial integration in December of last year, then they had to re-launch with an acquisition in January, and the third integration came in August, so they could work with just one instance of Taleo.
Amy’s team rose to this unexpected challenge, and their hard work and dedication led to the second unbelievable event of the integrations: throughout the entire process, SAIC experienced ZERO hours of career site downtime. Their candidates had no idea of the massive changes going on behind the scenes!
“The true heroes of the integration were the strong influence of the operations and TA teams, and we had strong support from the HRIS team.”
4) Remember this old marketing adage.
Amy studied marketing, and even though she’s worked as a recruiter and talent acquisition for over 15 years, this old marketing saying has stuck with her: “You know that 80% of your marketing isn’t working, but you don’t know what 20% is.”
Many TA professionals can relate to this classic explanation of one of marketing’s oldest struggles. And the TA world is now following the marketing world’s lead in solving similar obstacles by updating their technology, collecting and analyzing real-time data, and building personalized candidate experiences based on data and connections with job seekers. Exactly what SAIC is working towards!
To learn more about SAIC’s journey to an improved recruiting process and see how they’re looking to increase their conversions in the next six months, listen to the full webinar today.