Takeaways from Talent Brand Summit and HR Transform

Posted on April 20, 2022

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Employer BrandLis Cervenca

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The Searchlight team attended three blockbuster HR and talent events in quick succession in March: the Talent Brand Summit from March 8-10 in Austin, Texas, TalentNet Live Austin on March 11, and HR Transform from March 14-16 in Las Vegas. We had a fantastic time catching up with customers and partners, making new friends, and talking to other talent and brand leaders about understanding employees with data.

Everyone on our team was inspired by how excited everyone was to finally be attending an in-person conference again. Sessions were packed, excitement was buzzing in the air, and the conference rooms, restaurants and show floor were filled with that unique joy that comes from big groups of people spending time together.

We also learned a ton! Here are four big takeaways from the two events that resonated with our focus on helping organizations hire the right people for the right roles.

Talent Leaders Care About Quality of Hire and Are Looking for Ways to Measure It

We saw a high level of interest in Quality of Hire (which we define as the impact that each new hire has on the organization) in formal and informal conversations across both events. As a matter of fact, one Chief People Officer specifically told us that QoH was their primary focus right now. Talent leaders care about this metric and love the idea of being able to report it up to their board of directors. Our hypothesis – that understanding the levers to improve QoH allows organizations to understand how effective their hiring processes are at bringing in high performers – seemed to really hit home.

In our discussions with leaders, it was also obvious that measuring this is still a big challenge. Many still find themselves spending a great deal of time and effort calculating QoH. They don’t yet have a specific, customizable, weighted equation to calculate QoH efficiently. This is where we see a gap that Searchlight can fill.

Benefits for Remote Work Were Heavily Explored

Another big question that permeated these shows was how to keep employees engaged and supported in remote or hybrid work environments. As many organizations settle into full or partially remote work mode, talent leaders are getting creative, offering new benefits to replace what they provided in a physical office. This included solutions like Cleo that offer support for caregivers, psychedelic therapy from organizations like MAPS and Work/Life/Wellness platforms like Spotlyfe. As we continue to build out our teams, these discussions were incredibly rewarding.

Internal Mobility Initiatives Can Benefit From More Data

Spurred on by companies like Amazon that regularly rotate high-performing employees into new roles, many companies are building more structured programs for internal mobility. Rather than letting employees make lateral moves on their own, people leaders are supporting and encouraging this practice. For these programs to be successful, they need a well-rounded understanding of their employees and a realistic understanding of each role’s formal and informal requirements. This lets them match the right person to the right position. Having more data on employee performance, goals, work styles, etc., can be an important part of supporting internal mobility.

Most Teams Are Just Starting to Realize the Value of Personas and Employee Value Propositions

Many talent brand leaders are working on creating Employee Value Propositions, which are detailed descriptions of what it means to be an employee at a company. They are used to differentiate them from competitors and attract talent – like marketing for people. Creating these involves gathering qualitative and quantitative data (having both is key) on employees and roles, and then building Personas based on that data. We talked to many leaders that were just starting to plan for this, and others that had spent months creating profiles (but this appears to be a time intensive process). We’re excited to see growing appreciation for the kind of holistic employee data that Searchlight can provide quickly.

If we talked with you at either event, please stay in touch! And if we missed you, we hope to connect at the HR Tech Conference in September.

Lisa Cervenka

Head of Brand & Communications Lis (she/her) is otherwise known as @BrandNRD and has over a decade in the HR Tech & Employer Brand space. She is Head of Brand & Comms at Searchlight and loves to keep it real, helping people connect through authentic storytelling. She has three teens (!) so she escapes whenever she can to the calm and beauty of Botanic Gardens and the Art Institute of Chicago.

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