When you’re in the business of selling people and ideas, talent is your most critical asset. In today’s landscape – which includes record low unemployment, talent shortages, skills gaps and the frequent introduction of new technologies – the war for top talent is intense. Many of our professional services clients have been grappling with how to position their firms to not only attract key talent, but also engage and retain high performers.
What does that process look like? And how is it changing? After hearing the industry and our clients’ conversations around this topic grow louder, we decided to dig deeper and undergo a research initiative to uncover how firms are approaching their talent brand and digital recruitment efforts.
Over the next few months, we’ll be releasing findings from our qualitative interviews, quantitative surveys and comparator analysis. We came across so much interesting insight, we felt it was best to give you a handful of “sneak peeks” over the course of a few months (as opposed to making you wait for one huge reveal).
We’d like to start by highlighting some of the stand-out ways that digital and emerging technologies are being utilized to capture the attention and loyalty of top talent. We analyzed the digital presence of 30 leading firms within Legal, Consulting and Accounting. The following are some of our favorite examples of how PSOs are creating cutting-edge experiences to reach a new audience of digital natives.
- Virtual Reality
Video games or experiential movies might come to mind when you think of VR, but one firm is using it in a way that allows potential talent to “walk the shoes of a new hire.” Deloitte has created the You at #DeloitteU experience, taking users on a virtual tour of Deloitte University, the firm’s leadership center in Westlake, Texas. A series of virtual guides walk users through the lobby, bistro, classrooms, outdoor trails and more as they teach them more about Deloitte and its culture. This immersive and interactive experience helps talent begin to understand what it would be like to be on the Deloitte team, but it also demonstrates Deloitte’s commitment to innovation and technology – something that nearly all of today’s top talent look for in their future employer.
- Personalization & Portals
Another really interesting experience that Deloitte has created is its Explore Your Fit custom guide. This allows students and experienced professionals to take an interactive quiz about their interests, experience and career aspirations. Based on how their answers align with data on real Deloitte professionals and their own career choices, a personalized portal is created for the user, outlining different businesses and roles at the firm they might be interested in, and how he or she can make an impact at Deloitte. The customized portal can be saved, and potential employees can refer to it as many times as they want to find relevant opportunities, professionals, and thought leadership that is related to the passions they’ve outlined.
Booze Allen also offers employees a portal they can use to access useful internal resources and tools, connecting them with colleagues, training resources and company news.
- Talent-Specific Apps
We noticed a handful of firms also using apps to engage talent on a number of different dimensions. PwC’s Talent Exchange app offers a unique marketplace that connects freelance talent with opportunities at PwC. Independent professionals can search on the app for open roles and projects that match their experience, interests and availability, and they can use the same app to track their time and expenses if they ultimately join a project. The app becomes a vehicle for PwC to build and maintain relationships with skilled talent, and supplement their internal teams when they need extra hands on deck.
Cognizant Technology Solutions’ Talent Journey app gives talent in the continental European region a way to track the recruitment process. They can check the status of their application, receive notifications about the interview process and enable other personalized insights to be delivered to their device.
Bain & Company’s Bain Inspired app is used as a tool for learning, development and recognition. Employees can log their strengths, track growth, explore avenues for honing their skills, and recognize others who have offered inspiration and support.
These examples only scratch the surface, as firms are using apps to test their applicants, provide ongoing learning opportunities, engage talent at recruitment fairs and offer mentorship and coaching to their professionals.
- Alumni Tools
Firms are also luring talent in by giving them a look at who their past and present colleagues and mentors could be. Kirkland CareerLink is a virtual community for Kirkland’s attorneys and alumni. It offers a directory of past and current professionals, updates on upcoming alumni events, networking opportunities and career advice.
Sidley’s Beyond Sidley is an interactive feature that helps potential talent get a sense for how the skills they develop at the firm can set them up for future success in an executive, in-house counsel, government, non-profit or entrepreneurial role.Many firms, such as Morgan Lewis, also help candidates see how they're already connected by allowing them to search for "future colleagues" from their alma mater directly alongside the search feature for open positions and other contacts.
Conversational User Interface
As we all know, in today’s digital world, prospects and customers alike expect personalized and human experiences—talent is no exception. A conversational user interface is any user interface that mimics chatting with a real human. The idea here is that instead of communicating with a computer on its own inhuman terms, you interact with it on yours, by just telling it what to do.
On its Careers site, Skadden utilizes conversational UI to help talent journey through what typically would have been a complex and cumbersome navigation sequence. This helps talent get to what they are looking for faster and more efficiently, which is critical in a time when attention spans are getting shorter, and expectations of a seamless and intuitive user experience are growing.
If one thing is clear to us, it’s that PSOs are dedicated to finding new and unique ways to reach today’s talent. Have you thought about how you’re approaching recruitment and retention? Does your talent brand, POV and communication efforts stand out from the rest? If you’re looking for guidance on how to differentiate your firm, we can help – we’ve seen a thing or two!
Check back frequently for more updates on our talent research results. In the meantime, you can also explore our other musings on talent strategy here.
Our intent with this post is to provide an objective view on stand-out, talent-related digital experiences from leading Professional Services Organizations. Although a few of the examples we highlighted above come from One North clients, we have not yet had the pleasure of working with all of the firms we mentioned. Just giving kudos where they are due and hoping others are also inspired by these pioneers!