Expert Advice to Transform Your Talent Acquisition Strategies

May 25, 2023
Checkr Editor

Learn key takeaways from our recent webinar with BambooHR and 15Five.

Talent acquisition teams have many responsibilities—recruiting, resource planning, pipelining, employer branding, and more—and it’s hard to find the time to do it all. With fewer requisitions to fill, today’s economic environment is giving many HR professionals an opportunity to improve their processes and enhance efficiency. Examining your systems with a critical eye and fine-tuning both the internal and candidate experience can better position your company for long-term success.

Hyla Wallis, leader of Checkr’s Talent Operations team, recently led a webinar featuring Brandon Welch, Head of Talent at BambooHR, and Jacki Lancaster, Recruiter at 15Five. Below, we share these experts’ insights about how to:

  • Audit the hiring process
  • Improve the candidate experience
  • Use technology to meet recruiters' and new hires’ needs
  • Pipeline proactively

Best practices for optimizing talent acquisition in 2023

To improve your talent acquisition processes, Welch and Lancaster suggested the following steps.

1. Audit the hiring process and determine what areas to prioritize

The first step in building a better talent acquisition strategy is reviewing your existing hiring process.

  • Examine each step of your hiring workflow. From candidate intake to offer acceptance and onboarding, is everything working as it should? For example, are there obvious bottlenecks? Are you using scorecards? Why or why not? If a step or tool isn’t adding quality or efficiency to the process, question whether it’s necessary, said Welch. For example, 15five’s audit motivated them to:
    • Add competencies to their scorecards, supporting more objective hiring decisions
    • Reduce the number of interviews for most positions from 4 to 3
    • Eliminate requirements for projects or presentations as part of interviews; candidates now submit previous work samples instead
  • Consider both sides of the hiring experience. HR professionals typically focus on the candidate experience, but the hiring manager’s experience is equally important. Surveying both hiring managers and candidates can help identify what’s working and what isn’t.
  • Evaluate quality of hire. Define what this looks like, how it’s measured, and when and how data is collected.
  • Invest in training for hiring managers. Keep in mind that hiring isn’t always their primary job. Some may be new not only to hiring, but to managing. Lancaster uses a checklist and kickoff call to help hiring managers prepare.
  • Do a personal inventory. While you’re auditing your processes, conduct a personal audit, too. What would you like to do with your time? Identify potential growth areas for professional development and set career goals to discuss with your manager.

2. Follow best practices to improve the candidate experience

To create a best-in-class candidate experience, try the following tips.

  • Remember that job candidates are people first. “I try to treat them the way I’d want to be treated,” says Lancaster. A streamlined, transparent hiring process helps. In a recent Checkr survey survey of American workers, respondents cited three top turnoffs in the job search process:
  1. The amount of time required
  2. Poor communication from the hiring company
  3. Lack of pay transparency

Ongoing communication, feedback, and status updates enhance candidate engagement.

  • Create a great first impression. A recruiter may be the first—or only—contact a job candidate has with the employer. Even if the candidate doesn’t receive an offer, make sure they leave with a positive impression of the employer brand.
  • Set clear criteria. Before recruiting talent, your team should be crystal clear on what success in the position looks like, the job description, and how you’ll assess talent. Clarifying these standards ahead of time allows you to not only make more informed hiring decisions, but also give more meaningful feedback to candidates who don’t receive job offers.
  • Get everyone on the same page. Use education and manager training to ensure hiring managers, recruiters, and other HR professionals are aligned and share the same vision for talent acquisition.

3. Use technology to meet recruiter and new hire needs more effectively

If you’re using inefficient or outdated HR technology, now is a great time to explore your options.

  • Consider compliance issues. Other concerns aside, outdated technology may expose you to risk. For example, global companies need to bear GDPR regulations in mind, while US firms in many locations are facing new salary transparency laws.
  • Balance automation with the human touch. Automating activities that aren’t the best use of your team’s time, such as conducting reference checks or scheduling interviews, enhances efficiency. You can even automate more complex tasks: BambooHR is using its CRM to engage passive candidates and exploring how predictive analytics can identify top talent for roles earlier. But you may not want to automate everything. BambooHR discovered that having a live person handle initial phone screens was more effective than using a video interview, for instance.
  • Explore your existing technology’s features. Before investigating new tech tools, make sure you’re taking full advantage of your current tech stack’s capabilities. For example, 15five formerly used different systems for ATS and diversity pipeline tracking, but recently discovered their ATS provided all the data they needed to monitor pipeline diversity, helping to streamline their processes.
  • Think big. Lancaster says 15five is scrutinizing their tech stack across the organization—not just in HR. Look for ways to get “more bang for the buck.”

4. Be proactive in your pipelining and evaluations

With fewer roles to fill, HR professionals can be more deliberate and equitable in the hiring process.

  • Be strategic about pipelining. “Building relationships with potential candidates is really important,” says Lancaster. Now is a perfect time to network. Make a list of previous top candidates and reach out to check in or partner with organizations and associations that can help you get in front of the right talent pools.
  • Clarify how you define the “best candidate.” “The companies that do this best understand that what they ultimately want is diversity of thought and teams that reflect their end-users,” says Welch. Get clear on the hard and soft skills needed to qualify for the job, as well as the diversity of thought and background that can bring the most to the company. Using scorecards can help you stay anchored to the skills and traits you decide are important, helping to remove bias.
  • Improve hiring practices. A hiring slowdown offers the chance to make improvements, such as refreshing training for hiring managers or conducting training on bias in the hiring process.
  • Don’t settle. “There’s a lot of amazing talent on the market,” Welch notes. Even if it means sacrificing some speed, a commitment to finding the very best talent will benefit your company in the end.

Power faster, friendlier hiring with Checkr

Choosing the right background check solution can help improve your hiring process with enhanced efficiency and a positive candidate experience. Checkr’s easy-to-use, mobile-optimized candidate portal keeps candidates in the loop at each step of the background check process, reducing candidate dropoff and building trust.

Our integrations with leading HR, ATS, and onboarding systems also help increase hiring speed and streamline processes. For example, Checkr’s direct integration with BambooHR lets you seamlessly initiate background checks directly from a candidate’s BambooHR profile. Accelerate the hiring process with Checkr–get started.


Nothing in Checkr’s Blog should be construed as legal advice, guidance, or counsel. Companies should consult their own legal counsel about their compliance responsibilities under the FCRA and applicable state and local laws. Checkr expressly disclaims any warranties or responsibility or damages associated with or arising out of information provided.

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