Talent Acquisition Strategies

Since the time people have learned to “create”, they have also learnt that they can get someone else to do the job. Basically, the ideation would be done by one person and the execution would be carried out by a team of workers or employees. 

However, it was said that it was after World War II, the concept of skill-matching for job roles came into the picture. It was termed labour mobilization. Job vacancies created by serving soldiers needed candidates with specific skills and thus was born the concept of organized hiring. 

The concept of hiring has evolved since then, taking the name of recruitment and today it is more of talent acquisition.

What is Talent Acquisition?

If you think talent acquisition is just about getting an employee into an organization, you may be mistaken. It is a journey, more than a task or role. 

As it is said, “Your employees are your biggest brand advocates.” Skilled and satisfied employees help in building the business, great customer experiences, and a good brand reputation. Talent acquisition helps in hiring potential candidates who may be a good fit for the role and the company.  

The process has several stages that require almost the entire organization to participate in onboarding an employee. Here are the stages of talent acquisition:

Be clear about the organizational culture

Research has shown that more than 79% of applicants look at the company’s vision and mission statements and 84% will leave their current organization to work in a company with better brand value and reputation.

Hence, it is important to decide on the organizational culture. This will help in choosing candidates with the right skills and attitude and in turn help in developing the company’s brand name.  Successful companies recognize the importance and invest in the talent acquisition lifecycle right from conception.

Create a hiring strategy

Times change and so do people. When your talent acquisition strategy is diversified and adaptive to market changes, you will get the best talent for your organization. A good strategy starts with a clear vision. Once you know the ‘what’ (kind of candidates) you are looking for, you can now focus on the ‘how’ (to set up a hiring system). This not only includes forecasting regular hiring numbers but also future/new roles.  It is also the responsibility of operations and hiring managers to consistently review the talent and succession pipelines and internal transfers. 

Define Job Descriptions (JD)

This may seem like a mundane task but creating specific and clear JDs can never be underrated. Well-written JDs are the way to reach the right candidates by setting expectations and clarifying doubts about the job role. Interviewers will also be able to ask the right questions through a precise JD. Even if it takes some time, hiring for a role must begin ONLY after a JD is drafted.

Sourcing

Reaching out to the suitable talent pool through various channels has become simpler today by using technology and social media. Referral systems are also a great source of tapping into a reliable talent pool. Apart from company branding events, hiring campaigns and job postings, Talent Acquisition software is for recruiters to engage with candidates by posting on their website consistently and building communities. 

Recruiting

Although as a larger term, recruitment includes sourcing, interviewing, selection, and onboarding. However, in the context of talent acquisition, it involves identifying a selected pool of skilled candidates and offering a lucrative offer for the roles in your organization.    

This also includes identifying potential future candidates, engaging with them consistently, and building a great brand image to attract highly skilled candidates.

Interviewing and selection

The interviewing process involves evaluating the candidate for the critical skills needed for the job role. Many organizations have adopted online pre-employment testing for the initial screening of candidates.  

Personal or video interviews are conducted to assess a candidate in various aspects including technical skills, soft skills, and temperament. Of late, technology has made this process more streamlined and unbiased.

Talent Acquisition software and/or the interviewers assign scores to a candidate’s profile for selection. 

Hiring and onboarding

The selected candidates are given an offer letter with agreeable terms and compensation. The candidate can choose to accept, negotiate, or reject the offer. When a candidate accepts the offer, he is given an appointment letter and inducted into the organization after the necessary documentation is completed. Many companies have an elaborate onboarding process which is often completed with the help of software.

Relationship management

Organizations with a hiring strategy often engage with potential candidates through communities or tech platforms. Understanding the dynamic needs of the candidates through social media and professional forums help organizations to plan their hiring strategy.  

So, all this seems just like recruitment, right? Why the difference in terms then?

Talent Acquisition vs Recruitment

To understand the difference between these two processes, answer a simple question.

What is the difference between a job and a career?

  • A job helps you earn money and fulfil your needs
  • A career not only gives you money but also helps in improving yourself, bringing purpose and satisfaction

Although you will earn money through a job and a career, you will gain much more through a career. People take up many jobs till they figure out the career of their choice. 

The end goal of both recruitment and talent acquisition is to fill vacancies in the organization. Recruitment has many tasks and is a major part of talent acquisition. 

Talent acquisition, on the other hand, is beyond just hiring employees.  It is about creating a strong organization by identifying, attracting, hiring, and retaining the right (skills and attitude) people. 

7 best talent acquisition strategies

By now, it is known that talent acquisition takes a lot of organized planning and systematic implementation of processes. Here are the key steps involved in a solid talent acquisition strategy:

Build a strong brand name for your organization

Most successful organizations have strong brand reputations due to the:

  • High-quality product or service offerings
  • Customer service and experience
  • Employee satisfaction
  • Strong organizational culture
  • Career sites, social media, and marketing Initiatives like corporate social responsibility  

Ensure that talent acquisition is directly linked to business goals and outcomes

If your hiring strategy is correct, the candidates that you onboard will add value at various levels like:

  • High-performing systems and processes
  • The efficiency of the workforce
  • Top-line of the company 
  • Saving time and effort in hiring and reducing employee churn rate
  • Good company culture

Devote some time to workforce planning

Workforce planning is another activity that cannot be emphasized enough. This is an integral part of setting goals in an organization. Whether the goal is higher targets, diversifying the business, or expansion, it needs a more skilled and committed workforce. Workforce planning includes:

  • Reviewing current skill levels of every department
  • Training and improving performance
  • Anticipating employee turnover
  • Replacing vacant positions
  • Internal movements
  • Succession planning
  • Newer roles with specific skills or ‘rare’ skills

Allow diversity in talent acquisition

As a recruiter, you may not find the ‘perfect’ fit for a role every time, but you understand “tried and tested.” So, you stick to a formula for hiring and your workforce becomes similar. This is when you can use analytics to identify trends in hiring. Analytics can help you to understand your strong and weak areas in hiring and retaining talent. Keeping some essential criteria in place (for skills and temperament), recruiters must promote diversity in the workforce. Diversity will help in getting varied skill sets, different perspectives in decision-making, and inclusivity.  

Maximize your outreach

Another aspect of hiring that has a great impact on the process. You will have noticed that some brands have better visibility and connect with an audience. This is not only because of their advertising but also because of their brand identity. Through their marketing, they communicate what they represent and therefore what any candidate joining them stands to benefit from. Today candidate outreach has become simpler thanks to technology – via social media, tech communities, and job boards. 

Organizations also rely on employee referrals as a reliable source of attracting candidates. Also engaging with reliable sourcing consultants and partnering with local universities brings in a consistent flow of potential candidates.

Automate and streamline

A streamlined hiring process has several advantages for the recruiters as well as the organization. Today, Talent Acquisition software offers an entire suite of automated sourcing, candidate matching, pre-employment testing, onboarding, and performance management extending to learning and development. This allows visibility of the entire process to the hiring team and collaboration during various stages of interviews. Automated features save a lot of time and effort needed in administrative tasks such as scheduling as well as reduce unconscious bias while selecting a candidate. 

Offer an excellent candidate experience

When skilled recruiters look at a candidate as a potential employee, they look into their future needs as well. Candidate relationship management is a big part of talent acquisition involving:

  • Building relationships with potential recruits – Many recruiters engage consistently with candidates who are likely to be a good job fit. 
  • Retaining acquired talent
  • Offering challenging roles – This is especially true for technical roles. With technology evolving every day, organizations with great talent acquisition strategies ensure opportunities that keep them engaged. 
  • Offering updated or flexible work options – This is possible depending on the industry. Offering a hybrid mode of work, location, etc. are some options provided to candidates of late.
  • Offering a competitive salary package – This also needs some trend analysis to understand the salary standards in your industry. Even if you cannot match the best paymasters, candidates will consider the opportunity if they are offered other perks.
  • Adding incentives and benefits – In the recent past, several organizations add-in a lot of financial benefits not only for the candidate but also for their families. This includes meal coupons, medical insurance, and bonuses. Companies also include non-financial perks such as paid leave, sabbaticals, paid education, training, etc. 
  • Engaging with passive (yet skilled) candidates for future openings – Looking ahead into the future, excellent hirers know how they can present a lucrative offer to passive candidates. There are many ways to connect with your candidates – social media, company website, campaigns, and communities.

Implementing all these steps is possible only if you have a clear and organized strategy.

Wrap Up

Every organization has its way of functioning – although no process change can happen overnight, it all starts with a foresight to be more streamlined and efficient. A lot can be achieved just by setting clear goals and using the already available tools to recruit the right candidates for your organization.

Talent acquisition is a big project that needs to be broken down into phases to be executed. Several aspects of a robust talent acquisition process cost money, especially automation. But many aspects can be put in place without any financial investment like candidate engagement.

All in all, talent acquisition is quite simple – the kind of organization you want to create depends on the vision you have for it.   

FAQs on Talent acquisition strategies 

What is a talent acquisition strategy?

Skilled and satisfied employees help in building the business, great customer experiences, and a good brand reputation. Talent acquisition helps in hiring potential candidates who may be a good fit for the role and the company. Hence the need for a comprehensive talent acquisition strategy to source, attract and retain highly skilled talent on an ongoing basis regardless of the open positions. 

What are the different phases in a talent acquisition strategy?

Talent acquisition is the process of hiring top talent best aligned to the role and the company vision & values, helping build business, a great customer experience, and a good brand reputation. Talent acquisition has several stages, requiring active participation from almost the entire organization :
· Robust recruitment strategy aligned to vision & values 
· Clear candidate personas & job descriptions 
· Sourcing & screening
· Interviewing & selection 
· Background verification & reference checks
· Hiring & onboarding 
· Continued talent engagement throughout the hiring process
 

What are the top 5 talent acquisition priorities in 2022?

Top talent being extremely hard to source and hire in the highly competitive talent marketplace, it is important to have a comprehensive talent acquisition strategy. In 2022, in order to hire highly qualified candidates, companies are aiming to curate a great candidate experience while also saving significant costs & effort for recruiting. The top 5 talent acquisition priorities for this year are:
1.       Curate a great candidate experience with a streamlined hiring process
2.       Build a strong workforce with DE&I as a key focus 
3.       Develop a strong employer brand 
4.       Create a robust recruitment marketing strategy
5.       Invest in building the right recruitment technology suite to get the best out of existing tools while adding new tools with easy interfacing & integration
 

What are the top 6 challenges in talent acquisition?

Talent Acquisition is about sourcing, screening, interviewing, hiring & onboarding top talent to drive strong financial and growth outcomes for a company. It has many challenges, of which the top 6 are listed below:
1.       Sourcing and attracting the right talent 
2.       Finding & engaging with the right talent
3.       Ineffective recruitment strategy, focused on transactional or operational elements 
4.       Very high recruitment costs
5.       A negligible or non-existent brand entity 
6.       Recruitment process inefficiencies & people dependencies, leading to challenges in scaling 
 

What are the key talent acquisition KPIs?

Key talent acquisition metrics or KPIs to track the effectiveness of the recruitment process are:
· Time-to-Hire
· Quality-of-Hire
· Cost-of-Hire
· Offer acceptance rate 
· Candidate experience using NPS throughout the recruitment process
 

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