5 talent acquisition strategies to build awesome teams

Last updated:
July 29, 2021
December 16, 2021
min read
Sim Samra
Table of contents

As a recruiter, if reviewing current talent acquisition strategies is low on your list of priorities, take this article as a wakeup call!  Recruitment is no longer a case of hiring the first most suitable candidate whose application crosses your desk in the shortest possible time. Reactive recruitment was the norm for decades, and it worked well before the digital age. Back then skills sets were limited, job descriptions hardly ever changed and most people were employed in the same job for years and years.

In less than 20 years, everything changed! That’s why many recruiters are suddenly finding themselves working their fingers to the bone with few results. It’s not difficult to see why recruiters and hiring managers haven’t kept pace with the continually evolving trends in hiring and changes in HR tech because it’s all happened too quickly.

It’s not only technology that’s changed

Rapid advances in technology are undoubtedly the catalyst of the changes in business, but it’s had a knock-on effect, changing skills sets and employee mentality. Even people who were employed before the massive impact of digitization have made a mental shift. Today’s candidates are much savvier than their predecessors, and they also know what they want from an employer. They want to have control over where they choose to work and what type of job they apply for.

Another reality is that the workplace has never been as connected as it is today. Where previously diverse departments like finance and sales were kept apart and worked apart, now everything is integrated and information openly shared. Accounting software integrates with sales and CRM. Analytics is available in real time, and departments communicate regularly.

That brings another factor into play: communication. Everything in business is a team effort, whether it’s a specialist team or the company as a whole. Everyone understands the industry, their role and their contribution to the overall success of the company. Open communication and teamwork have become a business essential.

What makes talent acquisition different from recruitment?

Talent acquisition is an ongoing process of engagement across many platforms with the type of people your company would like to attract. It’s marketing your employer brand to individuals with the appropriate skills and experience, irrespective of whether you have a suitable vacancy for them or not.

Recruitment is a short term exercise to find a suitable candidate to fill an existing vacancy. Although you might advertise the vacancy across various platforms, your focus is on interacting with mainly applicants and employee referrals. Recruitment isn’t dead and gone, and it’s still a crucial element of the hiring landscape, but it cannot yield satisfactory results on its own anymore.

Talent acquisition strategies are essential for attracting passive candidates, but not necessarily for recruitment.

Sobering facts every recruiter should know

Candidate retention, teamwork, and employee brand love are cultivated; they don’t just happen. Employee loyalty is within reach and research indicates that 62% of gen x’ers and 43% of millennials see themselves staying at their current employer for five or more years. To win that loyalty though you need to find candidates who fit into your business environment and buy into the company vision.

Without that, you’ll be dogged by high fallouts, a tardy workforce and declining profits. It’s estimated that each bad hire can cost a company 50% to 60% of the employee’s annual salary. Avoiding this is a tough task if we consider the ever-growing skills shortage and the fact that 83% of recruiters report that finding the right talent is already the top priority at their company. Add to that reliable predictions that the global talent shortage could reach 85.2 million people by 2030!

5 smart goals for talent acquisition

Now that you’re convinced that it’s time to compile and implement talent acquisition strategies for your hiring, we’ve come up with five talent acquisition process steps to ensure success.

1. Data-driven recruitment tips

You cannot succeed in the digital world if you’re trying to do everything manually (yes, spreadsheets, a digital diary, electronic folders, and your inbox are doing everything manually!) An ATS takes care of all your databases, appointments, reminders and electronic communication plus more.

Your ATS dashboard gives you an instant snapshot of the progress on each vacancy. And it goes deeper than that; metrics gathered by your ATS produce analytics which detail hiring patterns. You’ll have real-time access to information like time to hire, time to fill, cost per hire and which advertising platforms deliver the best results. Over time, your ATS will open the door predictive data as emerging patterns give you a heads up to optimize your talent acquisition strategies.

AI in recruitment also frees you up from tedious and repetitive tasks, and most importantly keeps applicants and candidates updated in the shortest time. Professional and prompt engagement is vital if you want to build a sold employer brand.

2. Employer branding

The job description of a recruiter has changed dramatically. Today, a recruiter is as much a marketer as they are hiring experts. A recruiter has to understand every aspect of their business and devise an employer brand that aligns with the company culture and vision. An employer brand is vital to attracting the type of talent you want to employ in your business.

Maintaining your employer brand is an ongoing process, and it’s all about recruitment marketing with current employees, candidates and total strangers across many different platforms. Employer branding must include campaigns to tell people what your brand is about and why they should stay at, or join your company. No marketer will dare venture into a campaign without a marketing strategy, and recruiters can’t succeed without talent acquisition strategies in place.

The secret to successful hiring is to align your recruitment and selection process policy with your company brand and robust talent acquisition strategies. Effective recruiters are permanently in talent acquisition mode, looking for potential future star performers as they go about their job. Their minds are like a radar! They know the company’s short and long term business strategy because they’re involved. They understand why employees stay at the company because they engage with top performers. They’re constantly scanning the horizon for top talent. They know where to find the type of people who’ll be a good fit, they engage openly with potential talent, and they’re always on the lookout for marketing opportunities to promote their brand.

3. Hiring teams

In an integrated business world, recruitment can no longer be a solo effort. There’s just too much at stake if you want to limit the potential of bad hires and fall outs. Job descriptions today are often multifaceted, and skills can become obsolete very quickly. You need skilled people onboard during the hiring process who can recognize candidates with potential. Hiring teams also eliminate bias and are more open to hiring a diverse workforce.

Considering the high levels of engagement and connectivity that drives everything today, hiring teams encourage communication and collective decision making. Finally, hiring teams promote your employer brand because candidates can get a good feel of the company by interacting personally with different team members.

Talent acquisition strategies must make provision for hiring teams to be involved in every hire.

4. Candidate Experience

In their efforts to find the best candidate many recruiters and hiring managers forget to consider what the process is like for candidates. If you tend to be guilty of this, you’re probably shooting yourself in the foot! Today’s candidates are very aware of how they’re treated from the onset of the application process to the end, so addressing this aspect is vital in talent acquisition strategies.

The candidate experience dictates whether you’ll attract the best there is, not only now, but in the future too. Candidates readily share bad experiences on review sites like Glassdoor, denting your employer brand in the process. It starts with your job post. How the post is structured and worded and how it projects your employer brand. If you don’t get great applicants, review your job posts and the platform you’re using.

A tedious application process is another good-intention-killer. A candidate might want to apply, but gets put off if things are too vague or too complicated. With so many companies competing for top talent, they’ll quickly move to your competitors, and you’ll never know what value the candidate could’ve brought to your company.

Most importantly, how you engage with applicants and candidates is a direct reflection of your employer brand. An unsuitable candidate for one role could be excellent for another. Also, an unsuitable candidate could be an existing or future customer or a friend of one. Fate has a sure way of reminding us when we make a habit of disrespecting other people.  Always see a job post as an invitation, and if people respond, they deserve a decent response from you. Use automation to take care of your interactions, and you’ll never be caught off guard.

5. Review your talent acquisition strategies regularly

If your talent acquisitions strategies are working well, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you’ve hit on a winning formula that can stay unchanged. The business world doesn’t function that way anymore.

Make a point of setting up team review meetings to assess how successful your talent acquisitions strategies are in practice. Compiling a plan and implementing it is one thing, but whether it’s actually successful is an entirely different story. Digital recruitment makes for easy analysis. Utilize all data-driven recruitment sources to identify shortfalls and weaknesses and optimize your processes. Harness predictive hiring to forecast potential successes and eliminate failure.

Embrace change

Recruitment today is fast-paced and exciting. If you’re feeling frustrated, it’s likely because you haven’t yet embraced the massive potential of HR tech. Research and explore the options available to you that will bring you onto the same level as candidate and employee expectations.

There are systems and integrated apps for every industry, no matter the type or the size of your company. Embrace change in human resources recruitment, implement appropriate talent acquisition strategies and watch your business soar to new heights.

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