What is the opportunity cost of a poor hire? Although answers differ, from financial and time deficits to potentially dangerous culture and productivity lapses, one thing is sure – the cost is often steep and correcting a mishire can be just as pricey.
As a result, talent acquisition has emerged as a deliberate approach to finding and hiring top-quality candidates that make companies better. Rather than fill recruitment needs on an ad-hoc basis, talent acquisition proposes a meticulous long-term hiring vision founded on carefully planned and executed strategies.
When hiring time comes around, you want to be certain that your company is in an excellent position to attract top talent.
Here are 10 smart strategies you can implement to improve your talent acquisition plan.
The following takes a closer look at each of these talent acquisition strategies.
Good planning presages effective action, which is why developing a clear vision should be your number one talent acquisition strategy. Work begins with analyzing your current recruiting situation and identifying opportunities for improvement from short to long-term. Whether that involves filling DEI gaps or revamping a sub-par recruiting process, being honest about where you stand and what it will take to progress is critical.
Ideally, you should also secure buy-in from all stakeholders, including leadership, human resources, heads of units, and even external partners like search or recruitment firms. That’s because effective talent acquisition brings a top-down approach that resonates with your core organizational goals.
Support your planning with data to refine your efforts and add accuracy to your approach. There are several ways to accomplish this. For instance, data can show where you source your best talent so you can concentrate your efforts. Or, if your focus is diversity, it can uncover if specific questions deter certain applicants or why they are falling out at a particular stage.
Likewise, a data-led strategy adds value to all other aspects of your talent acquisition process. For example, you can test various strategies for effectiveness, track the performance of specific initiatives, and analyze results so you know what needs tweaking and what doesn’t.
Talent acquisition is a challenge for most companies – 75% struggle to find suitable candidates. So, if your competitors seem to hire quality candidates faster than you, it’s worth doing some research to unearth their methods.
Fortunately, uncovering your competitors’ secrets no longer requires elaborate espionage. Instead, employer review platforms like Glassdoor and Indeed can provide an insider view into what your competitors are doing right and where you can benefit.
Finding highly-qualified candidates is no different from prospecting for buying clients – the end-goal of both functions is to funnel qualified prospects into your pipeline.
That’s why marketing should also play a role in your talent acquisition strategy. HR can work with your marketing department to create career pages, job descriptions, candidate emails, and more to help you attract the right targets.
Similarly, your marketing team can help you create and nurture an employer brand that appeals to the best candidates. Executive recruiters and candidates agree that employer brand substantially impacts hiring outcomes. Marketing can help showcase your company’s strong points, whether that’s your flexible work policy, competitive benefits, or engaging workplace culture.
It’s natural to focus your energies on talent pools that are tried and trusted. However, finding better talent might require leaving your comfort zone and exploring diverse sourcing strategies.
For instance, rather than rely solely on LinkedIn, consider other talent repositories such as academic programs, networking events, competitions, or specialized job boards. Apart from widening your pool of potential candidates, pursuing unconventional outreach methods might also uncover richer prospects, which bodes well for your organization.
One of the many challenges that recruiters face is the time and resource-intensive nature of talent acquisition. For example, LinkedIn reports that recruiters spend up to 13 hours weekly, on average, recruiting for a single role. Technology can help automate the process, dispose of mechanical duties, and leave recruiters with more time to engage with candidates.
Apart from lightening the workload, technology can also streamline workflows to make them faster and more effective and support professionals with cutting-edge tools, so the right candidates are never overlooked.
Crucially, recruitment software can help reduce time-to-hire without taking control away from recruiters, ensuring that the process remains human-led.
Where does your business want to be in the next five to ten years? If you hire with those goals, you’re more likely to find candidates who help take your company there. Simply put, a talent acquisition strategy tailored to your business goals has a greater chance of long-term success.
Tailoring your recruiting strategies to business objectives helps direct your efforts and reduces the possibility of a wrong hire. Additionally, working backwards from the business outcomes you want helps embolden your talent acquisition strategies. The job description that gets you over the line might not even exist yet. But with an outcome-focused outlook, it’s easier to identify what that role looks like and who fits best.
For instance, in developing their groundbreaking energy and climate planning software, nam.R found they needed to create a Data Strategist role to capture their long-term business goals.
Candidate experience is an increasingly prominent factor in the recruiting process – 78% of candidates believe that how they are treated during recruitment indicates how a company treats employees.
Unfortunately, many factors can create candidate dissatisfaction with the recruitment process. For example, lengthy delays in communication with candidates and non-provision of feedback to unsuccessful candidates can be frustrating.
Also, remember that candidates talk long and often about their experiences with various employers. If they were unsatisfied with your process, you can be sure that other candidates will hear about this before long, and they too will spread the negative reviews.
The key to providing a stellar experience is to design the recruitment journey from the candidate’s point of view. Take candidate experience surveys during and after recruitment to learn what they think about your process and where you can improve.
Employee referrals can be a treasure trove of impressive talent leads. One 2016 survey found that large and small companies equally considered employee referrals a significant source of top talent.
Encourage your people to refer job openings to candidates they believe are perfect for the role. Most of your staff will do this eagerly if you have a workplace environment and culture that they genuinely enjoy and would love for others to join.
You might also inspire responses by incentivizing employees who refer candidates that emerge as successful hires.
Lastly, consider making your talent pipeline future-proof by nurturing candidates who did well in your recruitment process but were unsuccessful. Engage with these candidates and keep the conversation going so your company remains top-of-mind when future positions open.
Adopting this outlook can help your business move away from reactive recruitment to proactive hiring. Crucially, it contributes towards creating a recruitment journey that makes candidates feel valued and excited at the possibility of joining your company at a later date.
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