What Is Talent Acquisition?
Talent acquisition (TA) is a strategic process of finding, attracting, engaging, and retaining the best people for your organization. While mostly seen as an HR function, it must be underscored that recruiters, sourcers, and hiring managers also have a hand in talent acquisition to ensure the company continues building and nurturing its talent pipelines. Together, they may implement recruitment marketing strategies, use several sourcing channels, and execute a meticulous selection process to find and hire the right people.
Ultimately, talent acquisition aims to engage talents that will help the business achieve its objectives. Hence, TA doesn’t end when a top talent signs the employment contract. The team must also check employee growth to ascertain whether or not they can undertake a higher or different role that will benefit them and the organization.
Why is Talent Acquisition Important?
It goes without saying that a high-performing workforce can catapult your business to success. Talent acquisition is important because it is the foundation of finding, attracting, and engaging top talents that will make up that high-performing workforce. Furthermore, today’s labor market is extremely competitive. Highly-skilled talents, after all, are always in demand.
Another reason why talent acquisition is crucial is the turnover rates and costs. A study from the Harvard Business Review and mentioned in Forbes found that up to 80% of employee turnover is due to bad hiring decisions. In another survey mentioned in Dice, 1400 executives were surveyed. 36% of them said that the leading factor to a failed hire besides poor performance is poor skills match. These bad hires can cost up to three times the salary paid.
For these reasons, companies are now investing more in talent acquisition, which not only focuses on hiring top external talents, but also promoting internal team members with promising potential.
Talent Acquisition vs. Recruitment: What’s the Difference?
A lot of times, the terms talent acquisition and recruitment are used interchangeably. And while the two are connected, they are, in fact, different.
Recruitment is a part of the talent acquisition process, but generally, it’s more focused on the company’s immediate needs to fill vacant positions. Since the objective is to achieve the correct headcount to “get the business going,” recruitment doesn’t envision the candidate’s career path within the company.
Talent acquisition is more holistic and strategic because it looks far ahead into the company’s long-term goals. Hence, it is an ongoing process of hiring, building, and nurturing talents who can carry out open roles now and in the future.
The Talent Acquisition Process
There are several steps involved in the talent acquisition process. They are the following:
Sourcing and Lead Generation
The first step in talent acquisition is to source talents and generate leads. Sourcing is finding, identifying, and getting in touch with prospective talents. Companies often generate leads through relevant and attractive content and events to source talents.
Lead generation can be done through crafting irresistible job descriptions and sharing them with social networks, online forums, and communities that talents frequent. You may also attend or sponsor industry events and conferences that skilled candidates will find appealing and valuable.
Recruiting and Attracting
Once you have your leads, you can begin recruiting top talents into your business. However, remember that the labor market is highly competitive. For this reason, your offer must be attractive to candidates.
Interviewing and Assessing
Interviewing and assessment are crucial steps in talent acquisition. Doing them properly can give you deeper insight into the talents’ skills and qualifications. You can also predict their job performance and envision their future career path within the company through interviews and assessments.
Checking references helps you verify details about your talents. Past employers can tell you how they performed their roles, interacted with colleagues, and overcame job challenges. Referees can also uncover red flags that might affect your hiring decisions.
Making Final Selections
You’ve sourced, attracted, and interviewed the candidates. It’s now time to make final selections. Who are the strongest candidates when it comes to fulfilling the role? Who has excellent potential to be a leader?
Hiring and Onboarding
Finally, you can hire and onboard the candidates. Hiring involves making their employment official. Onboarding is integrating them into the company and helping them acclimate to their current role.
Veremark can streamline your talent acquisition process and make it more efficient and successful. Our meticulous screening checks can help you hire the best talent with the right qualifications, experience, and background. From criminal records screening and reference checks to employment history and educational background checks, we can collect and verify information in compliance with the related laws and regulations. This provides insights into the candidate’s performance and reduces the risk of facing legal problems.
Our system is automated, easy to use, and seamlessly integrates into your existing applicant tracking system, making screening and hiring top talents easier and faster.
What is a Talent Acquisition Strategy?
Employers often focus on recruiting candidates to fill open roles so as not to disrupt the business. However, the ongoing process of acquiring talents can better benefit your organization. Hence, it’s crucial to have a talent acquisition strategy in place.
A talent acquisition strategy is the company’s unique approach to sourcing talents externally and internally. One critical component of a talent acquisition strategy is to build employer branding that attracts talents to work and progress within the organization.
Pepsi, for instance, brands itself as a company that enables a culture of continuous learning and development, so they built PepsiCo University. Another example is Google. Its employer branding showcases unique office culture and provides an exceptional employee experience through benefits, perks, and flexible work arrangements.
Building your Talent Acquisition Strategy
There are numerous ways to build your talent acquisition strategy. Since each business is unique, you must tailor your approach to your organization's objectives, size, industry, resources, and standing.
To illustrate, think of Google. As one of the most valuable global brands, Google has no problem finding well-qualified employees. In fact, many talents willingly accept free internships for them. But, Google is already a huge, well-known company with resources for massive employee perks. It’s not comparable to a startup or mid-level organization.
To build your talent acquisition strategy, consider the following:
Align your talent acquisition strategy with your business goals.
When building your strategy, consider your organization’s goals in the next one to five years. This way, your talent pipelines will be ready to address both immediate and long-term needs.
For instance, are you planning to expand your business to another country? If so, you might want to consider hiring people who know the ins and outs of that country’s market as early as now.
Positions that might not exist now may be critical in the future, so it’s best to align your talent acquisition with your future objectives.
Build your company brand/identity
Like mentioned earlier, branding is a critical component of talent acquisition. How do you position your organization in the eyes of candidates and employees?
Since millennials and older Gen Zs make up the current workforce, it’s imperative that you build a brand that attracts them. Case in point, a 2019 Deloitte Global Millennial Survey revealed that almost 75% of millennials think a “work from home” setup is important. A Forbes article stated that one way to attract Gen Zers is to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Your brand identity should also focus on your corporate social responsibilities. Talents must see that while you’re pursuing your goals, you’re also able to provide benefits to others.
Once you have a branding that reflects your values, don’t forget to share it on your website, social media accounts, and job boards. Rather than explaining in words, it’s best to deliver your branding through real-life examples that top talents will find appealing.
Use data and technology to create better acquisition material.
Just like how you create a marketing plan, you must also craft your talent acquisition strategy based on reliable data. The good news is that there are numerous opportunities where data can be used to build your talent acquisition strategy.
One way is to perform A/B testing with the descriptions of your open positions. What description performed better in engagements? Did description A identify high-quality talents? How about description B?
An effective way to obtain reliable data for review is to evaluate your entire talent acquisition process. Some data you can collect and use for your talent acquisition strategy include cost-per-hire, applicant-to-interview ratio, time-to-fill, and offer acceptance rate.
Design a competitive and comprehensive benefits plan
Top talents find it attractive when a company offers a high salary. But, they might also look for a comprehensive health benefits package. They may even consider accepting a lower salary in exchange for good health insurance that covers their medical, vision, and dental needs.
Mental health has also taken center stage in talent retention. A 2021 article published in Harvard Business Review stated that more employees are leaving work for mental health reasons, some of which are related to their roles. More specifically, 68% of millennials and 81% of Gen Zers have left their jobs voluntarily and involuntarily because of mental health concerns.
Hence, your talent acquisition strategy must highlight how you emphasize employee mental well-being. Some things to look into are sustainable key performance indicators and providing options for flexible hours and remote or work-from-home setups. These can help reduce workplace stress, particularly during this pandemic.
All in all, talent acquisition must take into account things that happen outside the employees’ corporate lives. That way, you can better promote work-life balance.
Expand outreach strategies.
Finally, a great talent acquisition strategy recognizes the need to source candidates from various avenues. Come to think of it, your top engineers won’t be where your top marketers are.
Instead of relying on platforms like LinkedIn where candidates from all fields gather, think about specialized job boards and field-focused social media groups. You may also partner with local universities, particularly if their curriculum matches the skills you’re looking for in a particular role.
Another way to generate leads is to sponsor training sessions, workshops, and professional events that top talents may be interested in. Likewise, don’t miss the opportunity to participate in conferences and fairs to showcase your employer branding to talents.
Best Practices for Effective Talent Acquisition
Forecast & Build a Pipeline
Employers often spend the same effort and energy on all hires. This is a common mistake, considering not all roles have the same impact. Often, the roles most critical to the success of your business are the hardest to fill. So, one of the best practices is to forecast your talent needs and prioritize high-impact roles.
Keep in mind that the goal of talent acquisition is to have a high-performing talent pipeline now and in the future. So, it’s best to keep in touch with talents even if you won’t hire them now. Perhaps, you can get their services on a freelance basis? Or maybe ask them if they would be interested in a consultancy agreement? Other companies also create temporary positions to hire the best candidates. That way, employers don’t have to worry about “losing” the top talent once their roles become available.
Get Everyone On Board
While the HR team and the recruiters, sourcers, and managers share the load of acquiring talents, remember to get everyone in the company on board as well. And by everyone, it includes employees outside the talent acquisition team.
Remember, you want a continuous flow of top talents. The way to find them is to comb through unconventional channels your employees might know. Do you need IT specialists? Your IT team most likely are in social media groups where you can generate leads.
Building a strong employee referral program is one way to get everyone on board. Why not set some criteria for the program, which, when achieved, gives employees attractive incentives?
Keep DE&I Efforts at the Forefront
A 2020 survey by The Manifest revealed that 70% of job seekers value diversity in potential employers. And it’s not surprising. After all, employees want to feel included and valued. They also want the assurance that they have equal career opportunities regardless of their background.
Thus, you are more likely to attract and retain talents if your business shows commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Yet, remember that diversity, equity, and inclusion should be an ongoing commitment. Making it a one-time initiative may attract employees, but you might not be able to retain them.
You can demonstrate your commitment to DE&I by actively seeking diverse candidates, implementing inclusive hiring practices, and providing DE&I training to your teams.
Spend Time on your Candidates
Standard interviews are important in talent acquisition because it helps you verify information and get insight into the talent’s working style. Still, it may not give you a complete picture of their fit for the role and organization.
Consider engaging them in casual phone conversations, lunch meetings, or even informal negotiations over a cocktail. These can offer a clearer picture of the candidate's personality, communication style, and cultural fit, which may not be evident in a formal interview setting.
When you have talents that can undertake their roles effectively, your business is set to thrive. However, onboarding and retaining top talents can be onerous, considering today’s competitive labor market.
This is why you must have a strong talent acquisition strategy in place. An approach tailored to your current and future business goals ensures a continuous flow of talents that can help propel your company forward now and in the years to come.
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