4th November 2019
Talent acquisition (TA) is, at its very core, the organisational task of finding the right person for the job. This is almost always the responsibility of a company’s HR.
As you probably already know, hiring someone isn’t as straight forward as offering someone a job and hoping that they accept. There’s a lengthy process to be seen through which involves sourcing, attracting, interviewing, hiring and, eventually, onboarding employees.
Recruiters and Talent Acquisition
The typical TA team is made up of recruiters, HR professionals and hiring managers. However, the bulk of the team’s success rides on the recruiter, so it’s important that they perform to the best of their ability.
To be an ace recruiter, you absolutely have to be a people person. You’ll need to be able to cultivate and maintain relationships with people, especially across jobs, industries and personality types, so enjoying the social aspect is necessary to doing well.
Having the ability to think big and outside of the box when it comes to the company’s needs and how to fulfil them is also a biggie here. After all, if you’re in charge of recruiting the business’ next top talent, you’ll need to understand what the company needs from the successful candidate.
A background in sales is also tremendously helpful in a recruiter. Ultimately, the job is to sell roles to promising candidates and then the candidates to top stakeholders.
What’s the Difference Between Talent Acquisition and Recruitment?
Both share the same goal – placing people into open positions – so what exactly is the difference between talent acquisition and recruitment?
Well, by and large, recruitment addresses a company’s short-term headcount needs. If a company finds themselves in a position where they simply need to fill a position (and fast), recruitment will be able to achieve that. Whereas, talent acquisition is an overall business and HR strategy that considers the company’s long-term goals and acknowledges that people are the backbone of any business’ success.
Talent acquisition doesn’t just fill seats. It’s an ongoing process that vets potential candidates for high-level positions, leadership roles and jobs that require specific training and experience.
The Talent Acquisition Process
Needless to say, hiring talent can be a long old road, often spanning several months. But it can generally be broken down into these 6 steps.
Sourcing and lead generation: Aside from starting with the obvious irresistible job description that will make everyone who reads it want to work for you, identify the platforms where you will be most likely to find people who meet your talent needs and use them to generate a pool of potential candidates.
Recruiting and attracting: Manage your relationship with potential candidates by creating a positive candidate experience, court leads and keep in touch with the people who aren’t the perfect fit in the here and now, but could be in the future.
Interviewing and assessing: Build your interview questions about the key requirements and performance indicators of the position. These questions need to help you suss out whether the candidate has the right attributes for the role, so make sure that they are direct. Consider also utilising other tools such as skills tests, personality test or even ask them to give a demonstration or pitch.
Reference checking: Always validate your choice in a candidate by following up with their references. This will allow you to get an idea as to whether you got the right impression of them and whether they will be a good fit for the job.
Final selections: Consider implementing a system for selecting the successful candidate from your shortlisted finalists since the hiring process is long enough as it is. The less time you have to spend pouring over who would be a better fit out of the chosen few, the surer you will be about your end decision.
Hiring and onboarding: This isn’t necessarily the TA teams jurisdiction, as hiring and onboarding are usually down to HR, but it’s still the final step to hiring top talent. A tight onboarding process can make or break the experience of a new recruit and will be the deciding factor on how they feel about you as an employer, so be prepared and make sure that you give your new staff the best opportunity to set off on the right foot.
Top Tips for Effective Talent Acquisition
There’s a lot of pressure to get it right when hiring for a role that requires a specific skill set or level of experience. Here are some tips to help you and your recruitment team find and hire the best of the best.
Forecast: Identify the most difficult roles to hire for and prioritise them. Hiring the right person for the job or at short notice is a lot easier if you’ve done some forward-thinking.
Build a pipeline: Keep track of the candidates you find (using that swanky Applicant Tracking system we talked about earlier) and set aside some time, be it daily or weekly), to perform talent acquisition tasks such as networking and outreach.
Make sure everyone is on board: Don’t silo the efforts of your HR and TA teams – there are many places that quality candidates can come from. Programs such as employee referrals and monetary rewards for key hires can really motivate your staff to step up to the plate and assist you in your talent acquisition.
Invest your time: Interviews are a large (and important) part of the talent acquisition process; however, have you thought about how much you can actually learn about a candidate in such a formal and sterile setting? Sometimes, sitting down with a person over an informal coffee or lunch meeting can give you an insight into your prospective hire that you wouldn’t usually get from an interview.
Talent Acquisition Strategies
The strategies used by TA teams vary widely, but there are a few common techniques for finding and hiring great employees that can help you on your way.
Boost your Brand
Your candidates are going to be doing their own research on you to determine whether you are the right employer for them, so you’re going to want to make sure that your company website and social media profiles are attractive, informative and up to date.
Your company culture should also be one that speaks not only to your customer base but any would-be candidate. The more alluring your company is, the more likely you’ll be to appeal to the right people.
Listing generic or vague requirements works fine if you are trying to fill a common role that doesn’t necessarily need someone with qualifications or experience. But when the open position is more niche, being specific about what you’re looking for in a candidate will promote more success in finding what you need.
The aim of succession planning is to nurture and promote employees internally, rather than looking outside your company to fill open positions. Start by identifying peak performers and taking the time to train and prepare them to take on more responsibility and leadership (if they want it).
By adopting this strategy, you can work towards the months and years ahead by offering regular and detailed feedback, internal mentorship programs, high-quality employee training, assignments and offering trial runs for qualified candidates.
Clarisse works as the Lead of our Customer Support Team to provide all of our customers with the very best care and guidance when using their HR software.