You know that an effective talent acquisition strategy is vital to your business’s success, and you’re already thinking about the ways that you can improve the current process in place at your firm. But what’s really involved in a successful strategy for acquiring talent?
GET HR ONBOARD
You can’t have an effective talent acquisition strategy if you don’t communicate the business’s needs and goals to your HR team. After all, whether they’re in-house employees or outsourced experts, they’re going to need to know what you’re looking for in order to successfully acquire talent to fill the business’s needs. First and foremost, you should communicate your firm’s goals, strategies, and needs to the HR team and allow them to fully understand where the business is and where it’s going. From there, they can devise a strategic approach to acquiring talent.
PLAN YOUR WORKFORCE
This step is particularly difficult for businesses that are growing or that have a seasonal aspect; you may have sudden demands for more people or a sudden need to scale back. In some cases, growth may be unforeseen, which can cause problems. Nonetheless, you and your HR team should take a look at the business’s current needs and think about what (or who) you’re likely to need in the future. Since talent acquisition is forward-thinking, this step is crucial to bringing the process away from simply recruiting and truly being engaged in acquiring talent. You may need to fill a position today, but will that same person also be able to fill a middle management position in five years? Do you see the business expanding and adding those middle management positions? How many of them are there likely to be? With these predictions in hand, HR can look toward hiring candidates that fulfill the firm’s needs today—and are likely to fulfill those changing needs in the future as well.
As noted, “planning” a workforce is often a difficult process; it’s often guesswork since no business owner has a crystal ball to predict what the future holds. While you may see your business expanding for the next five years, a sudden economic downturn may put the kibosh on the expansion strategy you had. Or perhaps your business takes a left turn into new territory with an experimental new technology or heads into a different field entirely. That means it’s back to the drawing board—and that’s why your acquisition strategy must remain flexible. A rigid strategy will only serve to slow you down.
BRAND YOURSELF TO EMPLOYEES AND CANDIDATES
Talent acquisition is truly about hiring the best, most qualified candidates, with an eye to keeping them onboard with your company for the long-term; it is not hiring as a stop-gap measure. Given that, you’ll find you often need to convince candidates to come work for you, just as much as candidates need to convince you that they’re the right fit for the position. HR teams can have a difficult go convincing those highly qualified people that your company is truly a great place to work—so you need to have a branding strategy in place. Why should a candidate work for you? What do you offer that no other company does?
RECRUITMENT STRATEGY AND PROCESS
This is the nitty-gritty of the talent acquisition strategy. While talent acquisition is different from recruitment, they both involve the recruitment processes of candidate search, review, interviewing, and finally, hiring. What is your process like? How do you strategize the candidate search—do you target particular groups of candidates, or do you use particular social networks? Other strategies, such as on-campus recruitment and job fairs, could also be used. The strategy and processes that you use will ultimately determine how successful your talent acquisition strategy is.