Talent acquisition is a vital part of running a business and can make the difference between a good company and a great one. A successful organisation knows that its performance relies upon a high-calibre, carefully selected workforce.
The hiring process is not simply about spotting a vacancy and filling it. An effective talent acquisition strategy can be complex and time-consuming, which some companies avoid – filling vacant positions as quickly as possible and making costly hiring mistakes along the way.
Approaching talent acquisition in this way generates a high turnover of staff, disrupts the workforce and damages morale. Ultimately, it misses the opportunity to find the best candidates for each role.
The ripple effect of this can positively impact every part of a business, driving up performance and results. Effective talent acquisition is a data-driven process that can help a company forecast workforce needs and recruit employees to complement and aid that growth. Investing time and resources into refining the process pays off.
Let's take a look at ways to improve the talent acquisition process. Read also our recruitment white papers on strategies to make your HR processes better.
What is talent acquisition?
Talent acquisition refers to the process of recruiting employees for work within a company or organisation. It involves sourcing potential candidates, interviewing, hiring, onboarding and training them to fulfil the requirements of the role into which they are placed.
Each of these stages is important in creating a complete system that consistently allows employers to hire high-calibre employees.
At the start of the talent acquisition process, the organisation must appeal to the ideal candidates it hopes to attract. Candidates are typically looking for companies that reflect their personal values, provide a supportive work environment and offer competitive and attractive remuneration and benefits.
Refining this first stage means that subsequent steps are more efficient and effective at selecting the right employees.
As the process continues, the employer can assess and review the candidates to decide which might fit well into the company and role. Organisations can use a range of methods for candidate assessment, including interviews, tasks and tests.
Once the employer is satisfied that they have the right person for the job, they offer them the position and, assuming it is accepted, move into the onboarding and training stages of the process.
5 Innovative talent acquisition strategies to find the best employees
#1 Improve your employer branding
Candidates are looking for an employer they feel aligned with, and the way you brand your business and advertise the vacancy impacts their first impressions.
To attract the very best employees, organisations need to understand the priorities and values of their ideal candidates and use this as a focus for job adverts and outreach. It must be clear to the candidates precisely what the job role entails, what the company expects from employees and what they receive in reward (salary and benefits).
A skilled candidate may receive more than one job offer and will research the organisations before accepting, so a solid online presence consistent with the job advert also helps create the desired impression.
#2 Build amazing communities
Building a community around your brand has multiple benefits, including increased efficiency and effectiveness in sourcing ideal job candidates. Existing employees can use company events such as skill shares, webinars and panel discussions to show thought leadership and demonstrate expertise.
The intention is that attendees witness the opportunities the company provides for ambitious and competent team members, and see it as a desirable place to work.
Community events like these can act as recruitment tools that bring together people already interested and invested in a particular area or topic, giving access to a pool of promising talent.
#3 Use augmented intelligence
The development of talent acquisition software has resulted in it becoming a mainstay of modern recruitment. Repetitive administration tasks such as manually reviewing application forms are eliminated as technology automates parts of the application process.
Augmented intelligence software helps deliver initial assessments and psychometric tests at the early stages of the application process, quickly narrowing down the candidate pool by eliminating those lacking in the skills and aptitude needed for the role.
Just as tech automates and streamlines other aspects of your business, it can do the same for talent acquisition.
#4 Remove unconscious bias
Unconscious bias is a well-known phenomenon that interferes with the hiring process unless preventative measures are taken. When talent acquisition decisions are based on a 'hunch' or a gut feeling, the outcome is often unsuccessful in employee placement or unfair recruitment.
It also means that recruiters may overlook strong candidates, discounting them based upon unconscious bias.
Employers can use augmented intelligence to create objective assessments that bypass the risk of bias, improving the chance of hiring the right candidate for the job. Companies are also becoming increasingly aware of and responsible for enhancing diversity in the workforce.
Removing the human element from some parts of the hiring process can improve fair recruitment and help create a level playing field for all candidates.
#5 Create a flawless candidate experience
The hiring process works both ways. An employer is trying to find the right candidate, and the candidates are also trying to find the right employer. In a competitive job market, skilled employees often apply for several jobs and will attend multiple interviews.
The impression they get from each experience will influence their decision on which employer values their staff and will be a good employer.
The recruitment process is a chance to demonstrate the company's values, approach to work, and organisation's culture. If candidates get a negative experience from the recruitment process, they may conclude that you don't respect your employees or value their time and input.
Simple measures such as high-quality hospitality, keeping to the time schedule and giving every candidate a fair opportunity to demonstrate their suitability can improve the candidate experience – and your chance of attracting talented candidates who may receive more than one job offer.