What is talent acquisition?
Talent acquisition is the process by which a business looks to find (either internally or externally) their future leaders, before developing and nurturing them so they're ready to take on a leadership role when the time is right.
The process can take time, and is generally backed up by a clear strategy that sets out how a company may meet its talent needs. Those working in talent acquisition can expect to source leads, attract and vet potential candidates, put together rigorous recruitment processes, make final selections and ensure a smooth onboarding process. A process which can be made much quicker and easier with the right software solutions.
Why is talent acquisition important?
Strategically, talent acquisition is paramount to a company's growth and overall success, and is therefore really important to invest in. It's a longer-term project than recruitment, and usually involves identifying business needs rather than specific roles which may need filling.
Not only does talent acquisition help you to find innovative and dynamic people who can carry a business forward, it is also a really useful way to retain staff and improve job satisfaction.
Companies with the best talent acquisition solutions essentially show their staff that they are willing to invest time, money and energy into their people in order to further personal development.
The difference between recruitment and talent acquisition
Recruitment is the more commonly known and an understood term which refers to the process by which a job vacancy is advertised and then filled by a candidate with the relevant skills.
Talent acquisition is different. It's all about nurturing the future specialists, changemakers and leaders of a company. Usually more proactive than recruitment, good talent acquisition tends to be based on the strategic needs of the business and is designed to find, nurture and develop a pool of people who have the necessary skills to be a force for positive change.
In short, the difference comes down to whether you're hiring someone to fill a current need (recruitment) or if you're recruiting a pool of people based on a longer-term plan for the business (talent acquisition).
Types of software solutions for talent acquisition
A strong talent acquisition programme is more often than not backed up by smart, intuitive software. Here are some examples of the kind of programmes helping employers and recruiters to find their leaders of the future:
1. Applicant tracking system (ATS)
An ATS such as JazzHR or the award-winning Manatal acts as a one stop shop for all your recruitment needs. Not only does it help you list job applications, it can also organise diaries for interviews, screens CVs and much more.
2. Candidate relationship management (CRM)
CRM, otherwise known as candidate relationship management, helps employers and recruiters to build lists of potential candidates based on their skillsets.
A CRM is focused on building 'pools' of people that a company might look to engage with further down the line, whereas an ATS is more about selecting a candidate for a particular role. Perhaps the most well known example of a CRM is Salesforce, but when it comes to recruitment, platforms such as Xor are helping companies to streamline and improve the way they hire.
3. Interviewing software
Even before 2020, online recruitment was growing in popularity thanks to its convenience and time-saving benefits. As well as live video interviews, interviewing software offers helpful tools such as recorded questions and answers that allow you to fit interviewing around a busy schedule.
Used by major corporations such as Ikea and Volkswagen, Spark Hirehas been leading the way for some time when it comes to progressive hiring solutions. While VidCruiter helps companies internationally to modernise, and even revolutionise, the way they hire.
And as technology progresses, we can see the emergence of new software features that provide insightful data on a candidate based on body language, word choice and facial expressions.
4. All-in-one solutions
Just as you'd imagine, all-in-one solutions offer a comprehensive suite of recruitment and talent acquisition tools that can help you to recruit for vacancies, build talent pools and make interviewing a quicker, more convenient and data-driven exercise.
Software innovations for talent acquisition
There are several new and innovative talent acquisition software developments that are helping recruiters and employers to learn more about the candidates they're assessing and make even smarter hiring decisions.
Designed to save employers and recruiters time and money, investing in the right software innovations will make your processes fairer and more efficient. In short, these solutions really are a win-win for both businesses and candidates.
Here are a few of the latest developments:
1. Blind hiring
Removing bias from the recruitment process is challenging but important, and it's something a lot of businesses have committed to doing over recent months — with the help of some incredible new tech advancements. The right software programme can anonymise key candidate information and even go so far as to distort voices in interviews.
Not only is this a good step to take to improve the diversity of your workforce, it also helps to ensure you really are hiring the best people for the job, and not subconsciously writing off people for superficial reasons or because of bias.
2. Recruitment chatbots
As much as a candidate is trying to impress the business to which they're applying, they're also looking to be wooed. People are getting increasingly more discerning about the company they want to work for, particularly talented individuals who are likely to receive multiple job offers.
One of the simplest things a company can do to impress candidates at the start of the recruitment process is to communicate efficiently, responsively and proactively. Recruitment chatbots can assist with this; conversing with candidates, answering questions and providing feedback. This not only keeps candidates happy, it also saves a lot of time for the recruiter or employer.
3. Talent rediscovery
It happens all too often that a really strong candidate applies for a role and doesn't quite get the job. But rather than lose this talent forever, talent rediscovery tools help employers to match their skills to other jobs within the business that they might be even better suited to.
Using AI, these programmes can work through your ATS database and find prior candidates that have the qualifications and skills needed for the role you're recruiting for. Not only is this quicker than going out with a new job advert, it's also cheaper.
4. Automated CV screening
Designed to automate the CV filtering process, automated cv screening software is a tool that seriously saves on manpower. Whether it's searching for keywords or logging relevant experience, these systems are built to do the hard work for you and ensure you're only presented with CVs from people you might legitimately hire.
Increasing your acquisition
As technology continues to advance at a rapid pace, there's simply no excuse for recruiting in old-fashioned ways that waste valuable time and resources, and often perpetuate unconscious bias.
By modernising your processes you can make real and significant change. You can choose to spend time on the things that really matter rather than waste it filtering through the CVs of unqualified candidates, you can introduce better lines of communication between your company and job applicants, you can interview far greater and more diverse pools of people and you can build talent pools that may shape the very face of your business for years to come.