Talent acquisition


8th October, 2021

Talent acquisition: Building a modern workforce

Talent acquisition isn’t as simple as putting out a job ad and hiring the person with the matching skills.

A skills-match tells you nothing about the things that really impact the success of an employee: soft skills like self-management and communication, and how well they align with your company values.

More importantly, this method of hiring means you’re selecting from a limited pool – the best candidates may still be in work or need to be inspired to choose your firm over another. For that, you need a talent acquisition strategy.

But before getting into strategy, you’ll need to have a clear understanding of what talent acquisition can do for your business, as well as how you can best approach doing it.

What is talent acquisition?

Talent acquisition describes an ongoing strategy to discover and acquire specific skills and experience into an organisation.

The end goal of talent acquisition is a business that is able to consistently meet or exceed its need for talent over time, allowing it to manage a stable, productive workforce.

As such, talent acquisition plays a fundamental role in workforce management as a whole.

What’s the difference between talent acquisition and recruitment?

Recruitment describes the process of hiring someone into a specific role, whereas talent acquisition better describes an organisations strategic approach to acquiring skills and experience over time.

As a result, consider talent acquisition to be all of your recruitment activities viewed as a whole. The more strategically you approach these activities, the better your workforce will be today and in the future.

How to develop your talent acquisition strategy

To begin working on your talent acquisition strategy, there are a few key elements to consider before setting any changes in motion.

These are your business goals, employment value proposition and the candidate experience, as covered in detail below.

1. Define your business goals

The kind of people you’re looking for will depend on what your company wants to do – its overall mission and goals.

Speak to your leadership team and get clear on the direction you’re heading in. This will help you see what skills, knowledge, abilities and attitudes will be valuable now and into the future.

2. Develop your employment value proposition (EVP)

While money is always important for potential employees, it’s not the only thing they’ll consider before accepting a job offer.

A 2019 PWC study indicated that candidates would take a pay cut for a chance to learn new skills (37 percent), more flexibility (51 percent) and better inclusion (62 percent).

READ: Fostering diversity and inclusion in the workplace

This means that attracting the best candidate must go beyond communicating roles, responsibilities and remuneration.

An EVP can help you define what you have to offer team members, so you can build your recruitment around that. Your EVP should consider seven key relationship drivers between your business and your staff: values alignment, work flexibility, purpose, leadership style, feedback, career projection and remuneration.

Think about all these areas and ask yourself, ‘What is great about working for us?’ Once you have the answer, document it, share it with your team and build your recruitment around it.

3. Consider the candidate experience

Recruitment is littered with stories of poor experiences during the hiring process – like being ‘ghosted’ or impersonal communication.

According to the same PWC study, nearly half (49 percent) of in-demand job seekers say they’ve turned down an offer because of it. Long-term, if you get a reputation for delivering poor candidate experiences, you may find you get fewer and fewer people applying for your roles.

READ: How to create a positive workplace culture

Where to find the right talent

Job ads are the bedrock of recruitment, but they have their limitations.

Savvy hiring managers and recruiters are looking beyond the job board to connect with their ideal candidates – especially those not actively looking for work. This might include sponsoring or appearing at industry-related events or advertising on social media platforms.

Job placement agencies are also beginning to take on a more tailored approach than your standard recruitment agencies when it comes to helping university graduates enter the workforce. For example, Striver has an offering that helps develop and connect graduates in the accounting and financial services sector with prospective employers.

You could also approach your existing staff for referrals – they may have friends who would be an excellent fit and will probably be happy to recommend you to them.

Get the best working for you, now and in the long term

When you’re hiring, you want people who will fit well with your business.

To identify those people, you need to define your business goals, develop and document a well-considered EVP, reach out beyond job boards for candidates and above all, give every candidate an exceptional experience whether you offer them a job or not.

With this approach to talent acquisition, not only do you find the best people, you also position your business as a great place to work. When hiring time comes around again, there will be plenty of eager applicants to choose from.

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