Talent acquisition strategies help companies to find, hire, and retain the workers they need to maintain and grow their business. Whether it's determining what positions you need to fill or developing a more effective sourcing strategy, putting the right talent plans in place is crucial for every business. How can you start, and what are the most important things to keep in mind? Here are four key areas of focus to help ensure that your recruiting strategies are helping support your most critical business objectives.
Start by Defining and Aligning with the Business Strategy
Is your HR department talking to your executive team, business unit heads, and area managers? It's important to understand the company's strategic direction and what kinds of talent can best support that. For example, if a technology company is going to expand its software development activities, hiring developers and software engineers is going to become a critical priority. If the company's immediate-term growth plans include expanding into Latin America, hiring management talent with international and regional experience is going to be key. Outline what strategic directions are most important to your company over the next one to five years, and what HR support will be needed to help make that vision a reality.
Expanding Your Sourcing Strategies
Developing more sophisticated talent acquisition strategies often means expanding your sourcing approach. Here are three elements to consider when defining an effective sourcing strategy:
- Use existing data to determine where your most successful employees came from, and find commonalities. For example, certain professional associations or academic programs might be critical partners and sources of leads.
- Follow the adage, "Go fishing where the fish are." Determine where your ideal candidates spend time. Can generalized sourcing pools like job boards or LinkedIn yield the specific candidates that you need? Hone in on specialized professional groups, academic programs, job boards, or other hot spots where marketers, developers, executive assistants, or whatever class of employee you're trying to hire congregate.
- Explore whether new technologies and platforms can improve your sourcing. For example, can social recruiting or mobile-first recruiting add dimension to your strategy?
Focus on Employer Branding
Competing for top talent requires communicating a clear value proposition for why these individuals should work for you instead of your competition. One way to help convince top candidates to join your company is by focusing on employer branding. A strong employer branding program can help candidates better understand what it may be like to work for your company. It's not always just about compensation and benefits. This is your opportunity to explain your culture, your values, and how you approach work-life balance. Communicate who you are, what you're looking for, and why your organization is the right place to launch a career.
Nurture and Invest in Candidates
While the term "the candidate experience" was a key buzzword from the last year or two, the idea of fostering meaningful relationships with potential talent is sound. At a high level, having a clear pipeline of needs defined allows your team to open a dialogue with potential candidates even if you're not hiring immediately. When a position does open up, interested candidates can be engaged and put into the process within days. At the same time, it's critical that individuals who do apply for jobs have positive encounters. Investing in this area may include:
- Using an applicant tracking system to make it easier to apply for jobs, see the status, and manage communications.
- Prioritizing candidate communication with automated messaging and a focus on shortening the cycle of communications after applications, interviews, and other milestones.
- Assessing and refining the most impactful parts of your hiring process by soliciting feedback from candidates and recent hires to better understand their experience.
The right talent acquisition strategies can help your company grow and reach its long-term goals. From forecasting demand to developing sourcing plans, investing in your talent planning can yield dividends for your organization.