According to a Deloitte report, accessing qualified talent is the biggest challenge Human Resource departments face today, and talent acquisition is more challenging than ever. Whereas good products and basic customer service were enough ingredients for a company’s success in the past, competition is fiercer than ever.

This is because markets have become consumer-driven and organizations talent-driven. With increased competition, excellent products do not necessarily guarantee success. Businesses must invest in customer service and branding to ensure their target consumers choose them over rivals.

Also, instead of mechanically powered and repetitive tasks, the role of employees has evolved significantly. Companies now need employees with unique skill sets, which are hard to find and retain. Compared to a century ago, when talent was largely replaceable, organizations must now invest heavily in talent acquisition and retention to remain competitive.

What Is Talent Acquisition?

Talent acquisition is an integral part of the employee journey. It involves identifying, attracting, choosing, and retaining talent. With new companies and opportunities emerging every day, the top talent has plenty of options to choose from. Not unless talent acquisition, the onboarding process, and employee engagement are high within your organization, employee churn will be high.

Schneider’s Attraction-Selection-Attrition (ASA) theory is arguably the best theory for explaining this concept. As per this theory, three interrelated forces dictate the type of people working in an organization.

  • Attraction: Though there are numerous job opportunities, job seekers will only apply to organizations that appeal to them. Such an attractiveness may be due to a strong commitment to employee happiness and values that transcend products and services.

  • Selection: Once applications have been made, the organization will select suitable candidates based on person-organization fit and person-job fit.

  • Attrition: Recruits who do not fit into their jobs or companies, in general, will quit. Ultimately, the business will only retain employees whose characteristics match the organization’s.

The goal of the talent acquisition process is to attract individuals that fit the job and organization. If executed well, attrition levels will be low, while productivity and engagement will increase.

Strategies for Talent Acquisition

It’s one thing to desire to have top-notch employees in your organization, and it’s another one altogether attracting and retaining them. Getting individuals that will slot in seamlessly to their roles requires a comprehensive talent acquisition strategy.

1. Align Talent Acquisition Practices with the Business Strategy

The foundation of an effective talent acquisition process is conducting an organizational analysis guide for your selection choices. Though the terms acquisition and recruitment are often used interchangeably, this is the step that distinguishes them.

Recruitment is all about filling present gaps to ensure processes run smoothly. However, acquisition is about taking a look at the company’s future needs and structuring the hiring process accordingly. Begin by assessing the organization’s mission, vision, values, and goals for the coming one to five years.

From this data, create a list of skills and values necessary for the company to achieve its goals. Doing so will enable you to create profiles for ideal candidates, which will make the selection process easier.

Suppose your organization plans to expand to international markets. Recruiting personnel with regional or international experience should be one of your top priorities.

2. Set Selection Criteria and Methods

Now that you have the profiles of ideal hires for each position, how do you choose between candidates? There are many ways or sources of getting suitable candidates. Depending on your needs, determine which outreach method is suitable. An outreach channel that may get you the best software developers may not yield the same results when filling an accounting position.

Once you have zeroed in on appropriate outreach channels, choose a suitable selection criterion. This could include things such as:

  • Integrity tests

  • GMA tests

  • Conscientiousness tests

  • Work sample test

  • Structured employee interviews

  • Unstructured employee interviews

  • Job tryout protocols

  • On job experience

  • Age

  • Interests

To determine the return on investment (ROI) of a selection method, you can perform a utility analysis.

3. Invest in Employer Branding

Competition for top talent, which is limited, is higher than ever. As such, highly-skilled professionals have the luxury of choice. Besides a huge paycheck, bonuses, annual leave, and other benefits, your organization must have an appealing environment to attract top talent.

This is where employer branding comes in. It is used to describe a company’s reputation as an employer and its popularity among potential recruits. Employer branding is so powerful that it has now become a buzz word in human resource departments. Data suggests that over 90% of employees would leave their current employers for a company with an excellent reputation.

Some of the factors that candidates assess when choosing between companies include culture, values, and work-life balance. Working on such areas will help your company attract and retain top talent longer.

4. The Search Should Begin Before the Need Arises

Talent acquisition is all about anticipating the company’s needs and addressing them early on to ensure smooth transitions and uninterrupted growth. Even if a particular skill set may be required a year or two down the line, start identifying potential candidates. Starting this process early will afford you the time to assess them and convince them of your value proposition.

Once you identify a perfect-fit, bring them on board even if the particular skills in question are not yet needed. Any delays will give other companies room to recruit them, leaving you at square one and with limited time.

5. Talent Acquisition Should Be Data-Driven

As with most business processes, leveraging the immense data available can make things easier and improve the results significantly. Data can help your human resource team:

  • Identify the best sources for top talent

  • Determine things deterring candidates from applying to your organization

  • Craft job descriptions that are appealing to ideal candidates

Talent Acquisition Is All About Strategy

As you make growth plans, ask yourself what will distinguish our organization from other companies in the eyes of job seekers. With this in mind, develop an acquisition strategy that will turn your company into an appealing brand. It is also important to invest in tools that will aid these efforts.

Interseller offers an email platform that helps automate outreach programs and allows you to connect with ideal candidates for the first time or to re-engage later. Request a demo today to find out how you can elevate your acquisition process.

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