The term “talent acquisition” comes into play as you need to use “source and attract” tactics to select qualified candidates and successfully recruit them.
In the good old days, recruiters would normally start the process when jobs were vacant, new jobs were created, or CVs (curricula vitae) had been submitted by people showing interest in applying for a position with the company. Recruiters in the big and well-known companies were enjoying an inflow of resumes and numbers of candidates – both new grads and mid-career people – lining up to work for them. It was pretty much a routine process.
Today, however, the business context has radically changed.
Many newly set-up small and medium-sized companies are available for this new generation of workers to choose from, whereas the criteria for choosing where they want to work has dramatically changed. They do not necessarily want to work for the big names with less meaningful jobs, a mismatched working culture with too many layers of hierarchy, where their opinions and inputs will hardly be heard and so on.
Therefore, there is no guarantee in this VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) age that the recruiter in a big firm has an easy job hiring talented employees in comparison with those in the smaller, less well known companies.
Talent acquisition is a front-end process – the first five modules of the ATD (Association for Talent Development) Talent Management Framework – sourcing, attracting, recruiting, selecting, and onboarding.
Recently, many organisations I know have invested time, effort and money in improving their talent-acquisition processes. If you are doing the same, my advice is to evaluate your current processes and practices under those five key platforms before making any change.
Sourcing: identifying various but specific channels where you could reach out to your targeted candidates. To do so, you need to be clear on the qualifications you would like to attract, and then on which channels will be chosen as a means to get to them. Take the time to review and revisit the return on investment of your existing channels such as job boards, agencies, job fairs, campus tours and so on, because it’s not quantity you are looking for but the quality of the channels that matters.
On the other hand, forming strategic partnerships with key stakeholders such as agencies, universities and associations is essential to ensure that your talent pipeline will be active.
Attracting: creating compelling stories and statements in order to sell the benefits of your company to your targeted candidates – why your company should be their preferred workplace. Be aware that different candidates will resonate with different selling points, and that’s why employee value propositions have become crucial today.
Candidates will consider working for a company that can deliver the benefits he or she values. Today recruiters need to don the hats of marketers and salespeople, and many of them find these roles quite challenging, as they need to tell vivid but fact-based stories to convince targeted candidates that they can see themselves working in the company.
Recruiting: designing a recruitment experience from filling in an application form to making the decision to hire that is simple, professional yet candidate-friendly. This is because candidates will be hesitant to apply if they need to go through too many steps and complicated processes before finding out if they have been hired. My advice is to deliver a simple but professional experience to the targeted candidates while they are interacting with your company no matter whether they will be offered employment or not.
Selecting: choosing the tests or assessments that give the candidates an opportunity to demonstrate their abilities to perform the job with the required knowledge and skills. Try to assess the candidate’s capabilities and potential with a holistic combination of skill assessment with psychometrics. In addition, reference checks are strongly reinforced to help you assess the targeted candidates by taking multiple dimensions – individual skills, personality, past record, present performance and potential – into account before finalising your decision to hire.
Onboarding: preparing the new hired talents to perform their roles successfully, as well as adjusting themselves to your company’s |working culture. Many companies |in recent years have wasted their money on successfully bringing in new talented employees and executives but failing to help them perform at their best.
The picture is clear: The war for talent is for real and is here to stay. With the right talent-acquisition strategy and implementation, your company can surely gain from the competitive edges given by the qualities of its people. My question is, are you ready for this war?