It’s simple – employees make or break a business. If you’re looking for long-term success in your field, sourcing, hiring and retaining the best talent is essential. And this means having an in-depth talent acquisition strategy. Such a strategy is just as important as any other facet of business, be it your marketing plan, price point or product range. Without one, you won’t have a clear view of your brand’s strategic vision, nor a team capable of carrying it through.
Why have a talent acquisition strategy?
Creating a talent acquisition strategy gives a business the best chance of finding the best employees. Unlike traditional hiring strategies merely focused on filling vacancies, a talent strategy sees employees as part of an overall business plan.
Creating a talent acquisition strategy
Creating a talent strategy involves a great number of stages, depending on the size of your business. But no matter if you’re running a start-up or a global enterprise, these stages can be divided into three main categories.
1. Establish business priorities
The first step is to define where your future is headed, and how to get there. Establishing business priorities will include major decisions regarding the markets you’re looking to tap into and micro-decisions such as whether to invest more in PPC or SEO for your website. If you’re running a start-up, are you looking to focus on success in your local area or aiming for a national presence?
There are potentially hundreds of questions that a business needs to ask itself when establishing its priorities. Creating these gives a clear roadmap of where you want to go. With this in mind, you can begin to work out how to get there.
2. Match job roles to priorities
With your road map established, you’ll have a better idea of the talent your business requires. To give a basic example of a talent strategy, let’s imagine a UK business is looking to tap into a specific European market – Spain.
Not only will you need an understanding of the local talent market, you may also require additional capabilities to achieve your hiring goals. This may include a translator, a local market researcher who’s able to identify the best regions to target, and a Spanish-speaking customer service team.
Having established business priorities, new role creation is then intrinsically linked to your brand’s strategic vision.
The third stage is to bring the process into reality. This may mean adopting new software, equipment and processes to enable the best talent to succeed once you’ve found it. You’ll also need to look at your brand’s reputation and cement a workplace culture that’s receptive to the needs of the people you’re looking to hire.
Tips to refine your talent strategy
Refining your talent acquisition strategy involves some out-of-the-box thinking. With almost 75% of employers struggling to fill positions with the right candidates, hiring the best talent often comes down to small margins between you and a competitor. Utilising the following tips can make all the difference when it comes to getting a result.
The effects of the pandemic have shown traditional workplace methods to be outdated. For many businesses, there’s simply no need to enforce an office-based, 9-5 regime on your workforce. A lot of employees are looking for greater freedoms when it comes to work and won’t accept anything less.
When refining your talent acquisition strategy, you’ll need to look at things from an employee’s perspective and be flexible when it comes to the likes of location and hours set. For example, studies have shown that short walking breaks can actually increase productivity by up to 60%. So why not take the opportunity to explore new ways for employees to connect and engage? A non-flexible approach may simply see the best talent look elsewhere.
Points of difference
What can you offer employees that no other business can? A competitive salary is no longer the only consideration for potential candidates in the modern age. In order to make your business stand out from the crowd when hiring, you’ll need to introduce employee perks alongside facets that enhance your brand’s reputation. This could be a commitment to green and/or charitable causes, personalised “time off” policies or a flexible working strategy that offers more than simply “remote”.
Treat interviews as a two-way process
In recent years, the balance has shifted away from employers to employees. Brands can no longer expect to take the upper-hand when it comes to interviewing – they need to sell themselves as a great place to work. In order to find the best employees, interviews need to be a two-way conversation and candidates are king. Whether successful or not, candidates should leave a hiring process with a positive impression and be ambassadors for your company.
Adopt an employee referral program
Many brands are smart enough to expand their advertising presence beyond the usual job boards and social media. A clever step beyond this is to adopt an employee referral program. In short, this enables your existing staff to refer potential candidates to you and receive an incentive for doing so. Employee advocacy goes a long way in helping to secure the best talent.
Networking should go beyond scouring the scene for potential partners. You can easily use events as part of your talent acquisition strategy. Look beyond the usual awards ceremonies and find events relating to the pools of talent you’re seeking.
Keep in touch with former candidates
Sometimes, you’ve already met your ideal candidate – they missed out on a previous job role by the narrowest of margins. Be sure to keep a record of any great talent that you meet through interviewing. They may be perfect for the next job role you create, and save you all the time and money it takes to launch a brand new hiring process.
Use experts on the interview panel
Traditionally, interview panels were made up of senior figures and stakeholders who have little to do with the day-to-day running of a business. You could consider bringing experts onto the interview panel, or in other words, people doing a similar job to the one you’re hiring for. They’ll be au fait with the demands of a role and may be able to look beyond the surface when it comes to identifying the best talent.
Hire a talent strategy specialist
The process of putting a talent strategy together and then implementing it in line with your business priorities is a time-consuming one. Consider hiring talent acquisition specialists to find the best fit for your business and manage the whole process for you. At Elements, we can tap into a huge range of resources when it comes to finding the right candidates to move your business forward.
Companies face a huge number of challenges from one day to the next. There’s your competition, for starters, combined with unforeseen industry changes and shifts in consumer trends. It may be impossible to predict the future, but finding the best employees puts a business in the best possible place to succeed. And in 2022, any organisation without a well-defined talent strategy is failing to realise its own potential.