Finding top talent is no easy task. Those who succeed in attracting and recruiting the best employees for their business have a marked advantage over their competitors. The alternative can be a great expense of both time and money, with just one bad hire costing an average of £11,500. So let’s look at how to make your talent acquisition strategies more effective.
In this article we’ll dig into the role of the talent acquisition specialist and how organisations can adjust their processes to increase their chances of success.
What is a talent acquisition strategy?
Proper talent acquisition strategies should form a part of your overall company objectives. It should identify roles needed to achieve business growth goals and targets. They differ from traditional recruitment plans by having a strategic foundation and looking at all the cogs related to talent and hiring, as opposed to merely filling vacancies in isolation with available candidates.
6 reasons your talent acquisition strategies are failing
If you’re missing out on hiring the best talent time-and-time again, it might be time for a fresh approach. In this ultra-competitive era, it’s more important than ever to understand how the talent acquisition process works and how it can be optimised or adapted to solve the challenges faced by talent specialists. Shift your effort to the right areas and your hiring strategy can deliver the results you’re looking for.
1. Not having the right mindset
Too many companies are still relying on traditional recruitment models, rather than thinking about the end objective and the bespoke actions required to achieve this. When working with a TA specialist, you should be able to answer the following questions:
- What is the specific contribution this role will make to your company strategy?
- How will you measure success?
- How will the role evolve over the next 12-18 months?
If you struggle to answer these questions, you may want to define the role further before beginning the hiring process. Providing more insight into the position, will enable your TA consultant to direct their focus properly and empower more meaningful conversations with relevant candidates.
Narrowing down the talent pool of potential candidates will create efficiencies in both time and money, increasing the chances of making a successful hire.
2. A lack of investment
Securing the best talent is a challenge for even the greatest talent acquisition professionals. The most skilled candidates form a tiny proportion of the wider talent pool available. The best candidates may not be looking to move if they are already working in a company and role they love. Others may be unwilling to shift from their present location or have numerous opportunities to choose from. Finding and then nurturing the best candidates is a time-consuming process that cannot be rushed. People need to be approached in the right way, and at the right time, to even begin the conversation.
Those involved in the hiring lifecycle require a suitable level of investment to manage all parts of the process effectively. They’ll need to identify people who not only have the desired skillset but also align with your company values and wider strategy. Furthermore, they need time to build relationships and assess suitable candidates, in order to short-list high calibre individuals. Time requires investment, so if you want to secure the best hires, you need to ensure your TA function has both the time and resources to dedicate to your search.
3. Poor employer branding
Many talent acquisition strategies fail on the grounds of having a poor employer branding strategy. Those working in your Talent Acquisition or Recruitment teams can only perform with the tools they have. If you invest in your employer branding, you will increase visibility of your company culture, increase brand awareness and hopefully encourage more candidates to engage with your hiring team.
4. A lack of communication
Whilst talent specialists are experts in their field, have lots of different industry experience and access to a massive talent pool, innovative talent acquisition strategies should always be collaborative. Business leaders should make themselves available to create a clear plan from the outset, and allow their hiring experts an inside-view of their team and priorities. Allow your hiring team to make recommendations as to how your interview process and candidate experience can be improved.
On too many occasions, a talent specialist will find the perfect candidate, only for them to turn down a role due to matters outside of a recruiter’s control. Poorly-organised interview and onboarding stages are two common factors that can lead to drop-outs from prospective employees.
5. A focus on the short-term
Many employers fail to look at their talent acquisition strategies as long-term processes, and don’t give their teams enough to work with. Much of the best talent available has a strong sense of worth, will value a clear progression structure as a reason for accepting a role, and will know what’s available elsewhere. Talent specialists need greater depth of information to be able to sell a role to a potential candidate, and this includes how a role will develop in the future.
6. Treating interviews as a one-way street
Traditional hiring processes weigh the balance firmly in favour of businesses. Candidates are too often poorly-informed regarding the various stages of an interview process, and are expected to comply with whatever is most convenient for a particular organisation. When it comes to attracting top talent, no company can afford to take this approach any longer.
A talent acquisition strategy needs to treat your potential candidates as equals in order to make your business stand out from the crowd. Should they have a poor experience, they’ll share it with others, harming your brand and making it more difficult for you to hire in future.
Find ways to make candidates feel special. Make it as easy as possible for people from all backgrounds to apply and engage with your hiring process. Don’t ask candidates to fill out endless forms if the same information can be found on their LinkedIn profile. Reduce the number of interview stages to the bare minimum required or you could risk losing out to other organisations with slicker processes. Give clear timescales and stick to them. Offer personalised and specific feedback, instead of giving a generic rejection – you may need to approach these applicants again in future, should a different or more relevant opportunity arise.
Finding top talent is no easy task, but a few adjustments to your talent acquisition approach can help deliver results, saving both time and money. Building a relationship with your TA specialist will empower them to perform, and help them establish your organisation as a great place to work.