Companies that are able to attract and retain the best talent year after year, regardless of whether the economy is up or down, don’t achieve that enviable position simply by throwing money at candidates. They think about the challenge of talent acquisition holistically, striving to align business objectives and presentation with the nitty gritty of job descriptions, interview processes and compensation packages.
Indeed, as we head into another year of a historically tight labor market, there’s never been a more important time to hone your “talent acquisition strategy.”
What is a talent acquisition strategy?
A “talent acquisition strategy” is simply an intentional set of guidelines that guide your decisions in hiring. Your talent acquisition strategy will be individual and unique to your business and goals, and will normally incorporate:
- business goals
- a framework for attracting and evaluating candidates
- the set of tools you use in hiring
Here are a few ideas to consider as you craft your talent acquisition strategy.
Align hiring decisions with business goals
Too often hiring is driven by urgency that can obscure larger business objectives. Part of developing a strong talent acquisition strategy is thinking about how hiring decisions fit into a larger vision for your company over the next one to five years.
So, take a step back to consider the current composition of your team versus the team you will require in the future. Such considerations, if carefully explored beforehand, will have a great influence on the types of candidates you consider hiring.
Use data-driven tools
All sectors of your business is now informed by data, so why shouldn’t your hiring decisions follow suit? A few data-driven tools you can implement easily to improve your talent acquisition strategy:
- Quick employee surveys: “pulse” surveys or “net promoter scores” are quick ways to discern the answer to a key metric: how likely are your employees to recommend your firm to a friend or colleague seeking employment? Consider this measure an incredibly important tool in determining whether your efforts are successful or not.
- Measure the effectiveness of your talent acquisition channels: Luckily for those of us in the industry, the increased digitization of our talent acquisition channels means that it’s easy to quickly discern where our best candidates are coming from and focus our efforts there. Likewise, if we have a particular goal for attracting a certain type of candidate, we can analyze our efforts across networks and maximize the efficiency of our outreach.
- LinkedIn is a tool that has completely transformed the recruiting industry for those recruiters who know how to harness its sophisticated tools. We wrote this article to help anyone who wants to conduct more targeted searches for candidates on LinkedIn.
Hone your approach to the interview
We often find that the companies we work with find conducting effective interviews particularly challenging. That’s why we recommend, instead of coming to the interview with a laundry list of questions, to instead guide the interview with a specific strategy that invites the candidate to reveal more of the information you need to know to make the right decisions.
Market Yourself to Candidates
Consider the total picture you are presenting to candidates, including your website, print materials, event schedule and conference schedule. What is the total picture that is being conveyed? Lean on your internal resources, such as your marketing department, to help you to refine your approach. Hiring often requires its own “branding” campaign to be successful.
With a super tight labor market, especially in skilled professions, strategy is essential. Work culture, compensation, advancement opportunities, even surrounding amenities factor into your talent acquisition strategy. Take some time to think about this now and reap the rewards in the form of better candidates and talent retention.