Talent Acquisition: A New Focus for 2017

If your company is not already investing in talent acquisition, make this your goal for 2017!  Unlike traditional recruitment, talent acquisition is a long-term strategy focused on identifying specialists and future leaders able to fill difficult, highly skilled positions that typically take four to six months to fill.  Since talent acquisition is more strategic than recruitment, it involves more introspection and an understanding of HR practices and functions across all corporate departments, which strengthens internal cohesion and reduces turnover.  If you’re considering moving to a talent acquisition strategy (or if we still haven’t convinced you that doing so is important!), here are five things to keep in mind:

Talent Acquisition Involves Long-Term Planning

Recruitment is typically a short-term process: someone quits or is terminated, a vacancy pops up, and recruiters spend the next several months identifying, vetting, and ultimately hiring a replacement.  Talent acquisition, however, takes a longer view of the hiring cycle.  Switching to a talent acquisition mindset means evaluating which jobs will be the most challenging to fill when the inevitable vacancy comes up, and then taking steps to figure out what type of candidate would be the most successful in the position.  From there, you can begin identifying possible “acquisitions” who have the required expertise and could fit with the company culture, and start networking and building relationships with these individuals.

Talent Acquisition Needs a Brand

For a talent acquisition strategy to be successful, your company will need to cultivate a strong employer brand based around the skill sets you need to hire.  For example, if, after identifying which positions will be the most difficult to fill or which are in the highest demand, you find that your company is consistently in the market for leaders in the engineering field, then you can speak with the marketing team about creating a campaign that highlights your company as a desirable place to work for individuals in that field.  With social media and the ease of targeted advertising these days, it’s faster than ever to create a marketing campaign that appeals to candidates with the skills sets you need.

Talent Acquisition Adjusts to Current Trends

Part of an effective talent acquisition strategy involves changing your hiring and compensation strategies in order to align with current trends and though processes.  In today’s competitive job market offering a high salary is often not enough to appeal to the top talent.  Companies that are seeking the competitive edge brought by having a highly skilled, loyal workforce must offer a competitive edge of their own when attracting talent.  Many workers appreciate flexibility and the ability to telework on a regular basis, while others like to know that there are professional development programs or mentorship opportunities within the company.

Human Resources is Central to Talent Acquisition

Unfortunately, many companies fall into the trap of seeing the human resources department as secondary, falling after the customer-facing elements of the organization.  After all, the customer is number one!  For companies investing in talent acquisition, however, human resources is a vital department that deserves a seat at the leadership table.  Prioritizing talent acquisition as a long-term strategy (not just a short-term fix) and understanding the negative financial consequences and lost time organization can face from a poor hire is crucial at the CXO level in order for such a system to succeed.

Talent Acquisition Embraces Technology

Technology – particularly social media – is an important element of a successful talent acquisition strategy.  A large number of job seekers find their next position through social sites like LinkedIn, and sites like Twitter and Facebook can help employers build their brands.  Mobile searches are also on the rise, so make sure that all of your job listings, advertisements, and company pages are mobile-optimized in order to appeal to the largest talent pool.

If you would like to learn more about the difference between talent acquisition and recruiting, or would like to discuss how to implement a talent acquisition strategy and get buy-in from senior leadership, please feel free to reach out to us today!

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