What Is Talent Acquisition – Process, Tips, and Best Practices Explained
A talented workforce is the biggest asset an organisation can have. However, it can be difficult to find talented people, unless they are aggressively pursued. Any company that wishes to set new benchmarks of success, outperform its competitors, and continue growing must actively seek such talented employees by adopting talent acquisition strategies. In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, companies must look at talent acquisition to find employees who can make a difference in their growth story.
What is Talent Acquisition?
Talent Acquisition is a strategic way of finding, attracting, hiring, nurturing, and retaining the best talent for an organisation’s long-term requirements. It is a function of the HR department that aims to develop different strategies for faster and better hiring, create an enviable employer brand, devise a great candidate experience, and build a talent pipeline for the future. Most organisations use data and tech support like talent management software to aid their talent acquisition process. This helps them acquire and retain essential candidate data for future references while making the current talent acquisition process more efficient.
What is the difference between Talent Acquisition and Recruitment?
It is relatively easy to confuse the two as both share a common goal of hiring people for vacant positions in an organisation. But the two are not the same. Here’s how they differ:
- The focus areas of recruitment are sourcing, nurturing, screening, interviewing, selecting, and onboarding candidates. Talent acquisition, on the other hand, looks at developing a hiring strategy, employer-employee relationship management, creating a brand for the employer, creating a talent pool, and finally, hiring the best talent through appropriate and strategic screening processes.
- The recruitment process doesn’t emphasise much on providing candidate experience as relationships are short-term. Talent acquisition takes extra care in providing a great candidate experience as candidate relationships are considered sacrosanct.
To sum it up, talent acquisition is an ongoing process that not only looks at hiring the right candidates but also carefully nurturing them and turning them into future leaders who can make a difference to the organisation.
Why is talent acquisition important?
Unlike recruiting, talent acquisition builds a workforce that perfectly fits into an organisation's larger scheme of things. Robust talent acquisition strategies will directly affect an organisation's future success.
Talent acquisition plays a vital role for various other reasons including:
1. Helps define your people strategy
The standard and quality of your products and services will depend on the kind of talent you hire, making talent acquisition an essential aspect of your business.
2. Delivers future success path
Talent acquisition not only hires for the current openings but also takes future growth possibilities, business changes, leadership requirements, and cost possibilities into account before hiring people. This makes an organisation future-ready.
3. Builds a pool of talent
Talent acquisition also builds strong relationships with prospective candidates, providing organisations with a ready pool of appropriate talent that can be contacted when needed.
4. Provides a competitive edge
Having the right people in the right position gives your company a competitive edge over others.
Talent Acquisition Process
Implementing your talent acquisition process will determine the quality of candidates you hire. Every organisation must follow the proper steps to maximise the results. Here's the talent acquisition process:
1. Planning talent acquisition based on future requirements
As discussed, talent acquisition is not about fulfilling short-term goals but working towards long-term gains. So, the talent acquisition team must understand the business goals first and then chart equivalent talent acquisition goals.
Here's what to do:
- Understand probable structural changes in the organisation, hire accordingly.
- Keep job market, attrition, business changes, and transitions in mind.
- Spend time with hiring managers to understand long-term needs.
2. Creating a pool of talent
This process is about lead generation and candidate sourcing, where companies look to increase their visibility and reach in the job market to gain access to maximum candidates.
You can increase visibility by:
- Publishing and posting job openings on the company website, social media channels, forums where experts engage and through referral drives, etc.
- Outsourcing to external recruiters is also an effective way of maximising your reach.
- Using recruitment technology platforms to reach exceptional talent.
3. Assessment and screening of candidates
Once you have a pool of candidates, the next step is assessing and screening them to find the most suitable one. A well-designed process will ensure that you shift your focus only to the candidates that fulfil all your requirements.
Here's how you can do it:
- Put multiple screening stages in place – telephonic or video interviews, technical interviews, written assessments, in-person interviews, assignment completion, etc.
- Prepare interview kits and clearly define evaluation criteria to help the evaluation process be more efficient.
- An efficient application tracking software can significantly help as it carries out multiple processes from raising requisition to onboarding the candidates.
4. Shortlisting, hiring, and onboarding
The next step involves shortlisting, hiring, and onboarding the selected candidates. This is an important process as it is the first time the chosen candidates will officially interact with the other members of the company as employees.
Steps to make onboarding smooth:
- Make processes like filling up the forms, signing documents, orientation programs, providing the offer letters, and explaining their role and responsibilities easy and hassle-free.
- Ensure that they connect with their managers and other colleagues from the start to make their transition smoother.
- Add other screened and shortlisted candidates who could not make it to the final cut to your talent pool so they can be contacted when needed.
5. Optimisation of the final candidates
Once the candidates have been absorbed in an organisation, maximising their talent and skills and nurturing them to take up more prominent roles comes next. This is the step where organisations can look at preparing employees for the long haul within the company.
Here's what to do:
- Managers must understand their employees' needs, their potential, where they can excel, and where they can improve.
- Please provide them with enough opportunities to perform. Create an environment where employees can openly express themselves.
- Provide regular feedback to help them further enhance.
Talent acquisition methods
Every organisation can choose standalone or a combination of the below-mentioned methods as per its requirements. There is no rule against personalising these methods either. The idea is to maximise their potential and get the best results.
Direct hiring of top talent from within the industry
This is the most natural way of acquiring talent. It involves approaching the best talent in the same sector and convincing them to join your organisation.
Hiring through referral programs
This is one of the most effective and quick ways of finding the right talent. Referrals from different sources will get faster results than most other methods. Additionally, you can rest assured that you only sift through the most eligible candidates.
Investing in freelancers
Freelancers can bring a lot of value to your organisation if they can be pursued to become full-timers. As they already know the system, how your organisation works and the work itself, investing in freelancers can effectively find the right talent.
Grooming interns to create a talent pipeline
Fresh talent is often the most excited, hardworking, committed, and easy to train as they come with no baggage. Companies can create meaningful relationships with educational institutes to provide interns who can be groomed and hired as employees.
Pursuing previous employees or spotting internal talent
Every organisation loses talented employees, but they can be pursued back if they are not completely satisfied with their exit. Recognising talent already working in the organisation and training/promoting them to newer positions is yet another effective way of talent acquisition. In both cases, the employees are already aware of the company culture, its way of working, familiar with people within the organisation, etc. This allows them to become productive in their new roles quickly.
Investing in the right talent is the best way to ensure that your organisation meets its long-term goals. An efficient workforce will be more productive and help your brand grow in the right direction. And talent acquisition is the way to achieve it. And implementing the right talent acquisition processes, strategies, and best practices will deliver the desired results.