Talent acquisition is the practice of attracting, acquiring, and retaining the best candidates to sustain a company’s operations well into the future. Instead of focusing on filling current job openings, talent acquisition teams target skilled workers who may fill a variety of positions within a company. Using proven processes, they source the company’s specialists and leaders of tomorrow.
Talent Acquisition vs Recruitment
Recruitment is a subset of talent acquisition. The recruitment process usually comes into play when a company needs a worker to fill a position immediately. If the company has strong talent acquisition processes in place, its recruiters can look within a pipeline of qualified candidates to address the vacancy and find the worker who has the best skills and experience for the position.
Talent acquisition includes these six activities:
- Generating hiring strategies
- Employer branding
- Candidate relationship management
- Creating onboarding plans
- Honing retention strategies
Recruiters’ Role in Talent Acquisition
Recruiters make matches between qualified candidates and available positions within companies. Seasoned recruiters have deep industry knowledge that allows them to optimize the organization’s workforce with skilled candidates who are in sync with the company’s culture. They use digital tools such as applicant tracking systems and employee referral software to make the recruiting process more efficient.
6 Benefits of Implementing a Talent Acquisition Plan
#1 Fill Pipeline of Qualified Candidates for the Future
Talent acquisition specialists cultivate long-term relationships with upwardly-mobile professionals. The relationship may begin with a shared work-related interest or hobby and get stoked with an invitation to register with the company’s job board. The job board allows the company’s talent acquisition team to collect relevant data on these candidates that can be used to fill future vacancies.
#2 Save Time and Money
It takes time and money to recruit and hire candidates on demand. Recruiting agencies are tactical masters at finding quality candidates for open positions, but they can charge up to 20 percent of a new hire’s annual salary for commissions. A company that has a robust talent acquisition plan in place can quickly source a highly skilled candidate who already has a relationship with the company.
#3 Targets the Passive Career Candidate
The job market is fierce, and sometimes the most qualified candidates for critical positions are already taken. With the right talent acquisition plan in place, your company can effectively attract passive career candidates. While these candidates may not be eager to switch jobs right away, your team will be able to keep in touch with them if their plans change. Talent acquisition teams also have a bird’s-eye view of upcoming positions within the company. A passive candidate may not be willing to switch companies right away for a lateral move, but they may change their mind to take a higher-level position within their career field.
#4 Reduces Risk
During uncertain times, even the most skilled workers get apprehensive about job security with prospective employers. Talent acquisition plans improve communication for recruiting and onboarding activities. As a result, quality candidates who are on the hunt for better jobs get the transparency that they crave.
#5 Better Candidate Experience
Talent acquisition plans help to streamline recruiting, hiring, and onboarding. When these processes work smoothly, candidates have a better experience. They are ready to put their best ideas, skills, and knowledge to work for the benefit of the company.
#6 Higher Retention Rates
Retaining qualified workers is an important goal for companies that want to cut costs and maintain production rates. While some talent acquisition plans stop at onboarding, many acquisition teams craft strategies that seek to improve retention rates. They nurture relationships that get to know candidates long before specific positions become available. This helps to ensure that the candidate is a good fit for the company’s culture. A Jobvite study showed that misalignment with company culture was a frequent cause of early resignations.
4 Examples of Talent Acquisition Best Practices
#1 Make Talent Acquisition Solutions Candidate Centered
When there are more job openings than qualified job seekers, talent acquisition specialists have to go the extra mile to attract and hire the best workers. Creating candidate-centric acquisition plans help get the job done. This approach includes creating personalized content for sought-after candidates and being highly responsive to candidate queries. Sometimes these plans require collaboration with training officers, hiring managers, and other HR specialists to offer valuable professional development opportunities as an incentive for accepting a post.
#2 Strengthen Your Employer Brand
Studies show that most job seekers will not accept a job offer from a company that has a bad reputation in the marketplace even if they are unemployed. This emphasizes the importance of boosting your employer brand during the talent acquisition process. Take a cue from marketing professionals and spend some time social listening. Find out what influencers are saying about your company online. Use the information to create employer branding campaigns as part of your company’s acquisition strategy.
#3 Publish a Detailed Onboarding Plan
Onboarding can be pure chaos in a post-pandemic marketplace. Will orientation take place in person at the employer’s work site? If onboarding takes place via video chat, does the candidate have access to the right technology to tackle the task? Starting a new job is stressful enough. Publishing a detailed onboarding plan helps to reduce anxiety and improve morale.
#4 Team-Based Hiring
Experienced acquisition teams use team-based hiring methods to save on recruiting costs and improve retention rates. These talent acquisition specialists rely on HR and hiring managers to fill vacancies with current employees who qualify for promotions. Employees also become company brand ambassadors and use their professional networks to make referrals to HR.
The talent acquisition definition is similar to recruitment, but it’s more strategic in nature. Planning out your talent acquisition plan takes time, but the results are well worth the effort. If you’d like to learn more about creating an effective talent acquisition strategy using employee referrals, Firstbird has some informational resources that can help. Employee referral programs are some of the best ways to find talent, and Firstbird’s technology can help your company’s employee referral program take flight.