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How to get the Most Out of your Talent Acquisition Strategy

Talent acquisition: Are you getting the gist of it? Here’s how to get the Most out of your Talent Acquisition Strategy!

Human capital
People Strategy

Christine Chartrand

VP Consulting Services

Monday, December 01, 2014


As an HR professional or manager, you are probably quite familiar with talent acquisition processes. Yet, a lot of what we read about talent acquisition is confusing due to elaborate wording and abstract terminology. I mean, what does a strategic function that encompasses talent procurement or corporate hiring initiatives and targeted talent segments really mean, anyways? Concretely?

To effectively apply talent acquisition strategies, let’s look at it from a more tangible angle!

Difference between recruiting and Talent Acquisition

Where recruitment is a more linear process, talent acquisition is an ongoing one. It looks beyond the “current” and seeks long-term potential. It’s more than just filling a vacant position; it’s about analyzing and identifying future positions, as well as filling the gap between what talent is available and what is needed.

It’s a holistic approach that goes beyond enlisting the services of a person. I’d like to think of talent acquisition as investing in the growth of your human capital by attracting the best people for the job, motivating them, developing them and retaining them.

Finding Mr. Right instead of Mr. Right NOW

The pressures of filling a position can sometimes lead HR professionals to make a quick hire. This can mean only relying on resumes or appearances, or not taking the time to understand exactly what is needed for the position in question.

They might overlook red flags or fail to consider long-term potential. Sometimes, it works out….but more often than not, it doesn’t, bringing them right back to where they started (not to mention the time and money lost on a candidate that just wasn’t right for the position to begin with).

Taking on a talent acquisition approach will surely prevent these hiring errors because you are looking beyond what’s in front of you and seeing the big picture at all times. In the recruitment phase, this means taking a glimpse into the future and aligning a candidate’s potential with your organization as a whole, and not just the position being filled.

So, finding the best can mean investing more time, especially if you are using executive recruitment strategies. But it will be time well spent, trust me!

Talent acquisition means ATTRACTING the best talents

Have you ever considered that talent acquisition problems are not a shortage of accessible talent, but your organization not applying the right strategies to attract the talent that you seek?

Talent acquisition means understanding the flow of your organization, what each position really entails and being able to communicate that clearly and effectively. It’s about building talent pipelines! But it also means being up-to-date with current trends and strategies that not only attract the best candidates, but also help promote your organization and make people want to work for you.

Stay up-to-date!

We are constantly evolving, and it would be foolish to assume that what has always worked in the past will work now. For example, with today’s social media platforms and marketing tools, posting a job opening in the local newspaper is far less effective, and sometimes even non-existent. There are so many creative tools that provide more visibility, advertising and networking, and that are electronically available!

Imagine. Nowadays, you have technological strategies that can find out what type of demographics are more interested in your products and services, how often they visit your websites and what they are likely to search for. The same energy should go into the way you find potential employees. If you know how to strategically market your products to clients, you should also know how to attract and target the best human capital to work for you.

In a way, winning the so-called war for talent can mean treating potential employees as the clients you want to win over, therefore promoting your organization the best way possible and offering state-of-the-art advantages to attract the best candidates.

In other words, your company is also the one under the microscope!

Talent acquisition masters know their positions inside and out

In talent acquisition, attracting the best means truly understanding what competencies, attributes and knowledge one needs to be successful in a given position and for potential growth.

This doesn’t just mean relying on a job description, but acquiring a complete picture, which can be done by (but not limited to):

  • identifying what the behaviours of a performing employee and a non-performing employee look like.
  • evaluating how successful employees describe key competencies required for the role (via questionnaire or interviews) and what they feel are the causes of poor performance.
  • having managers evaluate the performance of employees in the same or similar position (via questionnaire or interviews) in order to identify performance measures, clear expectations and address recurring issues.
  • identifying the character traits and natural reflexes needed (by using a psychometric assessment tool)

Talent acquisition is more than understanding vacant positions; it’s building careers!

Talent acquisition goes beyond the person-job fit

Aligning a candidate with a position is only part of the puzzle. Talent acquisition is broadening the scope of how an employee would fit in your organizational culture by looking not only at the current role, but how he/she will fit in with the beliefs, values and lifestyle of a company.

For example, an adventurous candidate might have all the experiences and qualities for a specific position, but fail to adhere to organizational culture when it comes to dress-code, work hours and conformity.

Again, this requires HR professionals to look at a candidate’s fit with the company at large, which in turn can allow potential employees to see themselves as part of a larger system, and gain a better sense of belonging.

Retention, retention, retention

Talent acquisition is also about continuously re-evaluating what your company has to offer its human capital and finding strategies to keep your successful employees happy and motivated long-term.

It means investing in their growth, looking beyond their current roles and providing the right stimulation and challenges that will keep them coming back for more. Of course, not all employees are motivated by the same things, so you may need to tailor to their individual needs. This means seeing employees as distinct, unique people that comprise the driving force of your organization, and not just a number on your payroll!

Talent acquisition goes well beyond filling a vacant position and looks at an organization as a whole, examining future positions and truly understanding what is required to be successful in a given role. It looks at growth potential, the fit between candidate and organizational culture, as well as strategies for keeping employees happy and motivated long-term. Remember that talent acquisition is also about attracting the best talents and knowing exactly what to look for.

Do you have the right means to get started?

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