How to Develop a Robust Talent Acquisition Strategy

By Eric Fenyedi, Recruitment Team Lead.  View published article on Linkedin

In my 10 years of recruiting I have seen many different approaches to bringing talent into an organization. Many companies that I have worked with struggle to understand how to best incorporate recruiting into their business. I hope that by sharing my experiences from an in house and external perspective I can help organizations understand how to best incorporate talent acquisition into their business plans to help achieve their strategic goals.

There is a lot of noise out in the business world about how to attract people to your organization. What I have found that works well is that there are six steps that a company needs to follow to develop a strong talent acquisition practice.

1) Workforce Planning – How many people do you need in your business and when?

Workforce planning involves modeling the labour supply and demand for different areas within your organization. This step becomes challenging if your organization is seasonal or in a large growth phase. Tying the size of the workforce to your business plan is the key to success. For an organization that is not seasonal or in a large growth phase, looking at its internal capacity balanced against attrition and retirement is an example of how to determine the size of workforce needed. Demand models are often based on the human capital needs that are required to deliver the corporate strategy a number of years out. Forecasting becomes more difficult when looking at longer term strategies. Recruiting targets must be aligned with both current and future needs of the organization.

2) Employee Branding – What does it mean to work for your organization?

Employer branding is developed from having a true understanding of what your companies’ brand means to employees or potential employees in the marketplace. Creating a winning employee value proposition is essential. This proposition must be tailored to each potential employee group and speaks to the types of exciting work within the organization, how great the organization is to work for, the wealth and reward that is associated with specific roles and the development opportunities within the organization. Your organizations best advertizing comes from its own internal employees. If they understand the employee value proposition they become evangelists in the marketplace.

3) Recruitment Strategy – How are you going to attract people to your business?

Recruiting strategy needs to target specific labour pools for certain positions via different channels. There are four online channels (company websites, job portals, online advertizing and social media pages) and three traditional methods (employee referrals, partnerships with schools or universities and using external suppliers for targeted groups. It is important to diversify recruiting channels by using online and more traditional sources to ensure the broadest section of talent is exposed to the recruiting efforts of your company.

4) Recruitment Process – What are the processes you need to bring people into the organization?

Recruiting processes need to be fast and effective. A quick response to interested candidates and the tracking of this response from initial contact to on boarding is vital to maintain flow and keep interested candidates moving through the process. What is your interview process and structure? How are offers prepared? Who will be presenting the offer? These are all questions that need to be answered prior to beginning recruiting. Having a set plan of how candidates move through the process is essential to delivering the caliber of employees needed within specific time frames.

5) On boarding – Once people are hired, how do you quickly train them and get them performing at a high level?

Bringing a new employee on-board is crucial for employee retention and is an ideal opportunity to gain an understanding of personal development needs for the new employee. This is an chance to set the tone of how your business interacts with its employees. Initial training, mentorship and setting out a personal development program are all keys to motivation and enabling new employees to perform at their best quickly.

6) Retention – Now that you have the right people in the company how do you keep them?

Retention efforts powerfully underscore the integrated nature of talent acquisition: without them, all of the preceding planning and recruiting steps will be for naught. Lack of a personal development plan is the main reason I hear when speaking with candidates for leaving an organization. The definition of career tracks within the organization and discussing these paths with the potential employee as early as in the interview stage of the hiring process goes a long way to developing a long term relationship. Talent retention is a primary indicator used to measure success of talent management.

Many organizations struggle with how to approach talent acquisition. I have found that if a company understands and implements these six steps it will set the organization apart from their competition and make a huge difference to their ability to attract and retain the right talent.