6 different ideas for strategic talent acquisition

Finding and hiring new employees is without a doubt a lengthy process, involving expensive job adverts, interviewing candidates en-masse, candidate vetting, hiring and finally training the fresh recruits. Suffice to say, this process requires ample resources and budget to ensure success.

But what can we do to look at talent acquisition in a different way?

Look at recruitment from a marketing perspective

If you think about it, acquiring employees is pretty similar to acquiring leads: advertising brings in traffic, content marketing helps reach a wider audience and word of mouth referrals bring new leads. These techniques can be applied to your talent acquisition strategy to both make people aware of your job vacancies and to offer more information about working for your company.

Utilising things such as:

  • Advertising – many companies use job networks such as Monster, Indeed and Reed to advertise their vacancies. While these are great sources of candidates, they are limited in terms of talent acquisition. Instead choose to advertise your vacancies on a relevant, high profile website (if you have vacancies in the PR department, you may choose to advertise on Simply Marketing Jobs or something similar).
  • If you’re acquiring employees for a specific location (such as an office in Beijing) but need an English speaker, listing on sites such as AngloInfo ensure that more relevant candidates apply.
  • Depending on your budget, you could go all out, create a landing page on your website and link it with a Google adwords campaign. Set the advert up for long-tail search terms such as ‘PR jobs in London’ and ‘public relations jobs London’ to direct potential candidates to your landing page. This way they will be:

1.More relevant talent
2.Already looking for the job role

Involve your industry’s influencers in the recruitment process

Industry influencers are hugely influential over their industries – hence the name, and targeting them to assist with your recruitment drive is likely to bring some good results. Just as a brand will reach out to a blogger to engage their audience, a recruiter must leverage blog audiences to find talent.

This can be as simple as asking the blogger to collaborate on a piece of content (to generate your leads) or composing a press release to distribute to relevant news networks – there are many possibilities.

Either way, the talent you’re searching to recruit is out there somewhere and they are more likely to be lurking on a relevant blog or forum than a job network like Indeed.

Take to social media

Social media networks such as Twitter and Facebook have become extremely popular for hiring managers and recruitment agencies in recent years, for the simple fact that people engage more on social media than they do on any other platform – making it much easier to find ideal candidates.

Social media sites such as LinkedIn are a perfect example as they are essentially dedicated to profiling your career and skills, making it an ideal platform for talent acquisition. Users join groups relevant to their field of expertise, offering you (the acquirer of talented individuals) the opportunity to advertise the vacancy directly to a small (but hyper relevant) pool of professionals who all know their stuff.

Leverage new technology

If sourcing talent is the goal, then new technologies are the catalyst for the process. Recruiters and hiring managers are often looking to the latest software and training to streamline their recruitment process and the tech on offer is improving every year. According to Neocase, talent management and recruitment softwares are the two most popular product categories at HR Tech 2016 which just goes to show how large of a demand there is for talent acquisition software.

Using technology can have it’s drawbacks though, for example if the software you use is designed for larger HR departments and yours is relatively small, you could be wasting money and not getting the most out of your software. Just make sure to do your research and read plenty of case studies before committing to a program.

Train, train & retrain your recruitment managers

Training is essential, not just for your recruits, but for your recruiters too. It can be easy for them (especially if they’ve worked in the same role for a long time) to fall into repetitive patterns and processes of recruitment.

Training your managers what to look for in new applicants, which skills to consider, which recruits show the best potential and improving and refining the hiring process will not only lead to acquiring better talent, it can also keep out the time wasters and the dead weight of employing irrelevantly skilled workers.

As the saying goes – “It’s usually much easier (and cheaper) to prevent a problem from happening than to fix it once it’s done”. And in this case, it’s hiring and training employees with irrelevant skills.

Take a leaf from Google’s book

Google has received global recognition for their unorthodox interview questions, designed to make applicants think outside the box and to assess their problem-solving skills and IQ. They have also gone to some pretty nifty lengths to ensure they only hire the top talent around, here’s a great example:

Yale graduate Max Rosett stumbled across one of Google’s secret hiring processes when he was working on a project. Having typed in the phrase: ‘python lambda function list comprehension’ into Google, the search engine did something wholly unexpected.

The search results page split open and a box appeared displaying the words – ‘you’re speaking our language, up for a challenge?’.

Naturally Max clicked yes, which led him to complete a series of coding challenges, resulting in Google offering him a position at the company.

The take away from this? You don’t always have to follow a cookie-cutter recruitment process. In terms of Max’s experience, this process of recruitment was ideal as it challenged his talents, making him more likely to succeed in his job role.

Obviously recruiting the Google way is not ideal or feasible in most situations, the point is if you’re open minded when it comes to talent acquisition, then the talent will likely be open minded too.

Eric Banner
Eric works as a HR administrator and over the years has got to know the process well. Should you wish to contact Eric to request a guest post you can get in touch with him here.