When companies hire, the terms “recruitment” and “talent acquisition” are often used interchangeably. By definition, however, they are quite different, and companies should consider how the two approaches can be combined to find and hire the best people for open positions.
In short, recruitment is about hiring people to fill vacant positions. Typically, recruitment is a response to an employee leaving and creating a vacancy.
Traditional recruitment procedures begin with posting a job description, although companies also may look for candidates at job fairs or by reaching out to its networks. Once candidates have applied, the company will schedule interviews and make an offer to its top choice for the position. After someone has been chosen, the company works to fill the next open position.
Recruiting can be vital to companies facing employee turnover, increases in business volume, and other unexpected changes. However, recruitment is not a long-term plan for bringing the best employees to a company, as the process tends to focus on one open position at a time.
This process is future oriented, rather than only fulfilling a company’s current hiring needs. Talent acquisition creates a pipeline of qualified people who will fit key positions in the company. These positions are typically high-level and difficult to hire for on short notice. Some leadership and specialty positions, such as tech positions, can take up to six months to fill. Talent acquisition allows employers to plan for such openings.
Companies that approach hiring through talent acquisition assume they can fill a job with a recruited employee whose skillset is well-matched with the job. Talent acquisition utilizes some similar processes to recruitment, such as networking. However, companies using a talent acquisition approach build long-term relationships with individuals in their target talent pool and place a larger emphasis on referrals and candidate retention.
The first step toward implementing a talent acquisition strategy is for a company to identify which positions will be difficult to fill when vacancies arise. Leaders may want to consider leadership roles, niche jobs, and jobs that require specific experience and skills in this category.
Here are five key elements for implementing talent acquisition:
Formulate a strategy.
While recruiting focuses on filling one job, talent acquisition requires an in-depth perspective of your business and what kinds of employees it will require in the future. Company strategists may need to consider local, national, and global labor markets and how they will impact long-term hiring needs. With this information in mind, companies can anticipate and plan for hiring needs before jobs become vacant.
Understand workplace trends.
Company leaders also will need a good understanding of the company’s needs before implementing talent acquisition. They should understand what each job entails. Further, they should consider what skills and experience the company needs from its employees to succeed and move forward.
Consider your company’s brand.
While brands once were developed to attract customers, they are now also used to attract talented employees. This means a company must build a positive image, reputation, and culture through its services and products. Additionally, a brand should clearly express to customers and prospective employees what the company values. When executed well, a company’s brand will bring in top talent who are interested in learning more about what it’s like to be employed there.
Find and manage talent.
Much of talent acquisition focuses on finding and creating relationships with prospective employees. Companies will need to research and find candidates who are a good fit for the company, get to know them, and then maintain relationships until positions are available.
Utilize metrics and analytics.
Data can be an important tool in making good hiring decisions. Companies should continually update and refer to key metrics as they refine their recruitment processes and decide which candidates to hire. As companies integrate metrics and analytics into their talent acquisition and hiring processes, they will find an increased satisfaction in their hires.
If your company wants to move into talent acquisition, here is what you need to know:
The competition for talent is increasing. Companies that need employees in the areas where there are skill shortages need a talent acquisition strategy the most. A firm that needs developers, for example, may want to emphasize its standout benefits and work culture. Companies should also spend as much time cultivating and retaining good employees as they do attracting new employees.
Promoting a company on social media can be a great way to establish a brand and attract talent. A company’s marketing team should showcase the company’s culture through targeted ads on social media profiles—especially on Facebook—using keywords that may reach top talent.