Competition for red-hot talent has never been keener, with companies discovering new ways to find and keep the most desirable candidates.
It’s a stark choice for hiring managers in the current employment market – find effective methods of identifying and retaining top performers, or lose them to companies already on top of the talent acquisition game.
Smart HR teams now study strategy, big data, internal mobility plans and the latest technology options in a bid to implement a talent acquisition policy which attracts and retains the cream of the industry’s talent.
3 top talent acquisition tips for 2016
1. Creative ways to attract premium candidate
It’s vital to identify the skill-sets and personality traits which make a great cultural fit for your company. Along with a skills gap analysis, this forms the foundation of all good talent acquisition strategies and should be regularly reviewed.
- Big data. ‘People analytics’ is the current recruitment buzzword. It refers to analysis of detailed data, helping recruiters choose candidates who will give greatest possible return on investment. Big data along with HR metrics takes the guesswork out of recruitment and replaces it with proven scientific research on candidates’ habits, skills, aptitudes and traits.
- Job assessment tools. Continuing down the research path, recruiters now have a wealth of tools available to help them identify top candidates. Behavioural testing, job suitability assessments and customised skill testing tools are now available to help pin down super-smart candidates.
- Beyond skills and qualifications. HR teams increasingly target people with valuable transferable skills and personality traits. An individual with mental agility, flexibility and superb ability to multi-task can quickly rise in company ranks. Throw in empathy and great inter-personal skills, and you’re looking at a genuine future leader.
According to a 2015 Pew Research Centre report, 79% of recent job-seeking Americans used online resources to search for a position. It’s important for employers to focus on social media as a way of attracting Millennials, building strong company platforms and advertising via channels like LinkedIn. SMS text messaging can also be used to improve candidate communication.
2. Investing in human capital
Winning the best candidate is only the start of the journey. The real skill lies in showing that candidate how your business model can develop and enhance their career.
Mapping out internal mobility plans and rewarding career progressions is a great way to start.
Many companies automatically recruit from outside the company instead of combing the stock of current employees. Could an internal resource be better utilised? Is raw management material being overlooked? Is an unsung hero hanging out for a chance to shine?
Training programs are essential to develop human capital, the most effective ones being customised to the individual’s needs. Some employees may benefit from travel options, others from training across a variety of different departments.
Workers showing particular flair in specific subjects can benefit from intensive training in that area, ensuring all employee talents are exploited as fully as possible.
3. Providing smart company culture
No candidate will achieve full potential if the company culture is stifling, stagnant or negative.
Genuine leaders of the future want to learn from genuine leaders right now. If your business is lacking managers with spark and drive, new recruits won’t be motivated to achieve their best.
It’s not only a question of role models. Without appropriate coaching and mentoring, young talents may never truly discover what they are capable of.
This process of discovery relies on strong communication systems within the company, with plenty of relevant feedback provided for all workers.
Higher grade performers require more detailed and astute feedback than a simple ratings system can provide, which is where mentoring can be so valuable.
In truly progressive companies, employers learn just as much from their employees as employees do from their bosses. And they use that knowledge in four ways, to:
- Refine and hone their recruitment practices.
- Develop and enrich the day-to-day experience and involvement of their workers.
- Increase employee engagement.
- Boost productivity, increase customer satisfaction and grow sales through ever-smarter work practices.
However comprehensive your talent acquisition plan, even the most outstanding candidate is a work in progress. So be sure to nurture top talent once you’ve found it.