In today’s competitive environment, nothing will have more of a direct impact on the competitive position of a business than identifying and hiring the best talent.  To hire the best talent, it is essential that not only a strategic talent acquisition strategy be developed but that the strategy be prioritized and fully integrated with the organization’s top business objectives and goals.  An effective talent acquisition strategy involves more than just filling positions, it is the development of a business specific approach to finding the right talent for your organization that requires the right preparation, planning and execution.  Here are 4 essential elements of a winning talent acquisition strategy that will help achieve business results.


1. Create a Detailed Candidate Profile

It all starts with the candidate profile.  A profile is more than just your typical job description – it’s taking the time to identify beforehand what are the necessary candidate qualities, skills, experience and achievements that you need for each position.   In crafting the profile, you should gather as much information as you can as to what is truly needed for the role to be successful and add value to the business.  Determine what are the necessary skills, experiences and characteristics necessary for a candidate to be successful.  For example, let’s say you need to hire an IT person – IT roles come in a wide variety – will the individual need to be knowledgeable in programming or does the job call for skills in technical support?  Does the candidate need experience working with a specific system?  Are you in the middle of a system implementation and need individuals with implementation experience?  Is it a heavy people interfacing role that requires strong people skills?  Is the environment fast paced and therefore requires someone with success operating at that speed? Is a degree required or industry experience needed – or are these just “nice-to-haves”.  Answering these types of questions at a granular level will help you build the right profile of the type of candidate you truly need to meet your business objectives.


2. Determine Sourcing Methodology

Relying solely on the traditional strategy of putting together an ad and posting it on a job board is no longer enough to truly attract the best talent.  You may end up with hiring the “best” from the pool of candidates that have applied, but that does not mean that you will have hired from a pool of the best candidates in the market.   Considering where we are with the current war on talent, once you’ve clearly defined the profile(s) of the type(s) of candidate(s) your organization needs, an effective talent acquisition strategy must also include proactively evaluating and seeking out talent in the “passive candidate” market, i.e. those that are not actively looking for a job.   So why include passive candidate searches in your talent acquisition strategy?  First, a passive candidate is already employed successfully performing in a similar role or capacity that you’re seeking to fill in your organization – with that comes a certain assurance of their qualifications.  Secondly, because they are employed, they have no sense of urgency in having to land another job, so you’ll find that they are much more honest about their skills and will more clearly state what their expectations are in their next role because they have nothing to lose – remember, they are being sought after not the other way around.  Not all candidates are created equal, so choose your methodology wisely to ensure you gain access to the best candidate pool possible.


3. Create a Positive Candidate Experience

A crucial part of a successful talent acquisition strategy is the candidate experience.   The candidate experience is a culmination of all interactions a candidate will have with your organization’s people and practices as it relates to the hiring process.   This involves everything from the introductory technology driven process of job postings, applicant tracking systems or social media interactions – to the personal interactions such as phone screenings and interviews.  In either case, the key to driving a strong candidate experience is planning what that experience will look like ahead of time.  For example, determining who will be involved in which part of the interview process; Will you use the same interviewers with each candidate to ensure consistency?  Will interviews be conducted in multiple rounds as individual interviews or will you consolidate rounds and conduct panel interviews to save time?  How will feedback be collected and measured from the interviewers?  Will the timing for making the hiring decision be established?  Who will maintain a continuous dialogue with the candidates so that a sense of connection is maintained?  From a candidate’s perspective, the more organized and communicative you are from screening to interviewing, the more pleasant the experience.


4. Onboarding

Proper onboarding is often overlooked because it is viewed as a paperwork heavy, compliance driven process.  However, a strategic talent acquisition strategy should not stop at the offer; it should cross right over into having a detailed plan for onboarding your new employees.  So, what does efficient onboarding look like?  Make sure you are ready for your new employee on day one – coordinate who will greet them; make sure their Company equipment and tools are ready for them when they start; and plan what their first day/week will look like.  It’s important to ensure that you have an organized onboarding process, to ensure that the initial excitement and enthusiasm a new hire has of starting their new role isn’t crushed by disorganization or unpreparedness.  Those first experiences a new hire has with an organization will set the tone for the duration of the employment relationship.


People are the largest financial investment any organization will make.  Invest in your people strategies and success will follow – but it all starts with the talent that you are able to attract to your organization.   A well-thought talent acquisition strategy is well worth creating, implementing and executing.  If you’re looking for assistance in putting a customized Talent Acquisition Strategy together, contact HR & Beyond at We’d be glad to help.

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