"We can say … that managerial talent is some combination of a sharp strategic mind, leadership ability, emotional maturity, communications skills, the ability to attract and inspire other talented people, entrepreneurial instincts, functional skills, and the ability to deliver results." - War for talent.
Quick decisions can result in bad hires – nobody wants to end up with an inappropriate person in a key position. Reasons behind particular caution and thoroughness of the best HR agencies are obvious – each bad choice will cost the company a petty penny. But what is a way out? What measures can be taken to secure that you find the right person for a job? Focus on talent acquisition.
According to the definition, the meaning of talent acquisition is as follows: the process of searching, recruiting and retaining high-class specialists who have a specific professional vision, and who can (and will) qualitatively change the work, and possibly even the structure of a company, creating additional benefits and revenue. As a rule, these tasks are carried out by a specialist or even the whole team in the structure of HR department. Based on such a description, we can identify the main objectives and goals of the specialist in talent acquisition – the search, selection, and retention of talented professionals.
Nowadays, when human potential plays a major role in the development of any company, distinguishing some competitors from others, such work becomes of particular importance. In addition, talent acquisition is an essential part of a more global company development strategy.
So, let's look at how it works.
Talent acquisition VS HR recruitment
First, let us clearly define the following: Talent Acquisition and HR recruitment are not the same things. Recruitment is centered on positions – HR managers are looking for someone because they have a vacancy to fill. Talent acquisition works the other way round – its goal is to form a list of candidates with the set of hard and soft skills your company might benefit from. So, as you can see, there is a clear difference in approaches.
In management, the word Talent refers to people with high abilities striving for achievement and involvement. But how does one measure these characteristics, what are the main KPIs? This is quite a challenge. These things might be difficult to determine at the interview. Some qualities can be measured with the help of psychometry. Certain tests and software can save a recruiter a lot of time. Some of the basic concepts in this area can be found in the War for Talent book.
Tips and tools for talent acquisition
“Focus on the 5 percent who deliver 95 percent of the value” - Research on Talent Acquisition by McKinsey
So, here are some of the best practices and techniques a manager (or HR department) can use in the process:
Use many different talent sources.
When developing talent acquisition strategies, the HR coordinator must remember one important thing – it is not necessary to look for people with experience in a strictly defined industry. On the contrary, one of their advantages is a fresh look at the situation. But the leadership style and values of the specialist must be consistent with the culture of the company – this is an important requirement for a candidate. Studies show that one of the main reasons for staff turnover among new employees is a discrepancy with corporate culture. Carefulness in a clear assessment of cultural relevance and its discussion in the selection of new employees is the key to success.
In addition to places commonly used by HRs for searching, such as job search portals, or specialized social networks, such as LinkedIn, you can look for in other places, for example:
- Conduct a thorough assessment of those who are already working in your company. Such an assessment should show not professional conformity (everything is more or less clear with it), but the ability to think systematically and outside the box, be able to go beyond, etc. If your skills are not enough to evaluate people yourself, ask the heads of departments for help to get an adequate assessment.
- Another reliable place is a university. In order to effectively use this source of talents, you must have a thoroughly detailed program of selection, adaptation, and development. This can be a long-term program, which provides for consistent promotion, while students at the stage of selection are taken with an eye to the position.
It is not so easy to find a truly worthy specialist in your team in 2019, so do not limit your search.
Use an individual approach
A talent acquisition specialist should use an individual approach in own flow chart. What does it mean in practice? The process of search and selection of personnel is changing, and this change is caused not only by the development and availability of new technologies that directly affect the workflow of an HR manager but also by a change in the attitude of the employees to their careers. This applies mainly to the generation of millennials, who will dominate the labor market in the coming years. They actively build a career, choose the best place in which they can implement their initiatives, and decide for themselves how long they will be delayed. As we all know, retaining a valuable employee is no less important than finding it.
Many HRDs formulate the task as follows: “We have found a talented and potentially capable candidate, and what can we offer to this person?” In its most general form, we can describe it as a “value proposition” – a combination of what people experience and receive day after day working in a company: from internal job satisfaction to the atmosphere in the workplace, leadership, colleagues, remuneration and much more. And this is not just a slogan by which companies promote their own HR brand; this is how the company meets the needs, expectations of people and even helps their dreams come true. Talented people are ready to prove their competence and work with maximum return every day in exchange for an attractive value proposition for them.
Creating an employer's strategic and digital brand
77% of people are looking for a job over the Internet – that's why you need to make your website and remote access to vacancies maximally convenient for users. The evolution and development of talent acquisition and human resources (hr) management never stop. In today's transparent digital world, a brand of a company (its image) as an employer must be both very visible and attractive, because candidates look for employers as much as vice versa. Your task is to strengthen this interest; companies intensively manage their employer brand, which can “pull up” candidates for them.
Creating an attractive employer brand involves a complex combination of activities and some budget. One of the main factors is the overall work experience of existing staff, which should demonstrate a high level of involvement and strong career opportunities. In fact, advocacy campaigns for training and recruiting candidates can be just as important as consumer-oriented advertising. For example, Heineken has developed a series of unconventional videos and web interviews to highlight the experience of its employees and highlight the company.
Employers should also review how they present their value proposition to potential employees. Dell's global talent and tools team, have completely redesigned the company's global career websites, including consistent messaging and image messaging. The team also launched a job search optimization site and an aggressive campaign focused on candidates with blog posts and a wide range of videos. They have been posted on the company’s career sites, on the YouTube channel, and other employee and candidate sites such as Glassdoor. Videos featuring employees sharing their experiences with Dell spanned a wide range of social networks.
Frequently Asked Question about Talent Acquisition
Who is a talent acquisition specialist, and how to become one?
The process of searching for talents is somewhat similar to hunting – an HR-analyst constantly conducts surveys and in all possible ways and is engaged in staffing the right people just like a hunter in a forest. Good analytics implies the presence of special skills, so specialized books, courses, training, seminars and other forms of training will help you to get them.
A talent search is a complex process in which almost all company employees are involved directly or indirectly. HR managers may not be aware of the intricacies of the work of the marketing department, IT department or sales. But other specialists are able to describe the work in all colors in such a way that it would be wanted to be performed by a talented candidate.
Continuous self-improvement and cooperation is the key to success.
How to recognize talent?
"A certain part of talent eludes description: You simply know it when you see it." (War for talent)
One of the main difficulties in the search for talents is in the fact that people often lie in their CVs. Thus, according to a study of the society of human resource managers, more than 53% of people in one way or another lies in their resumes.
Another problem with a talent search is that the CV provides too little information to differentiate candidates by job title or ability. Many applicants have learned to enter keywords that fit a particular vacancy in the CV.
That is why it is very important to conduct interviews with the participation of specialists from other departments, as well as to give applicants test tasks that can show approaches to work, solving non-standard tasks, etc. valuable information to identify talent.
How does talent searching fit into your strategy to attract them?
While traditional recruiters are more successful at selling a company to a candidate, talent acquisition managers are often much better at finding candidates and deciding what actions to take to get them interested in their offer. This means that hiring a talent specialist is the perfect way to build and manage your recruitment process. And help from recruiters will help to complete the process successfully.