It’s no secret that the current hiring environment is highly competitive.
To be effective in a hot job market, you’ll need to implement talent acquisition strategies that deliver results. A talent acquisition strategy consists of methods you use to find, hire and retain the best employees. While you may think of talent acquisition as a fancy term for recruitment, it’s completely different.
Recruitment involves locating people and hiring them to fill your employee ranks. Talent acquisition is much more comprehensive. It combines research, marketing and recruiting to identify the top performers in a particular industry. The goal of talent acquisition isn’t simply to hire new workers but also to retain them over the long term.
Most companies recognize that talent acquisition is essential to a company’s success, but many struggle with talent acquisition strategies. Sub-par talent acquisition strategies lead to lackluster results, including poor employee retention and workers that don’t possess the skills necessary to handle their roles.
Aside from strong talent acquisition programs, companies should also take a look at their internal workings to reduce turnover. Companies with over 10K employees could save over $16M per year by implementing a culture of employee recognition, according to a study by Gallup.
Effective talent acquisitions strategies
Fortunately, with the right combination of talent acquisition strategies, you’ll source qualified people who add value to your organization for years to come. Here are 10 effective talent acquisitions strategies that will propel your hiring practices to new heights:
1. Build and promote a clear company identity
When people consider your company, what words come to mind? If you’re unsure, you may not have a defined company identity. An identity establishes what makes your company unique. It’s a set of terms, words or phrases that people associate with your organization.
New and established companies should have a clear sense of what they stand for and what they offer. Leadership can identify specific attributes that make the organization special and seek to ingrain those qualities into their promotional activities.
For example, consider Patagonia, the well-known outdoor clothing retailer. The company values sustainability, leadership and inclusion, which they promote through its mission to save the planet. When people think of Patagonia, words such as purpose-driven come to mind. In fact, one of Patagonia’s core values is to cause no unnecessary harm.
You can promote your company’s identity in every advertisement you have, including job postings. It’s critical to present the same message through all your advertising channels, so employees understand what the company values.
When applicants understand your company identity and believe in it, they’re more likely to try to join your team.
2. Offer competitive compensation and benefits packages
Compensation and benefits are one of the top considerations of any candidate. If employees feel their pay is too low or their benefits aren’t in line with their expectations, they may seek a job elsewhere. No employer wants to lose highly qualified talent, so it’s best to ensure that your workers receive pay that reflects their value.
To offer the proper compensation and benefits packages, do market research and examine your competitors. Ideally, your compensation will match up precisely with the above-average rates for your location. You can adjust the salary package for employees who bring specific credentials or experience that you need.
Benefits packages are another story. You’ll want to offer essential benefits, like health and dental insurance. However, you can also consider offering benefits that other companies don’t, such as a stipend for education or unlimited vacation time.
A well-thought-out compensation and benefits package will attract skilled candidates and set you apart from your competitors.
3. Foster a positive company culture
In positive work environments, employees feel respected and valued. There’s an atmosphere of camaraderie among colleagues and managers, and workers don’t need to worry about toxicity. Positive work cultures encourage employee engagement.
Engaged employees are 43% less likely to leave and are 18% more productive than their counterparts, according to a study by Inspirus.
To create a positive environment, you’ll need to identify the organization’s core values. Share them with your leadership team, and explain why each value is essential to the company. Both you and your managers should exemplify each principle when interacting with employees and customers.
Whenever you seek new candidates for the workplace, your hiring managers should explain the company’s values and ask questions that allow them to assess whether an applicant is the right cultural fit. The best candidates will have a mix of principles and skills that enable them to assimilate well within the organization.
Creating a positive company culture doesn’t occur overnight. It’s an ongoing effort that both leadership and employees are responsible for. The right company culture will attract candidates who value the same things you do.
4. Use employee referral programs
An employee referral program involves asking your existing workers to recommend people they know for available open positions. In exchange for a successful hire, the worker will receive a small bonus, such as cash or a gift.
Hired referrals stay longer at a company than non-referrals, according to a study by iCIMS. In fact, referrals remain for an average of 38 months, compared to only 22 months for non-referrals.
New hires often feel more at home in workplaces where they already know one or more employees. It leads to greater collaboration among colleagues, which can improve the working environment and employee retention over the long term.
You can implement an employee referral program anytime, but it can prove most beneficial to organizations struggling to keep their employees. The strategy is also helpful when companies need to hire several people at once since you can reduce the risk of hiring individuals who may not be a good cultural fit.
5. Promote your employer brand
Promoting your employer brand may seem similar to building a company identity, but it’s slightly different. Your employer brand involves its reputation with current and past employees and among the public.
There are several ways you can promote your employer brand. Asking current or prior employees to leave reviews concerning the workplace on popular sites like Indeed or Glassdoor is one. You can also ask them to provide testimonials you’ll use on your company’s employment landing page.
The more positive reviews you have from employees, the better. New applicants will see their reviews and feel more inclined to apply to work with your company.
6. Attend job fairs and networking events
One of the best ways to attract skilled workers is through job fairs and networking events. Job fairs are popular at colleges and universities. Some cities will also hold regular job fairs that allow companies to connect with available workers.
Networking events are great ways for employers to connect with career-minded individuals looking to grow. For instance, you might ask your HR leadership or hiring managers to join certain networking events.
Job fairs and networking events offer a way to connect with potential employees personally. Rather than communicating entirely online, you’ll converse with people naturally, which can result in a more authentic connection.
Companies can deploy this strategy when they need to hire multiple people at once, or when they’re looking for qualified interns for short-term projects.
7. Use recruiting tools and technology
Many recruiting tools are available that simplify the hiring process and improve the candidate experience. Software solutions can ensure you maintain communication with new applicants and quickly move them through the hiring process.
For example, you can purchase software that handles all steps of the hiring process end-to-end, including job postings, scheduling interviews, conducting assessments and onboarding. Hiring tools make it much easier to manage your recruitment process, ensuring a great candidate experience where everyone is on the same page.
Recruiting tools are best for mid-size companies that regularly hire new employees. A small business with just a handful of workers can typically handle the recruitment process without needing additional tools.
8. Look to freelance workers
Some companies need immediate help with specific projects, but the work won’t be ongoing. Other organizations want more flexibility in the workforce, allowing them to increase workers during busy periods and release them in economic downturns.
Both organizations can benefit from freelance workers. A freelance worker is someone who possesses skills that are attractive to employers. They work for themselves, meaning they aren’t employees. Typically, they’ll set their hours and accept projects that align with their availability and skill set.
New and established companies can benefit from freelance workers. To use this strategy, you’ll find workers through platforms like Upwork or your personal connections. You can also post job ads through sites like Indeed.
9. Choose from existing talent
One of the most effective talent recruitment methods is assessing your existing workforce. Identify those who possess the traits you’re looking for in senior roles, and try to prepare them for those positions.
Using your existing employees is a positive way to encourage worker retention. You won’t need to worry about losing your most talented workers; they’ll stick with you, especially if they know you’re preparing them for much bigger things.
Employers who want to build an outstanding reputation for their work culture should use this method. Younger workers who wish for a long-term path to success will stick around, reducing expenses associated with hiring and retaining employees over the long term.
10. Focus on corporate social responsibility
More than ever, candidates consider a company’s social responsibilities when joining a new organization. They want to work for businesses that actively work to support causes that are meaningful to them. Ninety-three percent of employees believe that companies should lead with purpose, and employees with a strong purpose have higher levels of motivation and loyalty, according to Harvard Business School.
For instance, IKEA is well-known for its approach to sustainability. IKEA primarily uses sustainable materials in its products, such as cotton and wool. They also aim to only use recyclable plastic by the year 2030.
IKEA voices strong support for programs actively fighting climate change and focusing on renewable energy. As a result, the company regularly attracts applicants who support similar goals.
You can identify methods your company can use to promote social responsibility. You’ll likely interest applicants who have similar dispositions toward social issues.
Move away from recruitment toward talent acquisition
Implementing a full-blown talent acquisition strategy can be challenging, especially if your organization immediately needs to fill open roles. However, taking the time to identify ways to attract qualified individuals can benefit your organization over the long term.
You’ll be more likely to receive applications from candidates with the skills and traits that align with your organization, resulting in a happier and more productive workforce.