Maintaining a strategic talent acquisition process is much more than simply sustaining a healthy pipeline of talent to your organization — although that might be the most important aspect of it. The key word here is “strategic,” as keeping a flow of people into the organization is valuable but at its core, it is a tactical process. To be strategic with talent acquisition, it is important to consider it holistically: the sourcing, the state of the recruitment team, the technology, the process, the EVP.
Which of the Following Strategies is the Primary One Used by Your Organization to Maintain a Strategic TA Process?
As evidenced by Brandon Hall Group research, there are a number of ways organizations ensure their talent acquisition processes are strategic, and many of the most successful ones are looking far out into the future rather than reacting only to their current needs. If the last year and a half is any indication, there is much value in preparing for unlikely contingencies.
The most common challenge with any strategic process is in finding the time to plan for long-term events while maintaining the short-term progress toward current goals. There is considerable value in being prepared to adapt to volatile markets. For instance, the current market has become more competitive for talent due to more companies allowing remote work (and thus expanding their geographical search) and a more discerning talent pool (due to more market demand). An organization that was able to plan ahead in their talent acquisition needs would have already begun to deploy its recruitment marketing and the technology needed to personalize messages for different locales, even if they previously had not needed those capabilities. This is why it is important to be flexible in strategic planning.
Longer-term planning often results in a shorter hiring process for candidates because it has been streamlined and any potential hiccups have been dealt with. Having the right technology in place leads to a better candidate experience, better data collection and better decision-making. The ability to adapt to different scenarios with an existing plan means your organization will be able to keep its pipeline active when competitors find themselves struggling to attract talent.
To maintain a strategic process, organizations must have the right people, processes and technology in place. To know what the right type of people, process and technology are needed, organizations should ask:
- What tools and technology are available to help TA professionals maintain a more strategic outlook?
- What metrics are used to determine progress toward TA goals now and how will those metrics be monitored and acted upon as strategic TA efforts go forward?
- Who is responsible for maintaining a strategic TA process and how are they held accountable for their success?
- Why is TA critical to your business success and how can TA be directly attributed to meeting business goals?
Take a Long-View Approach to Short-Term Problems. As seen in the research, one of the most common approaches to maintaining a strategic talent acquisition process is in developing talent pipelines, though often these pipelines are only for existing open positions. One way to be more strategic is to work with hiring managers to get a sense of what they anticipate their future needs are and begin laying the groundwork for them. That way, when a certain type of worker is needed suddenly, you already have at least some prospects identified.
Communicate How TA Connects to Other Processes. Talent acquisition can often be viewed as a very transactional process as in, “the R&D department needs 12 food scientists by Oct. 28” The order is in and TA now needs to fulfill that order. However, TA is fundamentally connected to any DE&I efforts. Brand awareness and cultural impressions start during the recruitment process and onboarding lays the groundwork for career development and learning. Most TA professionals know this, but not all other departments do and it is worth taking the time to provide examples of how TA played a part in a new product being launched, for example. Once others at your organization understand the role TA plays in their efforts, they will be more likely to become strategic partners.
Understand And Communicate the Business Impact of TA. Related to the last point, the metrics used to show the true impact of strategic TA must go beyond time-to-fill. Modern TA tech solutions come prepackaged with dashboard analytics that can show the connection between time in the hiring process and time-to-full-productivity and correlations between previous experience and impact on productivity. This can help TA managers work with hiring managers to craft job descriptions and conduct more personalized job campaigns. Naturally, this will lead to having a TA process that is more aligned with the overall objectives of the business, which is what defines a strategic TA process.