Understanding the Core of High-Performance Talent Acquisition

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I’m working on a framework for high-performance talent acquisition. It truly is a labor of love, as it encompasses everything – from the importance of business alignment to the impact of organizational climate all the way down to the various elements of the five phases of talent acquisition: Plan, Source, Assess, Hire, and Onboarding.

To give you an idea of the scope of this project, here’s our Integrated Talent Management Framework – authored by the illustrious Laci Loew, and published earlier this year:

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Like I said – a labor of love. You see, a high-performance framework isn’t just an analyst’s daydream of what organizations could be doing. They’re built from conversations with today’s most effective companies around the world, and close study of emerging trends and evolving key practices. As such, these frameworks also present an exciting opportunity for Brandon Hall Group to stand up and say, “This is what excellence looks like.”

Exciting, right?

Last week, I was talking with Claude Werder, our VP of Corporate and Product Development, about the latest iteration of the talent acquisition framework. The question we were trying to answer is what goes at the center of a high-performance talent acquisition framework? What is all of this driving? What is the ultimate outcome that high-performance talent acquisition aims for?

According to the State of Talent Acquisition 2014 report we published earlier, the top priority for hiring organizations – big, small, leading or struggling – is to hire better talent. While there’s no surprise there, it does beg the question of  “How?” And that’s where my job as an analyst starts to get interesting.

The lowest talent acquisition priority for the vast majority of organizations was candidate experience. People are more focused on strengthening employer brand, attracting more talent, and improving new hire retention. This is interesting because, as you may have heard, candidate experience can directly impact each of these things. And yet candidate experience continues to fall to the wayside, taking the back seat to other, more familiar goals.

Ok, back to my conversation with Claude.

“What if we put candidate experience at the center?” he asked. I pushed back, citing the lack of serious import it has among hiring organizations today. I pointed out that only the best companies are making any consequential gains in candidate experience, the rest just don’t get it… And then the light bulb went on.

Candidate experience may not be the end-all-be-all for your talent acquisition efforts; I’ve yet to encounter an organization where it’s the ultimate measure of performance. But the more I think on it, the more convinced I am that organizations that are giving candidate experience the greatest consideration are the organizations that are out-shining their peers. They’re the ones attracting more talent, the ones with strong, authentic employer brands, and the ones who enjoy the lowest voluntary turnover rates among new hires.

Truly, those organizations that put candidate experience at the center of it all have established themselves as leaders in high-performance talent acquisition – and retention.

I’ll be digging into the data that supports this claim in a report accompanying the framework. For now, I’d be curious to know what’s at the center of your talent acquisition efforts. Drop me a line, and let’s keep the conversation moving.

Kyle Lagunas, Talent Acquisition Analyst, Brandon Hall Group

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