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Recruitment | 4 Min Read

Road to Better Hiring in 2020: The Top 5 Talent Acquisition Strategies HR Teams Must Follow


Effective talent acquisition is the glue that bonds any successful organization with access to the best possible talent in the market, irrespective of their size. Whether you are a seasoned player or starting up;  hiring, engaging, and retaining talent is going to be a deal-breaker in both short and long-run. After all, it’s people who make or break an organization. Now, talent acquisition teams across the globe, as seen during their coffee breaks, have two burning problems to address:

  • The shortage of quality talent for difficult job roles and two,
  • Finding & retaining them to continue fueling organizational growth

Sounds herculean to achieve, Right?

Talent Acquisition in 2020 and Beyond

The quest to grab top talent is only going to get fiercer in 2020 as more than 74 recruiters, interviewed as a part of our upcoming report on the State of Talent Acquisition struggled to fill vacancies in 2020. And guess what, simply offering better compensation isn’t going to do the trick either. We surveyed more than 2000+ organizations across different sectors on how they are bracing up for talent acquisition in 2020, and here’s the road forward.

Although they are too many to name and scattered, recruiters say dynamic skill sets changing at lightning speed and candidates walking out with multiple job offers for a given requisition are a tough nut to track.

Read More: Top 5 Talent Acquisition Priorities in 2020

But wait. There’s still hope. Let’s take a look at the:

Top 5 Talent Acquisition Strategies

1. Build a Strong Employer Brand

Our internal research has validated the fact that 67% of large organizations face the least resistance in talent acquisition. They never spend time chasing quality talent, but top-notch candidates are always eager to join them. Wondering why? That’s the power of a strong employer brand. In fact, it’s not an overstatement as a leading Linkedin report states that more than 72 percent of recruitment leaders worldwide believe a positive employer brand has a significant impact on hiring while slashing turnover rates by up to 28 percent and reducing cost per hire by up to 50 percent.

And, given the fact that candidates have multiple job offers to choose from; they are most likely to pick the one with the best employer brand. Now, how do you create a stunning employer brand is a million-dollar question, Right? There are a number of ways. An employer brand is a reflection of your company culture, the values, and ethics your propagate, the work-life balance you offer and the impression you leave on the globe. Creating a strong employer brand starts with identifying your ideal employee profile and tailoring your policies and work culture around them. Eric Quanstrom, founder of Lead Generation Startup Cience attests to the fact by saying, “We are addressing the first challenge largely through marketing (social media) and peer-level word-of-mouth (*Tell your friends, peers to come work at CIENCE*).

It’s an ongoing process and gets better over time. All you have to do is get people to vouch for your organization and for that to happen; Eric also suggests boosting company profile organically on sites such as Glassdoor and Linkedin.

2. Boost Collaboration Among Hiring Teams

Do you know why top candidates slip through the hiring funnel even after entering? They want more clarity. In fact, it’s not an overstatement to say that they want to be absolutely sure about the company they are working with and the job role they are going to take. And, when their questions get half-hearted attention or worse, get ignored altogether; they decide to skip the opportunity.

Much of the credit goes to template-based job descriptions that are not in line with the job role. Even James Conway, Head of Talent Acquisition, Bamboo HR, agrees that the problem is genuine. He says Companies need to create job descriptions with reasonable expectations of what they want in candidates, so they’re not looking for unicorns or having to backfill that position in 6 months.

And, that’s only possible with the active involvement of hiring managers in the recruitment cycle until the position is closed for good. By taking active suggestions from hiring managers, HR teams can ensure they can create the right job descriptions, target the right channels and land more qualified candidates into the hiring funnel with better odds of selection and retention.

3. Leverage Recruitment Technology

With data at your disposal, you now have access to insights that can transform your entire hiring process. And, not leveraging data is only going to be a shot in the dark with a high “miss” and low “hit” rate. It’s high time for recruitment teams to understand that it’s not possible to hire top talent for different roles with same, regurgitated avenues such as job boards and traditional advertisements.

All too often, such advertisements are not even refreshed at periodic intervals, and then, any candidate visiting thinks the job posting to be outdated and moves on with their job search. Steve Pritchard, HR consultant for UK-based Fashion website Ben Sherman can’t agree more as he says, “That’s why I recommend advertising for job vacancies all year round, so candidates visiting your company website can apply throughout the year, and you can refer back to them when you’re recruiting again.

In our internal report on the State Of Talent Acquisition in 2020, recruiters have stated traditional avenues such as referrals, career sites, and recruiting agencies to be their top hiring methods. But, plenty of recruiters have also admitted to using new-age recruitment techniques such as social media (92%), resume parsing tool(88%) and even external hackathons for top-quality talent, which isn’t available on career sites and traditional job boards.

Also, screening & selection or onboarding are not untouched by the wave of talent acquisition as 53% of our survey participants agree to use online assessments already, 39 percent video interviews and 34% deploying case studies to identify and hire top talent. When it comes to a positive onboarding experience, first-day orientation leads with 57% TA teams doing it with pre-boarding engagement claiming the second spot with 46%.

4. Embrace the Power of AI

Long Hiring Cycles are one of the biggest reasons candidates drop-out in the mid of the hiring cycle. It’s no ordinary as drop-offs overshoot the hiring costs and disrupt the hiring metrics across stages. To succeed at talent acquisition in 2020 and beyond, a structured hiring process is going to play a pivotal role.

Only an HR can relate how much time goes to waste on scheduling, re-scheduling and conducting interviews via hundred different mediums that not only spoils the candidate experience but also causes significant recruitment delay to impact the bottom line of business. Therefore, recruitment teams must be using a structured interview process where they can source, screen, and interview candidates all from a single dashboard. Couple that with smart data analytics, recruiters can have a fair idea about their top sourcing channels, top competencies they are faring against along with their correlation with on job performance over time.

5. Identify Candidate Challenges

Although people might disagree, candidates have multiple hoops to jump before entering into any hiring funnel. Sometimes, they are unsure about the job descriptions, their expectations from the job, or how life is going to shape up once they join. It’s crude to state the fact that candidates are motivated by the overlap between what they are trying to do with their career and the organizational objectives you are trying to achieve. So, it’s quite essential to have two-way communication at every stage of the hiring funnel where a candidate must receive honest answers about their questions regarding the job. Catherine Crabtree, Senior Recruiter at LearnSearch and holding over 17+ years of experience in Talent Acquisition says it’s important to understand a candidates’ motivations first to hire and retain them.

She prompts recruiters to ask questions like, “What matters to this person? How can I make them comfortable so I can learn who they are innately? Will the job push them into areas of discomfort, or will it reside in their “sweet spot” and unlock what comes most naturally to them?) Also, it is imperative to engage with candidates on their level and give them permission to be honest (no wrong answers). It is just as imperative to give your interviewers the ability, to be honest as well… to speak openly about the challenges, frustrating aspects of the job, characteristics of the company that are difficult, etc.)

Take an Eyes Wide Open approach to interviewing, recruiting, and employer branding. No surprises. Candidates don’t expect perfection, but too many companies try to promise it. Why? It sets them up to fail, and candidate too.

How to Have a Better Shot at Talent Acquisition

If you want top-quality candidates to join and stay, your talent acquisition strategies need a makeover. Remember that talent picks organizations and not the other way round? From adapting technology to creating crystal clear job-descriptions to being available for the candidates at different stages of the recruitment funnel; you have to do it all. Availability to take on queries and providing a gratifying candidate experience can be the game-changer for your talent acquisition, even if you are a small fish in a big pond. You can compete with the likes of big names; only when you give candidates the importance and attention they deserve. And, for that to happen, data is going to play an instrumental role as unless you understand candidate preferences and challenges, it’s hard to provide a long-term, viable solution.

Originally published January 15 2019, Updated December 17 2020


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About This Topic

Talent assessment is the practice of assessing talent before making critical organizational decisions, such as hiring, development, promotions, etc. Talent assessments evaluate a candidate’s skills, knowledge, personality, behavior, and work style to future-proof an organization’s business interests.

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