What’s The Difference
For many of us when we hear things like talent search agencies, or head-hunters, we just think OK so you're a recruitment agency, your job is still the same, find me someone to fill a vacancy I have.
In some ways this is true, but there is a crucial difference between a recruitment and talent acquisition, recruitment is about filling vacancies, but talent acquisition is about the strategic development to source, attract and retain the best talent in order to help your businesses achieve its longer term objectives.
Recruitment is perfectly fine for companies that perhaps are just looking for a body to fill a seat, and is a very viable short term solution, but without a suitable talent acquisition strategy in place, it will be just that, short-term.
With the speed in which the world is moving in terms of the workforce, employee engagement and the sheer amount of opportunities available, bringing great talent to your workplace has never been harder or more competitive, and if you are just looking at it from a recruitment mindset, then you will find it near impossible to build a talented team in 2022.
So with that in mind we wanted to bring to you some insight into how you can change your mindset from a short-term recruitment one, to a long-term talent acquisition strategy, that will see you build a team that can really push the needle for you and your business.
How Can I Build Talent
When looking to develop your acquisition strategy, there really is just 3 main areas to focus on, sourcing, attracting and retaining. We see so many companies just focus on what they need or want, and not what potential talent really wants, and this is an essential differentiator between those who have great talent and those who don’t.
Where does good talent hide?
There is no magical single place where top talent is hiding, and for the most part the best employees aren’t going to be looking for a role either, so you are probably safe to assume they aren’t just going to leave their CV’s lying around on Job board sites.
So, how can you find the best people? By being a little creative.
One thing to remember is that top talent is top because they usually are very active within their industry or sector, they network often, are part of online social communities that discuss their field and even attend events (both online and physical) in relation to their interests. So with that in mind here are a few places you might be likely to have an opportunity to get in front of someone who may just be the next big thing for your business.
A great networking platform where professionals get matched and can discuss new projects, join ventures and even find new job opportunities that aren't typically found on job boards, this is a great place to find up-and-coming talent especially in areas such as tech.
Another new professional social app, you can join in discussions or connect with like-minded individuals, definitely a great place to find some top talent.
No professional social platform list would be complete without LinkedIn. This is by far and away the largest professional network platform out there, but a little tip rather than just spam the feed with job adverts hoping to find someone, try instead producing content that is valuable and insightful to encourage top talent to engage with you and your brand, this will be the best way to get those high value connections.
Although predominantly not a professional platform, Facebook still commands the largest number of users, but in order to find top talent you will need to put a little more effort in producing great content and also searching for valuable connections.
If You Build It They Will Come (Not True - Push Vs Pull)
There feels like there is a common myth going around that if we simply put out a job advert that people will simply apply and want to join, and this works if you want just a body for the short-term, not if you are looking for someone special, who will help your business move forward.
Attracting great talent is just as much a marketing function as it is a HR one.
You need to first understand who your target market is and what their pain points are, build an attractive product that solves their problem, take it to market, get feedback from any applicants and then re-design it to be better and then once you re-release it start looking at how you can push it out to as many of your target audience as possible (usually via paid advertising, agency networks etc), this is basically a pull and push strategy - first you create something amazingly attractive, then you push it out to your market.
Too many employers just focus on the push, they pay loads of money on advertising, agency fees, elaborate marketing campaigns, and not enough time on the pull part, understanding who their audience is, what they want and then building a super attractive offer that is highly competitive.
How Can I Make A Role At My Company Super Attractive?
Once you’ve taken the time to understand who your ideal candidate is, what they might be interested in, you can start developing your ‘product’ or employment package.
Salary isn’t the only thing they want
Of course salary is important as is any other additional payments like commission (of course dependent on the role), but the pandemic has brought into the forefront what employees really look for besides salary that will make all the difference. That being said, performance based rewards are always a win, both team and individual ones.
One of the biggest trends we have seen pot-pandemic is the increase in desire for more flexible working, according to a Harvard survey, 81% of employees who experienced a flexible working pattern or hybrid working said they prefer it, and a Skynova study found more than half of their respondents said flexibility was more important than salary, and a whopping 94% agree that they should be able to work from anywhere provided the work gets done.
This means you need to incorporate as much as you can some form of flexible working structure just to remain competitive.
Career Progression & Learning Opportunities
Another key driver is the ability to clearly see a career progression path. This is especially important for graduates, who will be likely to leave within two years if they feel there isn’t enough opportunity to learn new skills.
Something you can employ is access to learning either by funding external learning or by creating your own academy, often the first is easiest and more attractive but of course more cost effective, the second however could be a great way to ingrain new recruits with the mindset and skills you want most.
Ultimately showing you care about the growth of your employees is going to be a super attractive plus in most employees minds.
Showcase Your Culture
In the era of social media you can be certain that your employees will be doing their research and not just by looking at your company website, but all of your socials too.
So alongside showcasing all the above, if you do any team building events, team holidays, or reward/promote somebody within the office, this all needs to be shown off, think of your social media or more specifically Instagram as an ongoing fly-on-the-wall documentary that allows potential talent the opportunity to gain valuable insights into how great it is to work for your company.
The last piece of the talent acquisition puzzle is ‘retain’, and it is again one that is often forgotten about. Not only is this section super important because hiring is a lot more expensive than retaining, but also good talent attracts good talent.
How Can I Keep Good Talent
Stay on trend
HR is constantly evolving to meet the needs of its employees and maintain relevance, and this means if you want to retain hard-to-replace talent you need to stay ahead of the curve and not just with technology, to become an employer of choice.
Develop the employee experience
According to Quantum Workplace, there are 4 key trends you should be aware of that will determine your success in retaining top talent over the next year.
This one encompasses everything we’ve spoken about and also goes back to the showcasing of your company. You should be looking to leverage your marketing platforms like social media channels to highlight what’s great about your company, and not just by saying ‘hey look at all the great things we offer’, instead have current employees do short videos about how they find life at the company, highlight all the promises you’ve delivered on and respond to all reviews to show how your company really does care about its customers and employees.
Learning and Development
In addition to what we spoke about in the attract section about career progression and learning opportunities, in order to retain top talent you should also be constantly improving your learning initiatives and celebrating employee development. Investing in your employees' growth will not only show them that you care about them but will also give them the skills that you need most.
Wellbeing and Flexibility
It’s super clear that flexibility is a huge reason why talent will join a company over another, but in addition to this you have to invest in developing the wellbeing of your employees. Create an environment that encourages employees to spend time away from their computer screens, with their families. Some companies who excel at this even go so far as having team holidays, pets in the office, and a no email policy after work hours to encourage employees to stop working after hours.
This one is super important, just like when you ask for feedback in the ‘attract’ stage, you should also be asking for feedback throughout their working life with you, otherwise how else will you know what your employees want in order to stay not only motivated but also with your company.
One of the biggest factors why employees dis-engage with their employers is because they feel disconnected to the bigger picture, they don’t know what is going on, so remember to always keep your employees informed about what the company is doing and plans to do and also how they are or can get involved.
If you want to just hire somebody for the short-term, use a job board any job board just don’t expect them to be amazing off-the-bat or stay for very long, but if you want to bring onboard top tier talent that will help move your company forward then start working on your talent acquisition strategy and develop your 3 key areas of Source, Attract and Retain.
It is clear that companies that invest the time and resources into creating an environment that provide safety, inclusion, flexibility, opportunities for growth and promote mental wellbeing, will be the ones who will win the battle for talent in 2022.
Will that be you?