How to Create an Effective Talent Acquisition Strategy for Your Small Business
Small businesses are constantly in a fight for talent. In today’s job market, experienced and talented workers have many options to choose from. As a small business owner, how do you ensure that you get the best people to join your company when you can’t match the same salaries and benefits as larger companies?
On top of that, because you are running a lean operation makes it even more vital for you to hire the right people who have the necessary skills to help your business grow.
So how do you find and attract top candidates? Do you need to pay a high salary? Do you need to match the benefits and perks of the larger companies? Not necessarily.
Small business owners can recruit and hire great candidates with the right talent acquisition strategy and process in place.
Table of Contents
- Are recruitment & talent acquisition the same?
- The 5 pillars of talent acquisition
- Who does what in talent acquisition?
- Why are careful interview & selection important?
- The end to end talent acquisition process
- Tools that support talent acquisition
- What is an ATS and why should we use one?
- Old rules vs New rules of talent acquisition
- Next Steps
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Recruitment vs. Talent Acquisition
A linear process that involves searching for a specific candidate to fill a specific position.
Recruitment is re-active (a position is vacated or created and a new person must be found to fill it).
The core function of recruiting is to find candidates for existing jobs that are currently available.
Instead of a linear process, talent acquisition is a cyclical approach that is geared towards building relationships, anticipating future hiring needs, and creating a sustainable pool of candidates.
It is a more strategic approach that develops and nurtures a talent pipeline with a long term view. In today’s economy, building a talent acquisition organization is critical to the success of an organization!
5 Pillars of Talent Acquisition
Establishing a solid talent acquisition strategy is a forward thinking approach that involves planning & strategizing.
Part of talent acquisition is working with management to anticipate the needs of the business, understand the growth of the business and then strategizing on how to support that growth.
By planning & strategizing, you are avoiding – as much as possible – being reactive.
1. Workforce Segmentation
Talent acquisition depends on understanding the diﬀerent work segments within a company, as well as the diﬀerent positions within those segments. You need a thorough understanding of your company’s inner workings, as well as knowledge of the skills, experiences, and competencies that each position requires for success.
A Talent Acquisition organization must work with management to really understand the inner workings of the company:
- What are the roles that are difficult to find?
- What are the roles that have a huge impact on revenue for the company?
- How do we build a strategy to find these people, and then keep them?
2. Employer Branding
Employer branding is marketing. Ensuring that your company’s brand is clear and attractive is a main element of talent acquisition. As such, it’s important that corporate marketing and HR/TA work together. A recent study done by Bersin, an HR Consulting arm of Deloitte, found that employee turnover can be reduced by 28% simply by investing in employer branding.
3. Talent Sourcing & Management
- Active candidates are those that are actively searching for jobs.
- Passive candidates are people not actively looking for a new position. They are people that you must find and reach out to directly. They typically have qualifications that are a stronger match for your position needs.
4. Metrics & Analytics
No talent acquisition strategy is complete without using key metrics to conduct proper tracking and analysis of how well your talent acquisition process is performing.
Metrics and analytics provide evidence as to where the talent acquisition process can be improved and how talent acquisition is benefiting the needs to the business.
5. Who does what in the talent acquisition process?
Talent Acquisition really is a partnership between the hiring exec and the recruiter. The hiring executives are a key driver of the experience and how engaged they are in the process has a critical impact on the quality of the hire and retention.
- Hiring manager: Owns, initiates and facilitates the requisition process. Provides resources and guidance. Provides ongoing feedback with regards to process and candidates.
- Recruiter: Defines framework, process and tools which support and guide effective talent acquisition. Provides management with skills development for improved assessment of key talent
- Employees/Team Members: Participates in the interview cycle. Helps to assess fit with the role as well as the organization. Advises manager on their thoughts and recommendations.
Finding candidates for positions will do little good if we neglect the rest of the hiring process. Thus, taking the time to train employees and management on how to interview is very important. It’s a team effort!
Why careful interview & selection are important
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the price of a bad hire is equal to at least 30% of the employees first-year earnings. For a small company, a six figure investment in the wrong person is a threat to the business. Careful interview and selection are imperative to the overall success of the business.
The end-to-end process of talent acquisition
Talent Acquisition covers the process of identifying, sourcing, selecting and on-boarding new employees into a company. It is often seen by business leaders as the most important HR discipline.
It’s important that throughout the process, candidates have a positive experience – from initial contact to hire.
- Requisition management
- Application intake
- Resume intake
- Internet sourcing
- Employment branding
- Assessments and testing
- Interview coordination
- Final management interview
- Offer approval process
- Offer extension
- Reference checks
- Background screening
- Record/ paperwork management
- Third party vendor management
Tools to support talent acquisition
Finding top talent is an on-going process. Recruiting success has not only to do with your hiring process, but also the tools you use for talent acquisition. Top tools to improve talent acquisition are:
What is an ATS and why should we use one?
What is an ATS?
An applicant tracking system (ATS) automates an organization’s talent acquisition operations, and provides a central repository for candidate data, including resumes and applications. An ATS is built to help you manage every stage in the recruiting process, from application to hire, while delivering greater overall efficiency.
Why should we use an ATS?
An ATS is a powerful tool for saving time and improving productivity. These are some of the reported benefits from firms that have switched to using an ATS (statistics provided by Bullhorn Technologies).
Old rules vs New rules of talent acquisition
|Old Rules||New Rules|
|Recruiters used internet tools to find candidates.||Recruiters continuously expand their use of social media sites for sourcing - including Twitter, Facebook, Glassdoor ... in addition to LinkedIn.|
|Employment brand is viewed as a piece of the overall marketing strategy.||Employment brand is its own marketing strategy – reaching in to all possible candidate pools and channels.|
|Recruiters run the recruiting process.||Recruiters partner with hiring managers to create an end to end talent acquisition process that aligns with the success criteria of the company.|
|Job descriptions communicate what the company demands from the potential employee.||Job descriptions focus on the needs of the candidate – stressing professional development, work autonomy, etc. – this yields 3x as many highly rated candidates.|
|An application tracking system is the only tool needed.||Talent acquisition strategy starts with an ATS, but the entire acquisition platform also includes solutions for sourcing, video interviewing, interview management, etc.|
|Talent acquisition metrics only track time to hire.||Talent acquisition processes and metrics are not only built around metrics that show the eﬀectiveness of the talent acquisition process, but also metrics that show the success and performance of those candidates hired.|
The benefit of implementing a talent acquisition organization is that it will help you pro-actively look at the growth needs of your organization and to ensure that the best employees are hired to meet those needs.
Questions to consider:
- How many employees do I hope to hire in the next 12 months?
- Do I have dedicated bandwidth or a dedicated individual to focus on acquiring talent?
- Do I have the necessary technology solutions & support in place to support talent acquisition?
- Do we have a process in place that ensures we are making quality hires?
- Do we have a process in place that ensures we are compliant with US Government labor laws?
- Can we ensure that the hires we make will not only make a beneficial financial impact to the bottom line of the company, but will also act as key contributors to the overall corporate
Call to Action
- A recruitment organization will fulfill your short term hiring needs, and address the linear process of bringing in new hires.
- A talent acquisition organization will strategically look at both your short term and long term hiring needs, a methodology will be built, and tools will be acquired to ensure success. A cyclical approach that attracts new talent and nurtures the talent pipeline will be put in place.
Melita can support the implementation of talent acquisition process by providing the following:
- Recommendation and build out of talent acquisition process & methodology
- Identify talent acquisition personnel – either in-house or outsourced
- Recommend & train on necessary talent acquisition technology
- Train hiring managers and employees on interview best practices
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