When your company is facing a job vacancy, it can be easy to jump straight into recruitment mode. But, finding a candidate to simply “fill in the gap” is a risky fix that could backfire.
A swift decision can leave your company with a bad hire on its hands, which could potentially cost thousands of dollars, lower employee morale, and tarnish your business’ reputation in the process. Worse, if a new employee doesn’t work out, then you’re right back to square one.
No one sets out to hire a bad employee, of course, but there is a better way of ensuring that you’re finding the right talent for your business—and that’s through talent acquisition.
Talent acquisition differs from recruitment in a big way. As a hiring manager, recruitment focuses on filling vacancies, whereas talent acquisition zeroes in on candidates who can fulfill specific goals or skillsets.
Ultimately, these are the kind of people who can help sustain your company’s success—and help take it up a notch.
Finding the best and the brightest talent is one of the toughest tasks facing a business, so we went to HR experts to learn the benefits of setting a talent acquisition strategy in motion.
Here’s what they had to say.
Avoid Financial Risk in the Recruitment Process
A study by the Center for American Progress (CAP) found that the average cost of replacing an employee equated to about 20% of their annual salary. While this number was calculated for low-paying, high-turnover jobs, this percentage climbs as high as 200% when you reach into manager and executive ranks. That’s no small pocket change!
Global Feel Good Manager and Executive Recruiter for Spreadshirt, Stefanie Frenking says employing a talent acquisition strategy is one way to reduce a company’s financial risk during the hiring process.
“Recruiting “just in time” [to fill a job vacancy] often takes a lot of time and resource investment, and can be expensive (e.g. costs for job advertisements, headhunters, resources in HR and management for application process and interviews.) Talent acquisition is a way of minimizing the risk of recruiting “mistakes,” such as hiring the wrong person and noticing too late. It is essential to align long-term staff planning with business strategy. We will only hit milestones with the right talent in place, when we need it.”
Go Beyond Active Candidates
Sometimes, there’s a good reason why an active candidate is no longer employed, says Bob Bentz, president of mobile-first digital agency Purplegator and author of “Relevance Raises Response: How to Engage with Mobile Marketing.”
Bentz says his company uses mobile marketing as a vehicle to discover talent in a pool of passive candidates who possess future potential.
“Talent acquisition means attracting passive candidates, rather than active candidates. This is important because passive candidates aren’t looking for a job, since they already have one. That’s why passive candidates are usually superior.”
Fill the Talent Pipeline
Want to keep your talent pipeline full? Whether you’ve chosen to join a job platform, attend networking events, work with universities, or provide professional development programs in-house—your talent acquisition efforts need to be documented, ensuring that you have the most qualified and relevant candidates at the ready, when you’re ready.
These days, there are a lot of third-party data sources that can be used to target your audience, and monitor your progress. Other application processes can be tweaked to meet your needs.
Ben Tsao is the co-founder of Laowai Career and enjoys creating systems that make others’ lives more convenient. And he is always on the lookout for candidates who feel the same. So, Tsao checks for two indicators: one is the number of applications, and the other is the conversion rate (the number of candidates hired through those applications).
“The higher number of applications, the more resources we invest on posting our jobs. The higher conversion rate shows us that we have an efficient talent interview and onboarding system. I think the key is to find the right place to find the right talent for your needs. The right resources will improve the efficiency of the whole talent acquisition process, and you will have a higher chance of finding the right talent.”
Hiring ‘Raw Talent’
For some companies, a candidate doesn’t necessarily need to have the right qualifications and experience, as much as the ‘raw talent’ for the job.
At AceWorkGear, HR Manager Sam Williamson says while the company uses recruitment to fill ancillary roles, it specifically uses talent acquisition to find its salespeople.
“When you’re recruiting, you’re looking for the perfect candidate to immediately and effortlessly fill the vacancy that you have right now, whereas talent acquisition is more about planning for the future and hiring employees who will be a better fit for the company in the long-term. This tends to attract applicants who have huge self-belief and confidence. Often these people won’t have the same kind of qualifications as our other staff, but their natural talents and enthusiasm are invaluable for sales.”
Williamson adds that being able to look past certain qualifications and focus on applicant’s strengths helps to ensure the company always has the right people in their pipeline.
When you hire proactively—rather than reactively—you reduce the financial and emotional risks of a hiring a bad employee. Putting a talent acquisition strategy to work allows your company to build a relationship with a candidate over time, even if they aren’t actively searching for a job, just yet.
This not only provides your business with a bird’s eye view of a candidate’s skillset, but also what your company needs to provide to the candidate to tap into their future potential.