Einstein once said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, if this is true then talent acquisition, in many cases, fits that bill. Talent (and acquisition / strategy / advisory) are all terms that get thrown around a little too much; it is an over-used, misunderstood term…. A lot like Love!
I ‘love’ this, I ‘love’ that, I ‘love’ you. Everybody is in love these days and the word just doesn’t have the same depth of meaning it once did, taking us back to the good old days; Love was Marriage and companies hired, then they recruited, more recently it has been search and selection and today it is talent acquisition.
Almost every company uses the term Talent Acquisition Strategy; they all have it in one way or another. What exactly is talent acquisition? What does it mean? If everyone is doing it what sets them apart from their competitors? Perhaps most importantly how can candidates use a company’s talent acquisition strategy to their advantage during the hiring process? Talent acquisition has developed from a once back office process to a core business strategy, which, when used successfully by companies can directly and positively impact organisational growth.
A talent acquisition strategy is much more than recruiting talented people. To successfully employ a strategy companies need to constantly attract new talent whilst re-recruiting and developing the talent they have. A good talent strategy cannot be implemented overnight, it takes an age to see through, it is not just about getting the right people through the door, it is about keeping them and most importantly utilising them to their full potential.
In a report published by Deloitte University Press it states ‘’companies looking to recruit talent and acquire new talent must now compete on a new battlefield – a battlefield shaped by new global talent networks and social media and defined by employment brands and changing views of careers’’. Whilst many companies have a talent acquisition strategy many processes used by in-house and external recruiters have not changed. Swapping the term hiring or recruiting for talent acquisition does little to change the way a company approaches their talent needs. Deloitte identifies that companies that fail to adapt [to a modern approach] will be on the losing end [of the talent war].
An effective talent strategy must be treated both In-house and out like a marketing campaign. Employer brand is imperative; sources like Glassdoor now make it easy for candidates to get an in-depth view of a company without ever setting foot in the door. Social media sites are a must and many companies engage in talent communities to identify candidates and showcase their brand. Outsourcing does not mean relinquishing control of the recruiting process it can instead provide a valued and measurable resource that helps companies stay ahead. I consult to several clients working with them in all areas of their talent needs.
Global statistics show the UK lags behind other countries in the race to change their talent strategies, 60% of respondents to Deloitte’s report published in 2014 state they are currently updating or revamping their talent sourcing strategy.
Recently some companies (not the first ones) invited employees to re-apply for their jobs. Perhaps unsurprisingly this left many outraged ‘How dare they?’ was the common response. If you look at the flip-side, when communicated properly this can be an effective strategy. If a company’s staff retention is high, many employees may have been there for several years perhaps not utilised to their strengths. How many are different people than they were 5, 10, 15 years ago? We change, in turn our strengths, skills and needs change. By re-applying both you and the company are afforded the opportunity to identify if you are happy and best placed in your current role, perhaps you would benefit from more client contact, a change of hours or increased responsibility. Re-deployment can be a positive strategy.
As the Economy begins to stabilise companies need to find a way to get ahead of their competitors, some companies use flexible working hours and find talent in working mum’s (and dad’s), talent that is missed by less flexible companies.