Talent acquisition refers to the process through which a TA team or an HR team, attract, screen, interview, and hire top talent from the industry to fill vacant roles in the organization.
The top goals of the talent acquisition team include improving the speed and quality of the hires, establishing a rock-solid employer brand, ensuring a good candidate experience, and over time building a reliable talent pipeline.
The products you build and the services you offer are a function of the people you hire. That’s why talent acquisition plays an important role in setting a baseline for all business functions and standards.
Talent acquisition takes into account the changing business needs as the organization grows and plans not just for current roles and openings but also for the future. It foresees the talent needs and costs and in the future, the new leadership or management roles that might open, and helps stay proactive about talent.
TA not only foresees talent needs, but it also plans for it by continuously looking out for the best talent in the industry and building lasting relationships with prospective candidates. When the time is right and appropriate roles open up, the company is left with a tight network of interview-worthy people that they can turn to.
It’s the quality of people throughout your org structure that determines the quality of your products or services. It’s their skills, attitude, and decisions at the end that impact productivity, customer satisfaction, org-wide innovations, sales and in turn the revenue graph itself. Without the best people in the right roles at the right time, every organization faces the threat of falling back and fizzling out.
As the first step in the TA process, the TA team talks to their leaders and managers to understand the business goals and equivalent hiring goals for the year. They also take into account any new teams that would be formed, transitions, attrition, business changes, job market changes, etc as they sketch out hiring plans. In this stage, they spend an ample amount of time with the hiring managers to understand their job requisitions and craft job descriptions accordingly.
This stage is also called the candidate sourcing phase where the TA team focuses on gaining visibility in the job market for their vacant job roles. They do this through various methods - publishing the jobs on their own career site, various job boards, social media channels, communities, and forums where experts engage, referral drives, hackathons, and wherever needed. They are even open to accepting help from external recruiters or vendors. At the end of this phase, they have a pool of candidates to work with and choose from.
Once the candidates start to flow in through the various channels, the next step for the TA team is to screen those candidates for skills, attitude, experience, etc. An applicant tracking software helps in carrying this whole process (beginning from raising requisitions to onboarding) swiftly. The selection process can include multiple stages like telephonic interviews, video interviews, technical interviews, written tests, coding tests, face-to-face interviews, assignments, and more based on the job roles they are hiring for. The panel of interviewers or selectors review the candidate's performance and give their feedback during the process.
Based on the consolidated feedback of the interviewers and panel members, The TA team can catalyze the hiring decisions and roll out offers. As soon as the candidates sign the offer, the TA team wears the employee onboarding hat and starts processing all the forms and formalities. They also ensure that the new employees connect with their managers and teams and start engaging with the company right away for a great start.
This is one of the most strategic phases of the whole process. While the other steps focus on hiring the best people out there, this one focuses on managing the star performers who are already in your organization. Through talent optimization, the TA team brings out the best potential in their employees through strategic training and development, internal moves, job satisfaction checks and so on.
Every company is different. Their goals, approaches, focus, means, values, culture are all diverse. When it comes to hiring people, an organization has to devise its own strategy based on what it’s trying to achieve in the product market and the means it’s willing to take. The following are some of the common talent strategies that companies embrace.
This strategy is advantageous because you have the best talent in town, which means you're at power even with the best competitors in the market, you are prepared for risks, and you will undoubtedly see upward performance curves in the organization.
The downsides, however, maybe with offering competitive packages and retaining these employees as they are highly in demand and have a lot of offers coming their way. The hiring process itself could be long and strenuous because you would want to choose from a wide pool of candidates and ensure that you are rolling out offers only to the best. An accumulation of top talent without a culture that promotes trust and diversity could result in unhealthy competition and lead to underperformance.
When you are running on a budget but have great leaders and mentors in your organization, you can consider this strategy. Here you can hire two or three specialists in place of one top performer. Also when you hire specialists and invest in their development through training, mentorship programs, they tend to grow loyalty towards the organizations and favor your retention rates.
However, if your specialists end up not handling the role, you will have to again invest in a top performer (at an additional cost).
Employee referral programs are great for growing companies that are still chiseling their employer brand. The strategy is low cost and your employees take care of vouching for you to bring in their best network connections. Employees who come in through referrals are faster to hire, perform better and stick with the company for longer. They already have people they know within the organization which means they quickly settle in and start performing.
On the other hand, the challenge with this strategy is that you might attract a homogeneous network of people who work alike which could hinder your diversity and innovation goals.
Companies that are serious about their hiring go above and beyond to experiment and identify channels that work best for them. Events like hackathons are a great place to meet some of the best engineering minds and network with them. The strategy also opens up opportunities to watch your people in action. In the end, you’ll not just be settling for their coding skills but you’ll know who can do well in a team, solve problems, keep the momentum going or perform under pressure.
However, the downside to this strategy is that it might take a long time to convert. You cannot slap them with a job offer at an event. It’s gonna take some time to strike conversations, learn more about them, their interests before you invite them to pursue an opportunity with you.
No matter how big a company is or it’s TA team is, using the right tools and technology can fast forward growth for just anyone. Technology plays a huge role in attracting the right talent, hand-holding them through the process, ensuring a great experience and landing them into their roles. There is an ocean of tools out there. With some thought and research, you'll be able to put together the right recruiting tool kit for yourself - Job aggregators, candidate management tools, talent acquisition software, video interview tools, pre-assessment tests, recruiting CRMs, onboarding tools, performance management tools and so on.
Downside - wrong choice of tools and technology leads to loss of time and resources and create needless friction in the business processes and business relationships.
“For any growing company that is scaling fast, it definitely puts a lot of pressure on all vertical. If you are looking to hire great talents without using many resources, a tool like Freshteam can really help address all your issues like an HR team of its own.”
“Your recruiters won’t be switching between their email and ATS constantly, wasting time searching for information, running behind the hiring team or struggling with complex, clunky workflows (a feature of most enterprise products). With Freshteam, every stakeholder - recruiters, hiring team, employees - is onboard and happy.”
“Easy to use, great for small businesses - I had a professional looking career site in seconds. It’s very easy to use, I also like their Freshdesk platform and the pricing model that really lets you explore the software and get used to it before committing to pay.”
“Freshteam seemed to have everything we need to move candidates through the hiring process, and at a fair price. Competitors didn’t have everything we needed. The ones with more options had long integration processes and charged too much money; while still not checking all of our boxes.”
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