Talent Acquisition is a 3-stage process (overlapping the recruitment funnel in a few phases) consisting of attracting and recruiting, hiring, and onboarding talent (candidates) with the right profile for the position you are trying to fill and for the organization’s culture as a whole.
This is the first one of three components of Talent Management, the other ones being Talent Development and Talent Retention. Traditionally, this step has been the main focus of the overall Talent Management strategy, although because of increased competition for talent and the arrival of more refined systems to source and find candidates, focus is gradually shifting towards Talent Development and Retention.
Talent Acquisition in Practice
Attracting and Recruiting Talent
The first step of the Talent Acquisition process has to do with your organization’s ability to be found by people that could be an interesting match – either for a specific position or in general.
The traditional way to attract and recruit has been via job ads. Going down this way meant publishing an ad on a medium that you know the category of people you are looking for would be familiar with. The ad would then have to be clear not only on the position and its details (e.g. salary, vacation, perspective, rewards…) but should also be reflective of the type of person you want to hire. This means having not only a good understanding of the persona you want to have around, but it also means having a clear and deep understanding of what your organizational culture is and what the core values of your organization are.
Technology is also presenting us with systems able to speed up this process, especially attracting talent. Several platforms provide this service using complex algorithms based on a psychological assessment of candidates to direct them to positions for which they could be a perfect match. This of course saves time and effort for organizations, but it also makes competition for talent much more difficult to handle, as if more companies are looking for the same exact match, there will always be a danger of that being attracted by one of your competitors – which is also why the weight given to talent acquisition is gradually shifting to talent development and retention.
Either way, in this phase things like employer branding and candidate experience are buzzword you will constantly hear. How you treat candidates and how you live by the culture and value you promote also in your talent acquisition process are fundamental aspects of who your organization is presents itself to be.
Also, a candidate’s path isn’t necessarily over if he or she is not hired. Part of the process (in a more general talent management perspective) is to keep track of potential hires’ potential and measure whether they would be an interesting fit in the future.
The second phase of the Talent Acquisition process has to do with hiring talent. This simply means going through a screening an interview process of shortlisted candidates and checking to what extent they would fit the position’s requirements and your organizational culture.
The key role in this phase is then played by the interviewer – and Talent Development plays a large role in here. You want the person interviewing candidates to be proficient in soft skills, and to understand not only the position, but most of all the value and the culure of the organization. If the person cannot do this at a high level, your process would be flawed, and would have heavy consequence for the whole organization and its culture.
Onboarding is the third phase of the Talent Acquisition process. In this phase, you would have already selected a candidate, hired him or her after ensuring a good match in terms of hard and soft skills and work culture.
What is left to do is bring the person up to speed in the organization and help him or her form personal connections and relationships with others. Basically this means that the last step is channeling and aiding to form a cultural integration of new hires – a strategic form of teambuilding if you wish.
If you have followed all the process steps right, it will mean that you have a new person in your organization who is a wonderful fit and ensure not only a strong performance but also a high potential.