Talent acquisition is the lifeblood of any enterprise, and it’s best not to find yourself treating it in a triage fashion. When you lose key employees, you need something better than a band-aid approach to addressing the matter. Taking the time to be more strategic in your hiring practices will enable smoother transitions and cut down on lost productivity in your organization.
If this were a field of battle, you would have protocols in place to ensure a steady flow of troops, and that’s where we would like to offer a few pieces of advice. Staffing your company needs to be a top priority among all stakeholders, so once everyone understands that, they should address some of the following key considerations that will propel your march forward.
Hire Strategically – The internet has revolutionized candidates’ ability to market their skills and search for jobs, while also learning detailed information about your company. This makes them savvy and mercurial, since it’s so easy to find new positions. In this new universe, it can make sense to hire even when you aren’t looking to fill a position, simply to capture top talent when it’s available. If you let cost restrictions guide the process, you might find your organization exposed and empty-handed. What’s now understood is that top talent has mobility, so seizing it is tactical. Securing these people also prevents you from settling for someone you’re less than thrilled with due to an urgent need to fill an opening. While the temp-to-hire pool might offer another option, those already employed but looking tend to be the most competitive candidates.
Give Talent Acquisition a Seat at the Table – Those in decision-making positions regarding hiring deserve to be part of executive-level conversations when company goals and objectives are being examined. The hiring managers will be able to transfer the articulated mission into actionable results by staffing according to clearly defined principles. By empowering those tasked with talent acquisition, they also will be inspired to raise their game and save everyone a great deal of time. And, in turn, they will see the impact they can have on the company.
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Cost to Hire and Time to Fill are Going Up – These realities reinforce the importance of staying competitive in the marketplace while being patient enough to wait for the right candidates. It’s better to wait longer and hire the right person than to hire the wrong person to fill a need, then have to go through the whole process again later because it didn’t work out. It requires constant vigilance, and if you turn a blind eye to hiring for too long, other companies may snatch the best candidates. Professional networking sites are increasingly part of companies’ budgets, and the overall cost to hire is trending upward. While it is important to be on these sites from a visibility standpoint, you want to work with a recruiter who is active in the market and has a strong network of quality candidates.
Social Media Presence is Essential and Markets Your Reputation – Candidates are searching companies’ internet presence in advance, and they want to see indicators of a positive work. Also, be sure to tap into LinkedIn for its reach, readability and responsiveness. The viral nature of anything you post stands a good chance of crossing the radar of some great candidates. Conducting your own searches on the site will likely produce some solid leads, too.
Tap into Your Existing Talent – Your top performers are excellent sources of referrals, particularly because they won’t suggest a candidate that will make them look bad! Let your staff know what you are looking for in a candidate, and they’ll likely be motivated to work for you by posting on their own social media. Another avenue to pursue is an email blast to board members, if you have any, to inquire about whether they know of any candidates for a particular position. They likely have their own network they can reach out to, which vets the candidates upon arrival.
Clearly, an aggressive approach to talent acquisition can deliver high-impact results in both a time- and cost-effective manner. According to recent surveys, being proactive results in filling vacancies 20 percent faster than the rates experienced by companies that take a more reactive approach. Also, staying ahead in the hiring process results in 40 percent lower new-hire turnovers.