Talent acquisition is a major challenge for any business, and it is a challenge that has grown considerably tougher over the last few years. If you’re wondering what talent acquisition actually means, it’s just self-aggrandizing HR jargon for hiring new employees.
We’ll take a look at how work cultures and employee expectations have changed since the COVID-19 lockdowns imposed work from home, and how companies can attract, identify and recruit people who will be assets and not liabilities. Efficient (expedited) recruiting and hiring is essential for business scalability in a challenging economy.
When you have the right people in the right roles – and they are properly motivated and led – you can achieve literally anything. The ability to find those people, and inspire them to sign on the dotted line, will set you apart from your competitors!
Talent Acquisition Begins with Talent Retention
Channel Employee Restlessness via Internal Mobility
The future of talent acquisition begins with talent retention. If you can keep talented, or even just reliable employees, your recruiting burden is immediately eased. Offering employees a tailored career structure, milestone bonuses, and the opportunity to retrain for new roles in the company can all aid retention.
Innovations like AI platforms with predictive analytics can identify employees with the potential for new roles. Tech is great, but nothing beats a friendly conversation over a cup of coffee if you want to know what makes people tick and where they’d like to be in five years time.
Many employers instinctively reject the idea of letting employees dictate their terms of employment. If you want to retain talented staff, you’ll need to beat the working conditions that other employers provide. Not cramming employees into noisy and stressful open plan offices is an excellent start.
Forcing office based employees to clock in and out and work a minimum nine hour day is equally counterproductive. Smart employees realize that forced attendance doesn’t equate to productivity and actually increases employee attrition.
1. Around 50% of your workers are introverts. Between 5-10% may have ongoing issues with attention and concentration. Provide the option of a quiet and relatively private working environment. Psychological stress causes burnout, which leads to quitting.
2. Allow maximum flexibility when it comes to office attendance vs work from home. Try to quantify productivity and quality of work rather than hours in attendance.
3. Woke HR and managerial policies have turned some workplaces into hostile environments. Staff are afraid to speak their minds, are terrified of inadvertently causing offense, and are generally walking on eggshells. If you want to retain talent and foster dynamic creative collaboration, keep politics and social issues out of the workplace and let talented people focus on work.
4. Offer a competitive financial package with benefits and incentives.
The Future of Talent Acquisition
A major post pandemic concern is the mismatch between role requirements and available skill sets. In fact, this is nothing new, it’s just more extreme. Headhunters have made a good living for decades by identifying highly qualified individuals and matching them to job vacancies. Sites like Linkedin were a major asset for HR staff who actively targeted talented people long before the pandemic. Companies also paid generous bonuses to employees who recommended successful candidates for vacant positions.
2023 is likely to see a surge in proactive engagement and the targeted recruitment of talented people. In many industries in the US and UK, there is an urgent need to backfill empty positions. HR teams are making greater efforts to lock contenders into the recruiting process and steer them away from competitors. Skill tests, behavioral tests and advanced screening are also becoming more popular. HR teams can potentially shorten the recruiting process by rapidly identifying the top candidates from a mass of applicants and focusing on engagement and nurturing.
Three Strategies for Talent Acquisition
1. Redefining Requirements
We expect to see a much greater willingness to consider practical experience over academic qualifications, particularly for entry level and middle level positions. Companies are waking up to the fact that a first degree – or even an MA – isn’t necessarily a credential, or a passport to success. Some graduates are ill prepared and unsuited to workplace realities.
Diversity is a popular concept with employers and recruiters in 2022. The smartest employers are also defining diversity in terms of professional background and previous employment, rather than just race and gender etc. There is a greater openness to the concept of transferable skills. Varied life experience, adaptability and maturity is increasingly valued in job applicants. One trend we expect to see in 2023 is a willingness to recruit older candidates to roles they were previously unofficially excluded from.
2. Virtual Recruiting
Companies like Zoom were the stars of the global lockdowns. Video conferencing essentially enabled work from home. Video conferencing is now a useful recruiting tool. Candidates no longer need to travel to job interviews, which can be an expensive and time consuming process if you are applying for several jobs. If you already have a job and are applying for a new one, the logistics can be horrendous.
Many companies require a process of three or four formal interviews for job candidates. Video interviews allow for greater flexibility and may encourage more applicants. Unsuitable candidates can quickly be screened out and good prospects can be invited to attend a final interview in person.
Employee Engagement and Welfare
An emerging trend is the use of apps and online surveys to create ongoing engagement with employees and evaluate their morale, attitudes and welfare. Companies with adequate resources previously focused on fun days, team building events and other social activities to foster engagement and communication. These events were often a matter of corporate prestige and could be extravagant.
The problem was that they didn’t work. ‘Fun days’ and mandatory attendance at social events were often endured rather than enjoyed. Many were simply grandstanding opportunities for organizers and managers. The new trend for employee engagement is focused on ensuring that people are properly credited for good work, and their voices are heard by colleagues and managers. Talented employees want more control over their immediate working environment, and greater input in defining their own roles and career paths.
2023 will inevitably see innovations in the field of talent acquisition. The bottom line is that companies are competing to recruit and retain from a demographic that is at best ambivalent towards corporate structures and corporate culture. Short of a major recession, and fierce competition for jobs, companies will no longer be able to absolutely dictate terms. Forward thinking corporations are already adapting.
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