Talent Acquisition: How to Attract the Best?

The stats behind the recruitment process prove that recruiting is a costly, time-consuming endeavor. You don’t want to waste your resources on merely filling a vacancy. You want to find the perfect match — talent that sticks around, too!

Unfortunately, it’s not obvious how to seek out, attract, and hire prime talent. A simple recurring job ad will not suffice.

Here are a few tested tips to help your HR department attract the best talent on the market.

1. How to find the most talented candidates on LinkedIn

“If talent will not come to the HR department, then the HR department must go to the talent.”

If you’re a cream-of-the-crop marketing executive, you don’t hang around browsing hundreds of job boards. You don’t look for jobs, rather, jobs find you.

More often than not — while you’re still employed.

One way to reach out to such talent is to browse professional networking sites such as LinkedIn. That’s what they’re for, right?

You’ll need to train your team to search for profiles that match the unique skills and qualifications you want to see in your prospective hire.

Even if your dream candidate isn’t looking for a job, a well-written job description might spark their interest.

Yes, the tables turn on you. Rather than you judging the candidate’s resume, the candidate will be judging your job ad.

There’s a lot of pressure on candidates to optimize their resumes and make their LinkedIn profile perfect. The best talent has definitely put a lot of effort into their job hunt, so it’s only fair to reciprocate by optimizing your job postings.

Have your HR staff come up with attractive recruitment messages that target these niche skill sets.

Pro tip: The job ad will have to be specific but not dry. There’s somewhat of a trend to make everything sound amazing, but don’t just jump on the bandwagon. You’ll be reaching out to people who have seen more than one ad in their lifetime. Yes, there is room for communicating your corporate culture and humor. However, if there’s one thing you shouldn’t get too creative about, it’s the job title — uber-dealsealer means nothing. This guide will help you write the perfect job ad.

Note: It’s tempting to rely on the size of a candidate’s network as a proxy for their value. Don’t rely solely on the number of LinkedIn connections. Not all networks are created equal, and a smaller network might actually be more valuable.

Now’s the time for your HR team to set up a candidate database. The database will help you keep track of prospective hires. What’s more, it will make communication run smooth.

Talent is worth pursuing.

2. Recruiting prime talent should be more personal

Larger enterprises can get hundreds of applications after advertising an opening. In the advent of Applicant Tracking Systems, it’s easy to forget that resumes represent actual people.

It would be a terrible waste to see your dream candidate leave because another company proved friendlier and more welcoming.

Moreover, since you’re targeting people from an industry’s Who’s Who list, word might spread that your company doesn’t really care about people. Soon, few candidates will be interested in working with you.

Every time you engage with a candidate, you’re representing your company. You need to fine tune the process by encouraging your HR team to personalize their approach.

Help them out by familiarizing them with different departments and roles within those departments.

Have them sit down with the best employees and chat about their work. You might even encourage them to spend some time following the best of the best through the day.

It’s good to learn from your mistakes, so encourage the HR team to revisit the postings and worst candidates from previous recruitment processes. This will help them tweak the job postings and keep an eye out for sub-par candidates.

Use team leaders’ expertise. Put your recruiters in touch with people in charge of a given team or department. They know what the perfect match will be, so use their insight to find the best candidates.

3. Keep your talent acquisition process short

The average hiring process lasts around a month. A lengthy recruitment process causes talented candidates to reject offers. More than half of recruiters confirm that a lengthy process holds them back from recruiting top talent.

This shouldn’t be surprising — if you find your perfect candidate, she’s probably someone else’s perfect candidate, too.

A shorter hiring process will let you snatch up top talent.

  • Create checkpoints with 24-hour turnaround periods at critical steps in the process.

  • Make sure your recruitment pipeline isn’t leaky — have your team schedule interviews within 24 hours of finding a promising candidate.

  • Train your staff to have offers drawn up within 24 hours of a favorable decision after an interview.

Pro tip: Keeping the recruitment process short is all the more important when you are trying to hire the best in tech since that job market is particularly dynamic.

4. Focus on past achievements to make a prognosis for the future

Companies that actively source talent increase their revenue by more than 200% over organizations that don’t.

How is this possible? Well, your HR team needs to look beyond skills and qualifications. Your HR staff should concentrate on the candidates’ quantifiable achievements. Make use of the information the candidates provide. Obviously, you should exercise caution, but any uncertainties can be cleared up in the job interview and through appropriate background checks.

Word of caution: Discourage your HR team from over-relying on numbers that directly impact ROI or revenue. It’s a pretty messy indicator, and it’s not obvious how to tease out an individual’s contribution to the bottom line. Profit isn’t just about acquiring new business and sales. It’s about efficiency and cutting costs, too.

Key takeaway

Sourcing and engaging actual talent should become the priority of your team — especially if it’s apparent that there isn’t a sufficient number of candidates in the sector.

Hopefully, by using these four strategies your team will start reaching out to the right talent, and bring them aboard before the competition poaches them.

bart@uptowork.com'

Author: Bart Turczynski

Bart Turczynski is a writer at Uptowork. He shares insider tips and tricks on how to find and land a job. When not busy typing, he enjoys listening to audiobooks and getting lost on Wikipedia.

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