In this article, we will look at 4 tips on how to evolve your talent acquisition function - everything from capability, people, technology, process, experience, and the culture of recruitment including the importance of hire and retention.
The state of talent acquisition and recruitment today
Talent Acquisition (TA) teams are suffering in the present climate, and the pandemic has shown how fragile it is. When an economy starts to struggle and companies start cutting budgets, unfortunately TA is one of the first teams that feel it.
If there’s no hiring, then recruitment is obsolete some might assume – but the pandemic has only highlighted that TA needs to adapt to become an advisory and strategic team, and be involved in internal mobility, skills mapping, and development. The potential is there to guide and advise the business on new talent, as well as the talent already within the organisation that can be developed.
How to evolve your talent acquisition function- tip 1
Introduce automation to recruitment to manage the increase candidate volumes
Sometimes we might think automation in recruitment removes the “human element”. But hiring will always be a human-to-human function - what technology cannot do is have one-to-one conversations, and therefore automation will never replace this.
Automation should be used for administrative tasks like email and SMS communications, engagement, or contract generation. Each step of an automated journey can still be made to sound friendly and personable for candidates, as long as the tone of voice used is correct.
For organisations that attract huge numbers of applications per job, it’s simply not realistic to manually respond and speak to each candidate. Technology and automation can manage the initial contact for you, freeing up human recruiters to add value in the human-to-human touch points. This is where the 80/20 principle is useful to remember - focus 80% of your time on the top 20% of candidates but use automation to ensure everybody gets a considered experience.
How to evolve your talent acquisition function- tip 2
Utilise the resources and skills from within your organisation
Work closely with your brand and customer experience teams to map out candidate journeys. If you have teams similar to this in your organisation, their experience and knowledge of doing this day in day out can add real value to talent acquisition.
There are no limits - think big and look at what other resources are available to you, such as business analysts, copy writers, project managers, and utilise their different skills to enhance the candidate experience to create an experience rather than just a process.
How to evolve your talent acquisition function - tip 3
Make sure leadership teams know the importance of the TA team
With constant uncertainty in terms of jobs, often the first thing businesses have done is to strip out costs – and that creates clear challenges from a financial perspective for talent acquisition and resourcing.
Unfortunately, some TA teams will be part of a cost cutting exercise but showing the true value of TA to leadership is critical, especially in today’s climate.
Talent acquisition leaders should become involved in more than just resourcing, such as planning budgetary control, business case writing and showing the financial value of what hiring retention is to a business.
This will help you understand the costs and the value of TA to move from being a cost centre to a profit centre and therefore adding real value to the bottom line.
Can you show what the cost of an empty seat is to the business if a vacancy is not filled? If you’re able to add costs and a value to everything TA does, then it quickly becomes less transactional and more strategic.
For example, during a HoW Talent session with Ben Gledhill at Thames Water, he said that if technician vacancies go unfilled it results in more calls and more jobs that get unanswered, and that ultimately leads to longer waiting times and a poor customer experience.
How to evolve your talent acquisition function- tip 4
Become more strategic and get the attention of the C-suite to enable buy-in for projects
Everything talent acquisition does has to link to the overall strategy of an organisation – and the only way they can do this is to have conversations with the C-suite. Get direction from the top and outline what it is you want to do then work it backwards. These high value conversations with leadership add value and help to influence.
Use solid data to influence leadership and make it clear what will happen without investment and transformation.