Blog post

The future of HR: Recruitment becomes Talent acquisition

Hans Janse 15 November 2017

As in so many areas, changes are happening lightning fast within the HR sector. Are you ready to step aboard with us the train to the future? My name is Hans Janse, and I lead innovation and market analysis within Raet. In this series of blogs, I look ahead to sketch an image of HR in 2020. What challenges will organizations face and what will change? What are the trends and how can we prepare for them? In this second blog, we discuss how recruiting new talent is central to the future of an organization.

“Even when all traditional recruitment channels are used, getting qualified people is becoming increasingly difficult as we’re now fishing in an ever-smaller pond.”

“I’ll get to the point, I’ve found a new challenge and I’m leaving this organization,” says an employee. For a manager, this isn’t good news, as they need someone who is relevant and motivated for the job. When the wrong people start to leave, it becomes a business problem and the HR department is called on to act quickly to attract the most qualified candidates. Even when all traditional recruitment channels are used, getting qualified people is becoming increasingly difficult as we’re now fishing in an ever-smaller pond. People no longer naturally come to you asking to work for you. And even if they do, it’s unlikely they will stay forever, with a probability of them leaving within 3 years. In order to, among other things, ensure that employees stay longer and to reduce recruitment costs in the long run, organizations must go beyond simply approaching candidates to fill vacancies. Let’s take a look at a strategic approach to talent acquisition.

Recruitment vs. talent acquisition

“Talent acquisition focuses more on long term employee planning and the search for suitable candidates begins even before a job vacancy exists.” 

Where recruitment focuses primarily on filling vacancies posted on job sites, social media or a company’s own website, talent acquisition is based more on a comprehensive strategy to finding and binding the right potential employees to an organization. Agile organizations now have a greater need for a quick response to change, as business depends on having the right employee at the right time and in the right place. The speed of responding to change is becoming essential, the cost of finding people is increasing and the pond from which to fish from is getting smaller. Due to these factors, companies must start thinking about recruitment way before a person decides to leave. Talent acquisition focuses more on long term employee planning and the search for suitable candidates begins even before a job vacancy exists. The organization’s focus must move from reactive, short term recruitment to an integral process of strategic planning, proactive recruitment and talent management. In practice, the moment a new vacancy opens up, the organization already has a pool of internal and external talent to draw from. Talent acquisition therefore involves constant activity to find people for both today and tomorrow’s needs. 

Focus on the long term

 “The organization must be well aware of its future needs and challenges, and where talent is to be found.”

 

It may sound contradictory to look for potential employees when there are no vacancies, however talent acquisition can result in a better match for the organization. Attracting talent that fits into an organization and its culture ensures more happiness at work, and therefore greater productivity and higher quality output. This creates a business case for strategic talent acquisition. In order to start off with talent acquisition, it is first and foremost important that the HR department and management work together with strategic personnel planning. The organization must be well aware of its future needs and challenges, and where talent is to be found. It’s also important not to only look at external recruitment, but also to monitor the development of current employees. Studies show that 80% of existing skills in an organization are unknown or untapped. Also make sure that fixed or flexible areas within an organization are looked into. Outsourcing of non-strategic departments is also crucial to a long-term focus. Planning, strategy and insight into the organization are therefore essential elements for successful talent acquisition.

Retain talent

 

“Make sure the new employee feels welcome and provide them with the best possible employee experience.” 

Talent acquisition involves more than just this strategy. It’s also important that the people you recruit actually want to work for you. There must be a match between the candidate and the organization, because without it, there is a high chance of highly qualified staff leaving a company sooner than you would like. How attractive an organization is, and its’ image, are very valuable. For talent acquisition, looking for a match in areas such as culture and motivation of the candidate is therefore essential. Find out who and where the target audience is. Have you already found this talent? Then, ensure a positive experience and good relationship with the candidate, in the same way you would if they were a customer. Once the candidate is hired and working in the organization, the process continues. The introduction, onboarding process and initial feelings are crucial. All studies indicate that a candidate’s first few months in the company alone can reveal whether he or she will stay or not. Make sure the new employee feels welcome and provide them with the best possible employee experience. Therefore, I recommend that companies look beyond talent acquisition as a pure HR activity, but realize they there is also a major role for the manager and that there is marketing involvement. It is important for companies to be aware of their culture and be transparent about it. All that matters is finding the right match between the candidate and the organization.

The transition to strategic talent acquisition takes time, but pays off. Traditional recruitment methods are increasingly falling into the backdrop and it is therefore necessary to tackle strategic talent acquisition quickly - even when there are no vacancies. So, are you planning on looking at the long-term strategy? Be sure to put talent acquisition on the agenda and start now with proactive recruitment. Find out what you’re looking for and who the ideal candidate is. This way, you’ll always be able to find the best talent and best match that fits your organization’s identity, at the time you need it. And as for the employee’s experience… Read more about it in my next post.

 
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Hans Janse

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