Recruitment vs. Talent Acquisition: How to Find the Best People for Your Team

The talent war has been raging for years, and now is when companies begin to show their true colors. Some focus on a recruitment strategy of filling seats, eager to occupy full-time-equivalent roles lest their headcount dip. But smarter, more strategic firms take a talent acquisition approach, deploying a well-thought-out plan that focuses on landing specialized talent.

If your team has struggled to not only find but retain qualified colleagues, a shortsighted talent strategy may be to blame. Luckily, identifying your organization’s weak spots and the right people to address them is achievable. To get started, you’ll have to let go of antiquated recruitment tactics in exchange for effective and strategic talent acquisition.

Consider the Global Talent Pool Fair Game

The worldwide move to remote work has been the biggest shakeup to the workplace since the advent of the internet. And while the web changed how we work forever, remote work has changed where we can do it.

As your team looks to backfill roles or expand, there’s no reason to limit yourselves to local workers. If your company currently focuses on domestic employees — as most do — the idea of launching a global talent acquisition program may be daunting. The legalities of operating in a different country or hiring employees globally can be complex. However, you can structure your job opportunity to make it appealing to potential candidates and cover your legal requirements.

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One way of managing legalities alongside talent attraction is to use a professional employer organization. What is a PEO? A PEO functions like an outsourced human resources department, which is especially helpful in managing the complexities of global hiring. Instead of tasking your domestic HR team with becoming experts in several countries’ laws, a PEO can take on the responsibility. PEOs handle your global hires’ benefits, taxes, and other intricacies while your team focuses on getting the job done.

Think Beyond Current Employee Profiles to Uncover Hidden Talent

The employees you know and love to work with can be essential players when your team executes complex projects. But refusing to look beyond these respected longtime colleagues can cloud your judgment rather than boost your team’s effectiveness.

Combat hiring blindness by actively seeking to attract individuals with fresh perspectives. This can mean looking for second-career candidates who offer decades of expertise or hiring those with less traditional backgrounds. Gather a team full of professionals who bring unique viewpoints and experiences that can help your organization achieve its goals.

If your company typically posts jobs online and waits for candidates to apply, you’ve got more work to do. This lean-back method of recruiting relies on brand recognition and search engine results to bring in talent. By playing a passive role in talent acquisition, you run the risk of simply getting more of the same kinds of applicants. Over time, your organization will lack diversity of thought, background, and experience.

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Instead, partner with your HR team to launch an active talent acquisition model. Together, you can identify the current and future gaps on your team and seek out those who make you better. Some strategies include adjusting education requirements to grant experience as much importance as traditional schooling, if not more so. In complex and fast-changing fields like cybersecurity, on-the-job experience can yield more up-to-date insights and better results.

Use Your Company’s Strategic Plan as Your Guide

Projecting where your team will be in one, five, or even 10 years can be tough. But your organization’s strategic plan can unlock the path toward a bright future. While some details may not be public-facing, your strategic plan can be the framework of your talent acquisition playbook.

As a leader, it’s important to have a pulse on your company’s growth plans. Whether the company is planning to expand internationally, double down on certain product offerings, or pursue a once-in-a-lifetime contract, you’ve got to be ready. Consult with cross-functional teams to determine what’s ahead so you can deploy a strategic talent acquisition effort that aligns with projected growth.

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For some more specialized roles in technology development, it may take you months to identify and secure the needed talent. And if your company’s pursuit of the aforementioned contract means your development team needs to expand, the time to start that process is now. Determine the best time to hire, onboard, and train new employees to set them up for success long-term. When it’s time to kick off your new contract, your team will be trained and ready to deliver results.

Redesign Your HR Function for Long-Term Sustainability

Attracting the employees your business needs should begin with some self-reflection. Take an honest look at how your organization compares to your peers on compensation, benefits, work model, and more. If you aren’t competitive, you’re likely to lose out on the people you need before they submit an application.

As you redesign your human resources function toward talent acquisition and retention, be aware of talent acquisition trends. Use this information to advocate for the best experience for current and future colleagues. Leverage employee feedback to further improve the employee experience, which impacts retention and how candidates view your organization. Soon your company and your team will have your pick among the best candidates out there.

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