How to create a talent acquisition strategy (with metrics)

Picture this: Company A is looking for a Junior Frontend Developer, and B is looking for a Development Lead. 

Both require talent. However, the strategy for acquiring a Junior Frontend Developer would be different than hiring a Development Lead. 

So, apart from the role, multiple other factors affect the development of the right strategy. 

A talent acquisition strategy involves in-depth planning and ideation depending on metrics such as cost of vacancy, cost of hire, and so on. Hence, it's the initial stage of a talent acquisition process. 

So, if you're looking to attract and hire the best talent for your company, read on!

5 steps to build a rock-solid talent acquisition strategy

1. Do your research

To find and develop the right talent, staying on top of your talent acquisition game is paramount. So, whether you want to develop a data-driven strategy, hire freelancers, or utilize personality tests — focus on implementing the latest hiring trends,

Also, to get an edge, conduct a research competitor research. Learn from their failures and take inspiration from their victories. 

2.Ask the right questions

Questions help you reflect, assess, analyze and most importantly, change. Let's understand with an example. 

Martha is a startup CEO that offers consultations to small businesses. She wants to hire a junior data analyst for her venture. Data plays a huge role in her venture, and she aims to find the best fit, even if it's an entry-level role. 

Here are some questions she addressed to get clarity:  

Q. Which talent acquisition methods have helped us gain a competitive advantage and can yield long-term benefits?

Clarity: Martha asks her team to collect feedback from recent hires about their candidate experience. She realizes that her one-month-long onboarding process of employee interactions and the idea of buddy culture enabled a positive experience. So, they decide to continue it. 

Q. What are the constant challenges we face during talent acquisition? How can we overcome them this time?

Clarity: The hiring managers found it challenging to gauge whether candidates are a technical fit or not. They discussed it with Martha and decided to include tech teams during the interviews. 

Q. Which resources are resulting in efficient acquisition?

Clarity: Martha finds that diversity in her team helps attract better talent. Hence, she decides to include more employees from different backgrounds to participate in the interviews. 

Q. How can we allocate resources to make the process smoother on every level?

Clarity: Martha is willing to invest more time (30-45 days) to find a good hire. Since Martha gets cold emails from recent graduates and her company recently had a summer internship program, she won't need to invest hefty finances in recruiting. 

Q. How can our talent acquisition strategy align with internal values and brand perception?

Clarity: Martha values her diverse team and wants her new hires to acquaint with the team and imbibe the culture. She ensures every new hire gets a buddy for the first month to divert their questions and feel comfortable.

So, to get clarity like Martha, brainstorm with your team and ask the right questions for a sturdy direction for your strategy. 

3.Assess and build measurable goals

While you get an "idea" of your acquisition process, you need firm data to support your beliefs or break some bubbles. And, metrics play a huge role in planning for these goals. 

So, here are 7 metrics that need your attention:

  • Time to fill: The time taken from developing a vacancy to filling the position. You can even track the time taken for each process to get a more in-depth analysis of all the processes.
  • Cost of hire: This refers to the amount of money spent to fill a position. These costs can range from online paid advertising to referral programs. 
  • Quality of hire: You can judge the quality of the new hires regularly throughout their first year. This depends on various factors — how well they fit culturally, time taken to achieve productivity or performance reviews from managers.
  • Offer acceptance rate: Compare the total number of people offered the job vs. the number of candidates who accepted the offer. Take feedback from those who didn't accept. It helps understand the candidate's experience, enabling smooth future processes.
  • Application completion rate: Compare the number of people that started the application process vs. the number of people who completed it. If there is a significant drop, it's time to identify the reasons and work on them. Don't assume the reasons; instead, ask for feedback.
  • Cost of vacancy: This refers to how much a vacancy costs your team, financially and mentally, and to what extent it affects overall productivity.
  • Source of hire: Understand which platforms are getting you the best hires for your company. It saves time for future hires.

Accessing metrics helps evaluate the recruiting process (whether your company is hiring the right people or not.) Additionally, they provide you with data to improve your recruitment process.

So, if your previous strategies didn't involve metrics, it's a good time to start now. 

4.Understand the supply of talent

Talent isn't in abundance. So you've got to put your best foot forward to find and retain it. But first, it's necessary to understand the level of strategic intervention each hire needs.

  • If you're looking to fill an entry-level position, the supply may be higher (college placements, graduates, etc.)
  • However, when you want to fill senior roles, the chances are the supply is lower and your search is more refined. This means more active sourcing, rigorously building a brand, and resources, especially time. 

Once you know the nature of the role, it allows you to filter channels for recruitment.

5.Allocate resources

Once you know where to look for talent, you can allocate resources like time, cost, money, and hiring teams.

Check how flexible you can be with resources. For example, while hiring for a mid-senior level role, you can add more benefits and compensation to convert the candidate. You can also include more people in the hiring process. 

Next steps

You're never too late to start building a strategy. So begin to

  • Brainstorm with your team
  • Study latest hiring trends 
  • Assess automation tools to standardize
  • Create a roadmap with your hiring managers

Talent is crucial, and a well-made strategy inculcates transparency, feedback, and efficiency. So get strategizing today for better talent tomorrow.

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