Successful companies need an expanding workforce to keep their operation running smoothly and to continue growing. Sometimes, a company suddenly needs to fill some vacancies as quickly as possible. In this scenario, they turn to experienced recruiters who cull through their databases, pre-screen candidates, and present the individuals that they believe fit the bill. This linear process is called recruitment, and it’s widely used.
Other times, a company anticipates a future need for human resources with rare skills and leadership qualities. They know that talented people will be the driving force behind the company’s success, and therefore need to work with a staffing agency that provides a hiring strategy and long term solutions to help them build a lasting workforce. This is called talent acquisition, and it’s different than the more simple function of recruiting.
While recruitment is, of course, part of an overall talent acquisition strategy, the two terms do not mean the same thing. Some staffing agencies provide recruitment only, whereas others forge close relationships with their clients to help them assemble an all-star team with low turnover.
Recruitment agencies engage in talent acquisition with a multi-faced faced approach. Here’s how companies and recruitment firms can work together to build a lasting workforce:
Finding the Best Talent Starts with Engaging Candidates
Technology has made job searches easier, but it is only part of what is needed to find the best talent. To get a step up on the competition, businesses must focus on engaging their candidates. In short, there is more to any given prospect than what is listed on their LinkedIn profile. Here’s some fresh insight from IQTalent Partners.
Five essential talent acquisition practices
1. Cooperation among departments
Acquiring talent shouldn’t be an isolated event – get the whole company involved! While a recruitment agency is at the heart of a company’s talent acquisition efforts, the marketing team, executive leaders, and Human Resources must all cooperate to devise the hiring strategy and to define future goals. For instance, executives must continually communicate their vision for the company with the recruiter, and must also keep human resources in the loop as they are key for candidate interviewing, placement, and retention. The recruiter must have a deep understanding of the company’s inner workings and their growth strategy.
2. Long-term planning
Recruiting fulfills an immediate need, whereas talent acquisition has much longer-term goals. Rather than reacting to a sudden need to hire employees, talent acquisition is more forward-thinking; meaning there needs to be considerable planning. A recruiter will evaluate the current economy, the company’s industry growth, the supply/demand for various job skills, and other key criteria for predicting the company’s long-term needs. Again, it’s a collaboration between the recruiter and the company.
3. Brand reputation management
Part of attracting talent, be it short term or long term, often hinges on a company’s image as an ideal employer. Company culture should be promoted on social media, not to mention managed on sites like Glassdoor.com. You can give the public a glimpse of what it’s like to work for the company by involving the marketing department, human resources, and the recruitment agency. In fact, a good recruiter can obtain a pretty good picture of a company culture, and successfully communicate it to the candidates they meet. These days, many skilled specialists are spoiled for choice when it comes to accepting job offers, thus, maintaining a good brand image is a critical aspect of a long-term talent acquisition strategy.
4. Dedicate the time and resources
Engaging new employees isn’t usually a one-time event. Talent acquisition tends to be a year-round effort, and companies that understand the value of a strong team will be able to dedicate the time to building it. Fortunately, recruiting firms are able to do a lot of the heavy lifting in terms of attending industry events, conducting background checks, screening candidates, and so forth. Though the recruiter will be 100% dedicated to finding talent, the company must also set aside considerable time to work with the recruiter so both parties are on the same page.
5. Devise a retention strategy
Recruitment often ends as soon as an employee is hired, but talent acquisition is about building a team that will help grow the company in the future, not simply filling a seat for the short term. An experienced recruiter is able to ascertain whether or not a candidate has growth potential, and how they can move up in the company in the long run. A recruiter will conduct thorough background checks and aptitude assessments to help gauge whether or not a candidate has the foresight and gumption to move up in a company. They can also consult with the company to help them improve some of their policies that affect retention. For example, employee benefits, payment structure, corporate culture and opportunities for vertical growth all affect employee retention.
True talent acquisition is becoming a much-sought-after practice. With the explosion of tech and pharmaceutical start-ups in Canada, the demand for highly skilled professionals with leadership qualities is booming, and companies want to build strong teams, not just to fill seats. Groom & Associates acts equally as a short-term recruitment solution, and as an experienced talent acquisition service. We’re able to help companies quickly find contract workers and lower-level admin workers, as well as help them build a team of executives ready to lead the company towards its goals. This is, in part, because many of our recruiters themselves have experience in Human Relations and many years of work and educational experience in the industries we serve, such as engineering, IT, AI, and biopharma. This combination of expertise allows us to better understand exactly what a company requires for their immediate staffing needs as well as their idea of the ideal future team.
Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor
Contributed by Miriam Groom. Ms. Groom is VP of sales and marketing at Groom and Associates, a Canadian recruitment agency specialized in headhunting. She has experience with a wide range of clients, from small high growth organizations to some of the largest global organizations.