Best Practices: Talent Acquisition

Talent and human capital form the backbone of any business. They must be a priority and never simply an afterthought. It is that simple.

But is it?

We so often focus on revenues and profits and in the case of public companies, stock price. It almost seems as if these numbers spawn themselves. But we know they don’t. They are created by people. Employees and other individuals affiliated with a company create the value that defines the company. In fact, they are any organization’s greatest asset. They are also usually the greatest investment the company makes.

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Nevertheless, in all of our focus on numbers and metrics we often lose appreciation for the critical importance that the right group of employees can make for an organization. But we ignore this at our own peril. Bad hires, and turnover are enormously costly for companies. Not only in the direct expenses associated with the hire and the replacement but in all the indirect costs associated with lost productivity, instability and the time wasted speculating about the unknown that a gap in the organization inevitably causes.

According to Deloitte University Press 2017 Global Human Capital Trends:

“Attracting skilled resources is no longer simply the responsibility of HR. It now stands as a top concern of business leaders, ranking third in our survey this year. More than 8 in 10 (83 percent) executives say talent acquisition is important or very important.”

Hiring trends such as overall job growth, the increasing proportion of the work force that are millennials, the rise in freelancers and the use of technology in the hiring process all necessitate an expanded focus on talent and the talent acquisition process.

Talent acquisition best practices begin with succession planning. Succession planning is best undertaken at many levels within the organization. The best organizations compliment a robust CEO succession planning process with a focus on bench strength throughout the organization.

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Once succession is planned and future gaps and needs are identified, organizations must develop and implement efficient and effective hiring processes. This must include a focus on excellence at every step of the way from job descriptions to job postings, interviewing and closing on a hire.

Talent acquisition may occasionally necessitate the use of an outside recruiter. This can happen when inside resources are not available, or perhaps there is a particular deadline that cannot be met internally. In any case, working with an external talent acquisition professional brings with it its own set of challenges. But done right, the experience can be smooth and yield great results. The key is to make sure it is handled properly.

Many believe that once the hire is made the company or the team can step back and wait for results and progress. It is not so simple. New hires need to be provided with the proper tools and environment to succeed. What are these? Onboarding properly can mean the difference between success and failure.

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To conclude, talent acquisition cannot be left to chance. The highest levels of the organization must make this a strategic focus. Processes must be in place that are thoughtful and strategic and employ the most current thinking and tools available. In today’s globally competitive world, anything less is simply unacceptable.

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