With vaccination programmes being ramped up, HR leaders are ramping up talent acquisition for the post-pandemic era.
Surveys, including this one by Mercer Mettl, show that hiring is expected to return to pre-pandemic levels this year, with about 58 per cent of organisations saying they are planning to hire more compared to last year.
However, in order to be able to get the best talent, especially in talent-scarce sectors, organisations must reframe their talent acquisition strategies to take into account a rapidly changing and uncertain business environment. While recruitment pertains to short-term priorities such as filling open positions as soon as possible, talent acquisition is a long-term and ongoing hiring strategy that defines the process of finding, attracting, and onboarding the right candidates for future strategic business needs.
A comprehensive talent acquisition strategy helps organisations build a talent pipeline which in turn, reduces time spent sourcing for talent in the future, hiring times and recruitment and turnover costs.
With the prospect of a Turnover Tsunami upon us, sound talent acquisition strategies are gaining importance.
The following actions are especially vital in the post-pandemic era.
1. A Greater Effort to Achieve Alignment with Leadership
Since talent acquisition is a proactive and long-term strategy, identifying future business needs is crucial to building talent pools.
To get a clearer picture of the organisation’s future hiring needs, analysing the current workforce, growth strategy, and any planned business transformations is necessary to determine the types of candidates you will need.
To do this effectively, HR needs to be on the same page as the leadership team. Together, they need to develop clear objectives for new roles.
Job postings should also reflect how these roles support business strategy. This is so that candidates can align themselves with the organisation’s strategic goals and figure out how they can help achieve them.
Your talent acquisition plan should also outline available resources and plans to bridge skills gaps.
2. Be Proactive about Staying on Top of Market Trends
While this is a no-brainer, many HR practitioners take their knowledge for granted. With business needs and the talent marketplace changing more rapidly than before, you will need to review your compensation and benefits packages more often.
Aside from considering your competitors’ offers, get feedback from your current employees. People who do the work on a daily basis will be in the best position to tell you if your offer is satisfactory.
3. Intensify Employer Branding Efforts
One of the easiest ways to attract talent is to make sure your employer brand resonates with the types of candidates you want to attract and retain. In talent-scarce sectors, this is especially important.
Start by talking to your current top performers. Find out what attracted them to your company, what they like about working with you, and what could be better. Their answers should shape your HR and employer branding strategies to attract other high-performing individuals. In addition, conduct market research to find out what resonates with the types of candidates you want to attract in the future.
Make sure your website, career pages and social media pages are updated with information about your organisation’s values, corporate culture, talent development programmes and anything else that sets you apart from the competition.
Your employer branding efforts should also extend to virtual job fairs which are becoming more common these days.
4. Be Proactive and Swift
Proactively seek out top talent including professional gig talent and show them what you can offer. In order to do this effectively, you’ll need to network with both active and passive candidates. Executive search experts can certainly help.
Time to hire matters to teams that are running with a short bench. A faster hiring process would certainly prevent you from losing talent to other opportunities.
Don’t hesitate to use HR tech including AI-powered tools to screen candidates more rapidly and free up recruiters to focus on interviewing the most qualified candidates.
5. Ensure a Positive Candidate Experience
Every touchpoint from application to rejection (in the case of unsuitable candidates) and onboarding should be carefully curated and managed. Ensure that processes in the candidate experience funnel are personalised and swift.
When it comes to unsuitable candidates, refrain from ghosting. Treat them with empathy and respect. Close the loop by informing them that they have been deemed unsuitable for the position, but most importantly, thank them for their interest and encourage them to continue their job search. They have the potential to tarnish your employer brand if treated badly. Also, remember that while they may not be suitable for your company today, they could very well be perfect candidates for future positions.
Use HR tech tools to keep candidates engaged. Send automated calendar invites, triggered assessments, and help candidates automatically moved through the various stages of the recruitment process in existing workflows.
6. Review Retention Efforts More Frequently than Before
Retention should be an ongoing effort. Check in company-wide at least twice a year to find out how your employees are feeling. Find out what’s making them stay, what’s making them think about leaving, and what would improve their experience.
Remember to continue the initiatives that originally attracted them. These could include frequent and transparent communication of strategic goals, workplace flexibility and benefits, talent development, coaching and mentorship programmes and employee appreciation programmes.
Your employees are your most powerful brand ambassadors. Keeping them happy should be seen as an important component of your employer branding efforts.
While talent acquisition is a long-term strategy, it should be regularly reviewed to ensure HR processes are supporting organisational goals. These are undoubtedly evolving at a faster pace than before as businesses continue adjusting to rapid changes amid the uncertainty precipitated by the pandemic.