Moving from recruiting to a strong talent acquisition strategy

February 9, 2017 Christine Chenneour


When recruiting new talent, it’s easy to assume you should just look at workers seeking a new job now. However, your new talent doesn’t have to be unemployed; even those not actively looking will take the call about a new role.


Your first focus should be to build a talent pool and target these candidates who aren’t looking for a new role. Stay on their radar and build a relationship, as you never know when circumstances could change. But to do this, you must move from a hiring process of just ‘recruitment’ to one of ‘strategic talent acquisition’.


Recruiting is a direct but reactive-only process, where applying candidates are sourced for positions that are currently open. This can increase time to hire as well as cost to hire. Strategic talent acquisition, however, goes beyond filling positions. It is the strategic approach to identifying, attracting, hiring and onboarding the best talent, resulting in a better talent retention rate, improving cost per hire, and increasing the quality of hire. The steps involved in strategic talent acquisition include:




First impressions count, and a personal connection with the individual is key. The 2016 LinkedIn recruitment survey showed more than 80% of leaders think employer branding has a significant impact on their ability to hire talent. Your employer branding also remains important among candidates you don’t hire, as they’ll tell others about your application process.


You can improve this using software such as Cornerstone’s to customise career sites by industry vertical and keep the application workflow as simple as possible. Mobile compatibility is also important for career sites, integrations, assessments, onboarding, videos, training and more. If candidates can order their meals, taxis and shopping on their device, they should be able to quickly and simply apply for a job too.




Selection involves evaluating your candidate pool to decide which candidates should continue. You need to determine which candidates are most likely to succeed in your company, and it’s not an easy feat without online tools.


Typical HR challenges here are around ensuring that you’re choosing the right candidate, or ensuring the selection process happens quickly to avoid losing great candidates – a tough one if you’re still manually vetting CVs.


Investing in online tools for talent selection is just that – an investment. You can set criteria that will help filter applicants, search for particular candidates, set scoring that assigns customised weights against candidates to determine quality, and more. The interview process doesn’t have to all be face-to-face either – have you tried social or virtual interviewing to make things quicker?


Consider also looking inside your own internal talent pool for new candidates or set up a referral scheme. These are not difficult or expensive to implement, and it’s easier to convince someone who already works at your company to try a new role than a new hire.




If you’ve ever had to present results to the board, you’ll already know that they want return on investment. While the cost of introducing online tools may seem expensive, plenty of cost reductions come as a knock-on effect that demonstrate ROI.


In the short term, you won’t spend as much money on job ads and agency costs. In the long term, you’ll also have improved application completion rates, improve the number of vacancies filled first time and improve the candidate quality – these all reduce time and money lost on unproductive admin tasks. In hiring better quality candidates, you’re likely to have higher retention rates and greater productivity as well.




When hiring, you may have come across problems like difficult negotiations on salary, or losing your preferred candidate because of the time between the final interview and offer. These are easily eliminated with online software managing your recruitment process.


Salary brackets could be defined in customised fields as a pre-requisite during the application, and the time between the final interview and the offer can be reduced thanks to the candidate insights provided by the data. If the worst does happen and you lose your ideal candidate, you should quickly be able to source the next best option.




Onboarding can be tricky in companies with high volumes of people or a dispersed workforce, so it takes a lot of effort to be successful. To be most effective, companies should look past the traditional three-month onboarding phase.


Structured, ongoing onboarding will help new employees be successful from day one, improving retention prospects too. Standard procedures at many companies are giving the candidate background documents on the company and expectations, training courses, and meeting stakeholders within the first few weeks. But beyond this, it’s important to keep building your team by aligning their objectives to the business mission and to reinforce good behaviours. Performance management software can support this by automating processes with configurable workflows based on position, custom onboarding reports and more.


Moving from a process of just recruiting to one of strategic talent acquisition could appear daunting, but overall will make your company more efficient and will help save costs. To find out more about how your business can become a highly effective hiring organisation, take a look at our products


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