When new business priorities pop up seemingly out of nowhere, hiring managers together with their in-house HR teams are often left scrambling. These new needs can quickly devolve into a race against the clock: Where will they find the talent they need to deliver on strategic goals? And what might be the consequences — never mind the costs — if they don't?
It’s not easy to acquire seasoned, qualified candidates who have in-demand and niche skills, especially when you're in a time crunch. The good news, though, is that the right talent acquisition strategy can be a lifesaver. Here's how.
Talent acquisition strategy 101
Sourcing hard-to-find-skills when time is short and the need is high — it happens all the time, and the experience can be extremely taxing for both hiring managers and HR teams alike.
Say, for example, you're looking to rapidly hire a large number of new customer care staff members to reduce the workload on an already overburdened team. Or maybe it's a one-off engagement, like a master data management (MDM) system that you just need someone to build and deploy — fast. Whatever the specific case may be at your organization right now, if you see any of the following warning signs, it's a safe bet that your talent acquisition strategy needs some retooling.
Positions tend to remain unfilled for long periods of time. If time-to-fill is north of a month at your organization, it's time to overhaul your approach to talent acquisition.
You're having limited success with job boards. You're posted a carefully worded, thoughtful job description on at least a dozen boards — the problem is, candidates just aren't responding to them.
Employee morale seems low. Your people are overworked and under-engaged.
You're struggling to find talent with the right skills. Sure, resumes may be piling up in your inbox, but the vast majority of them are from people who don't have the right backgrounds, training, or experience.
If any of these points sound familiar, you're probably struggling with talent acquisition generally — not just with last-minute talent requests, that is, but also with those you've known about months in advance. Let's look at a few of the ways you can go about fixing that.
Signs that you need a TA strategy:
Time to fill is over 30 days
You've had limited success on job boards
You have low employee morale
You have trouble finding skilled talent
3 talent acquisition strategies when you’re on a tight deadline
Having a robust talent acquisition strategy can help you plan for where and how you'll rise to the occasion when short-term hiring needs become all-hands-on-deck organizational priorities, as the following three examples make clear.
1. put your money where their mouths are
If a tree falls in the woods but no one is around to hear it — well, you know how the rest of the saying goes. But it's a relevant question to pursue in the context of talent acquisition, too.
That is if you're not getting traction from job boards and other channels, might it be the case that you're prioritizing the wrong channels? For example, if you aren’t engaging with your potentially substantial audience on Instagram, that’s a huge mistake.
Why? For starters, Instagram’s identity as a channel is changing, with the idea that it’s a valid channel for recruiters and job seekers rapidly being normalized increasing. An example of that is the fact that a quarter of recruiters today say they’re using it for recruiting purposes, according to one study. And the same study found that using Instagram use was especially prevalent among recruiters targeting millennials as well as those who work on behalf of technology companies.
For these reasons and more, your voice should be a part of the conversation.
2. cultivate relationships with passive candidates
Talented tech professionals are among the most in-demand candidates today — and they're tougher than ever to find for that very reason. But there's another, less-well-known reason, too: Studies have found that the majority of tech candidates are in fact passive.
If cultivating a rich pipeline of passive talent sounds like a daunting task, here are two simple strategies to help you out:
Double down on social media: If you’re looking to attract and hire passive candidates, it’s all about relationships — and coincidentally, so is social media. That might help explain why a full 82 percent of companies today are using social media specifically to target passive candidates. If your company isn’t, that’s something you should change, fast.
Explore strategic partnerships: Tapping into passive talent pools is an area of expertise at leading staffing firms today — they have time, experience, and resources to dedicate to this practice that most in-house HR managers simply can’t match. So if you’re struggling to make inroads with passive talent, seeking out a staffing firm might be a smart choice.
3. focus on your employer brand
If employer branding isn’t a high priority at your company today, just consider the following two facts — because they might make you change your mindset.
Right now, the majority of job seekers will abandon job applications if they see negative messaging about a potential employer online.
On the other hand, 94 percent of employees say they're likely to apply for open positions with companies that actively manage their employer brands.
Clearly, then, employer branding isn’t something you can afford to overlook. Indeed, it can help move the needle on both short- and long-term hiring challenges. Head on over to our in-depth report on why employer branding is so important — and what you can do to improve your company today.
Tight hiring timelines are always going to be tough — but they're also often symptomatic of underlying issues, like not having the right talent acquisition strategy in place.
If you're ready to get started with Smithsons right now, contact us today.