Talent acquisition takes planning.
From creating a brand that people want to work for to researching potential candidates, acquiring talent takes planning and strategy. — Getty Images/Tempura

As a business owner, you know how important it is to employ the right workers. However, finding employees who offer the skills and values that match your brand can be difficult. That is where talent acquisition comes into play.

Talent acquisition is a long-term process of finding and vetting the right talent to meet organizational needs. Here is everything you need to know about talent acquisition, and how to develop an effective strategy to acquire the best talent for your business.

[Read: How AI Is Transforming HR With More Sophisticated, Less Biased Recruiting]

Talent acquisition versus recruitment

Despite what many people think, talent acquisition is different from talent recruitment. As noted by Jobvite, talent acquisition is an ongoing HR strategy, while recruitment involves filling an empty position when necessary. Recruitment, a subset of talent acquisition, focuses on short-term and often quick staffing fixes, while talent acquisition works with long-term staffing goals to find the best candidates who have specific skills.

How to develop an effective talent acquisition strategy

As with the development of any strategy, careful planning is a huge part of success. Here are some steps to developing your talent acquisition strategy:

Identify important roles to fill

Many companies fall short in their job descriptions by providing little or no information about the specific roles a position requires. Describe the position beyond the job title, as a title can vary drastically from one company to the next. List the job functions that will be required from each position, including the goals that need to be achieved by your new hires.

Build a brand that attracts talent

Work with your marketing team to show off your company culture and build a brand that people want to work for. A strong brand can seamlessly attract new quality talent with minimal recruitment effort. Post behind-the-scenes footage of a company charity outing or holiday work party on your website and social media. If your company offers above-average perks, such as unlimited vacation time, have an employee write a blog post about a vacation they were able to go on because of your company’s policy.

[Read: What Is the Difference Between Hiring and Recruiting?]

Talent acquisition is a long-term process of finding and vetting the right talent to meet organizational needs.

Do your research on potential candidates

Whether you actively seek out potential candidates or post a job listing and let candidates come to you, doing your research on potential candidates is key. Unfortunately, there are a great number of candidates who embellish the truth on their resume. Do your homework to make sure resumes match up with LinkedIn profiles and contact every reference that is listed on their resume. Provide each reference with specific questions related to the candidate’s resume and take detailed notes.

Finally, update your pre-employment screening policies to include background checks and/or drug screening to further narrow down your candidate pool.

Keep track of candidates

With online applications, hiring managers have to sift through copious amounts of data. Keeping everything organized in an Excel spreadsheet may work for some companies, but investing in applicant tracking software (ATS) can help your business find, track and hire the best talent quickly. This software tracks all of your applicants’ information, including how far along they are in the hiring process, in one central database.

ATS can also help you organize your notes about individual candidates during an interview. You can greenlight promising candidates to the next stage, while no call/no show candidates can be blacklisted from any future interviews with your company.

[Read: Struggling to Attract Top Talent? Try These 4 Strategies]

While we’ve offered a starting point for your strategy, keep in mind that as your hiring needs change and your company develops, your strategy may need to be adjusted accordingly. Talent acquisition is an ongoing process that requires continuous time and attention. By investing your resources, it needs to thrive, you can help attract and retain top talent.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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