Hire Wisdom: 5 Tips to Develop a Top Talent Acquisition Strategy

Ross Campbell Financial Services Insurance Recruiter
By Ross Campbell, Toronto Financial Services & Insurance Recruiter

Have you ever gone to market for talent without a plan or without a team? It can be overwhelming and result in a poor hiring decision.  When companies are unable to recruit top talent, it often comes down to the absence of a talent acquisition strategy or the absence of a team to do it.  As part of our blog series, Hire Wisdom: The 12 Keys to Successful Hiring, we will dissect Hire Wisdom: Key #4 – Develop a Talent Acquisition Strategy.

There can be a perception that recruitment is a tactical function rather than a business partnership, but that approach can be problematic.  I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, a partnership between recruiter and hiring manager is crucial to make any talent search a success.  The best approach is to get all the parties involved, typically including the hiring manager, HR, and the recruiters, in the same room to literally get on the same page and develop a written plan.

war on talent

Follow these five tips to develop a talent acquisition strategy as a team and get ahead in the ‘war on talent’:

1. Perform A Needs Analysis

As a team, differentiate between the must-haves and nice-to-haves based on the business needs. What are the complimentary skill sets a candidate might have to fulfill theses needs? How flexible can you be?

2. Identify Where The Talent Pool Is

As a team, discuss where to go to find these candidates, which of your competitors have this talent and how to attract them to your organization.

3. Develop A Succession Plan

Think long term. Do you have a succession plan in place? This acts as a great motivator with existing employees and also ensures retention of the current team.

4. Plan For Attrition

The use of workforce analytics is becoming increasingly mainstream.  Essentially, this means forecasting future business needs to enable the business leaders to see the bigger picture and to plan for any future skills gaps.  People will come and go within an organization.  Identify the risk of a “brain drain” if a key team member leaves the team and how you would plan to cover for that knowledge gap.   

5. Define And Develop A Talent Acquisition Strategy

Rather than a job description, build an “opportunity profile” to highlight the opportunity to your target market, based on your needs analysis. Next, develop two sourcing strategies to target both the active job seekers and to target the “passive candidates”, where the majority of the top talent lies.

In highly competitive specializations, demand for top talent often outweighs supply.  To secure top talent, you will need to have a more creative talent acquisition strategy and a winning value proposition.  In these cases, partnering with specialized executive search consultants is especially effective.  We leverage our breadth of industry knowledge, relationships with key decision makers, and ability to deliver consistently on the most difficult search assignments.

LinkedIn is a great tool, and the largest database of candidates in the world to source top talent, but you still need to know how to use it properly and have the time to sift through profiles.  To target the passive candidates, a combined approach with the in-house sourcing team partnering with specialized executive search consultants is often a winning combination.  It is really the partnership that makes it work.

With these 5 tips on developing a Talent Acquisition Strategy, you will have the ability to partner better with recruiters, HR, and hiring managers as a team, and execute even the most difficult searches using these keys to Hire Wisdom.

Check out more of Ross Campbell’s blog posts and quotes and stay tuned for the rest of the series, where he will break down each of The 12 Keys to Successful Hiring. Missed last month’s Hire Wisdom post? Read all about Hire Wisdom: 7 Tips to Improve the Recruiter / Hiring Manager Relationship.

IQ PARTNERS is a Recruitment Agency with offices in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and Halifax. We help companies hire better, hire less & retain more. Our recruiters specialize in Marketing, Communications, Consumer Goods & Retail, Sales, Technology, Finance & Accounting, Financial Services & Insurance, Life Sciences, Energy, Mining & Engineering, HR & Operations, and Construction, Property & Real Estate. IQ PARTNERS has its head office in Toronto and operates internationally via Aravati Global Search Network. Click here to view current job openings and to register with us.