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How to Acquire Top Talent in 2024

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Recruiting, acquiring, and keeping the right employees for your organization is the best way to ensure its success. SHRM calls sourcing and recruiting “the meat and potatoes of talent acquisition.” Without effective sourcing and recruiting, your organization is left hungry for talent.

With continuous technological advancements, recruitment methods have become more and more efficient, even in the past year. Inefficient hiring processes put small and mid-sized organizations at a recruitment disadvantage, and make it more difficult to acquire top talent.

How to Acquire Top Talent

1. Write Clear Job Descriptions

The job descriptions you post to job boards or to your career page are likely the first things top talent will read when deciding whether or not to apply for the role. An ambiguous or vague job description can result in a loss of interest for potential candidates.

Hiring managers and HR professionals today are even using ChatGPT to help them write job descriptions! Knowing exactly what each job description should include can streamline the process.

Your job description should at least answer the following essential questions:

  • What is the role?
  • What does your organization do?
  • What compensation and benefits are you offering for the role?
  • What are the skills and responsibilities of the role?
  • What experience would they gain from being in the role?
  • Who is the ideal candidate for the role?
  • What does the company envision for its future?

Aim to be very clear about all the details of the role in order to reduce the number of uninterested applicants.

You can also include a section on the additional benefits of working at your organization, such as merit-based bonuses and onsite exercise facilities. These additional perks can appeal to competitive candidates.

2. Look for Candidates with Soft Skills

Soft skills are interpersonal skills and relationship-building character traits that help you interact effectively with your workforce. They’re those traits that are considered less teachable. Forbes gives an example stating, “​​A coder can learn a new programming language, and a designer can learn the ins and outs of new graphic design software. But if the new hire is unable to communicate respectfully and clearly, they’re going to disrupt operations.”

Although more difficult to measure, soft skills like communication can be more important than quantifiable skills.

It’s important to note that every industry may require employees to possess different soft skills. For example, an HR pro needs redirecting and reframing skills to do their jobs effectively, otherwise half of their work day would be spent handling trivial or irrelevant matters.  A sales team member, on the other hand, needs interpersonal skills, resilience, and a growth mindset.

When hiring top talent, using a personality test like the DISC assessment can help you gauge if your candidate has the personality type that a particular department needs. When you begin to identify potential soft skills from the DISC assessment or through the interview process, focus on the types that would align with your company culture, as well as what skills would be critical for that particular role.

It’s easy to find someone who can do the job or teach someone to do the job, but it’s much harder to find someone who possesses the other qualities that make them an asset to your company. Other soft skills include: adaptability, creativity, communication, leadership, and active listening skills. For more information on these soft skills, subscribe to our newsletter! There will be more to come in the near future.

3. Use Social Media to Your Advantage

You can use social media platforms like LinkedIn to find and recruit top talent. LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network and within its platform are powerful mechanisms that can help you attract and acquire the perfect candidates for your organization. Recruiters have figured this out, which is why LinkedIn is their go-to resource. Specifically, LinkedIn Recruiter can ease the recruitment process by helping you save time and money locating the right person for a role.

Beyond using LinkedIn Recruiter, you can take other small actions that will help you stand out as an organization. Job seekers often spend time looking at an organization’s LinkedIn to understand a company’s mission and cultural norms. This gives you the perfect opportunity to highlight your company culture and show why your organization is a great place to work. You can do this by regularly posting company-wide events and team or individual-based accomplishments.

Another way to reach more talent via LinkedIn is by highlighting new hires using new hire posts. When you post new hires and tag them, your organization’s name will pop up on their connections’ feeds. This will show your organization is growing and enable you to reach a wider talent pool.

4. Use an Applicant Tracking System

Streamlining the hiring process presents a critical opportunity for HR leaders to improve recruitment and retention rates. One way to streamline the hiring process is by using an Applicant tracking software (ATS) to automate the entire recruitment process. An ATS will do a lot of the hard work for you by tracking and organizing applicants in one single database. Moreover, additional features of an ATS often include career page integrations, email capabilities, internal communications, and integrations with onboarding software.

Other benefits include:

  • Being able to publish jobs across multiple job boards. Different ATS systems can integrate with platforms like Indeed and LinkedIn,
  • Improved communication. An effective ATS will automatically make notes that each hiring manager made about the candidate available to the next person in the hiring process.
  • Paperwork elimination. You no longer need to print resumes and pass them around the office. All of your candidate information can be found in one place.
  • Simplified applicant experience. An ATS’s email platform will help you communicate effectively with candidates without needing to sort through the dozens (or dare I say more) of emails you receive each day.

As a general rule, aim to have a hiring process of no more than five steps and use your ATS to send updates to your candidates. When you decide to move an applicant forward, provide a next interview date as quickly as possible. If applicants have to jump through too many hoops to apply and hear anything back, you may lose top candidates. Ask yourself:

  • Do applicants have to navigate through to multiple pages to enter their information?
  • Must applicants manually enter work history or education information that already exists on their resumes into the application?
  • Is the hiring process taking too long?

Keep in mind that top talent is wanted everywhere, not just at your organization. The less swift you are to acquire top talent, the more likely you are to lose top talent to another company, or worse— a competitor.

5. Leverage Key HR Metrics

HR metrics can help you quantify the efficiency of your recruitment and talent acquisition efforts, and come up with an improvement plan.

For example, one HR metric you can leverage to acquire top talent is time-to-hire. Time-to-hire determines the efficiency of your recruitment efforts by measuring how long it takes you to to hire a candidate for an open position.

The timeline starts when a candidate applies for a job and ends when they accept an offer. This metric indicates how fast you spotted your best candidate and moved them across the hiring process. Time-to-hire is calculated by dividing the total times to hire (in days) by the number of open positions.

If your time-to-hire metric is high, consider how many steps your hiring process requires. It is highly possible that you are asking applicants to jump through more hoops than are really necessary.

How Does Recruitment Affect Talent Acquisition?

“Recruitment” and “retention” have become buzz words in the HR world. The way you recruit has a big impact on your ability to acquire and keep top talent. Think about it this way: recruitment is the first impression potential candidates get of your organization. If that first impression is a bad one, top talent will head straight for the door. The start of the new year is always a prime opportunity for you to evaluate what did not work last year, and make changes accordingly. Check out our blogs on IceHrm for more insight.

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