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How to develop a talent acquisition plan

Tips and Techniques | April 1, 2021 | By:

by Rita Revels

Having the right talent in the right place at the right time is essential in all businesses, but it is critical in small businesses. Having a talent acquisition plan will help ensure that you have the talent you need to meet your customer’s needs. If you are ridin’, you are in a reactive state. You react to immediate hiring needs without an established plan to follow. A rushed hire without a plan can result in hiring the wrong people, which can impact your business and your customers. If you are drivin’, you are following an established process that produces the results necessary for your business to succeed.

Plan ahead

You must develop talent acquisition plans before the need to hire arises and align the plan with the organization’s overall strategic objectives. Talent acquisition plans should include developing an employment brand and a defined process that is optimized to fit your organization.

Developing an employment brand involves sharing what it is like to work for your organization. When done correctly, it can establish your organization as the employer of choice. Some activities to develop a positive employment brand include incorporating the work experience on your website and social media sites through videos, photos and testimonials.  Job fairs, sponsorships of community events and community involvement are additional ways to create an employment brand. Creating a positive employment brand takes time and a continued focus on a consistent message.

A five-step process

The talent acquisition process is comprised of five steps: define, review, adjust, implement and evaluate.

  1. Define. Defining the ideal candidate will help ensure that the right employees with the required skill sets are recruited. Defining the right candidate starts with a comprehensive job analysis.  A job analysis lists all job tasks with the frequency they occur and the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) required by the job. Once the job analysis is complete, it can be used to create job descriptions and develop advertising copy for job ads.
  2. Review. Several methods can be used to review the current recruiting process. The most comprehensive method involves mapping the recruiting process from start to finish and mapping the applicant experience to apply for the position. Mapping the recruiting process puts provides a visual format that can identify unnecessary steps. Process mapping does not require any special tools or software and can be done with Post-it® Notes or in a spreadsheet. Be sure to include any steps that occur post-job offer, such as drug screens or background checks. Once you have the hiring process mapped, create a map of the applicant process. This will identify the steps that applicants must take in the process. If the process is too complicated, applicants might not complete the steps necessary to be considered for a job.
  3. Adjust. This step will take the longest amount of time. The visual map will be used to optimize the recruiting/hiring process. During this step, each piece of the process will be analyzed to determine if it is necessary or to see if two actions can be combined to save time and resources. This will involve changing the process for optimization and may include the addition or removal of steps.
  4. Implement. Once optimized, the process can be implemented. Everyone in recruiting and hiring must be trained on the new process.
  5. Evaluate. It is essential to evaluate any process following implementation. This evaluation should be data-driven and focus on continuous improvement of the process. It should also look at the analytics to determine the most effective recruiting sources. If the evaluation shows that you are not getting the desired results within a satisfactory time period, you must review the process again and make the necessary adjustments.

Ready to hire

It is crucial to develop a strategic recruiting process before openings occur.  Having a standard procedure will reduce the time to hire, provide a qualified candidate and ensure that you have the right talent with the necessary skills to meet your customers’ needs. 

Rita Revels, SHRM-SCP, SPHR, is president and CEO of Employers Network based in Spartanburg, S.C.


SIDEBAR: Talent acquisition vs. recruitment

Talent acquisition is the process of finding and acquiring skilled workers to meet the needs of an organization. It is an ongoing strategy that focuses on long-term planning and finding appropriate candidates for a specific skillset.

Recruitment is the process of finding and hiring experienced and qualified people to fill a vacancy at an organization. It typically follows a predefined recruitment process that is standardized and reactive.

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