Every company strives to hire the best and the brightest. But thanks to a booming economy with record low unemployment, today’s hiring market is driven by the candidates themselves, making it critical for your organization to find ways of enticing top talent into joining your team.

Showcasing your company, recruiting qualified candidates and ultimately hiring your next star employee isn’t only posting a job application online and waiting for candidates to apply: it requires a dedicated, purposeful talent acquisition strategy.

What is talent acquisition?

According to Talent Acquisition Research Leader Robin Erickson of Bersin by Deloitte, talent acquisition is a “strategic strategic approach to identifying, attracting and onboarding top talent to efficiently and effectively meet dynamic business needs.” It’s common to view talent acquisition as the same task as recruiting, but it encompasses a far larger set of strategic tools to find and develop a workforce.

Talent acquisition isn’t simply finding a person who can carry out a specific task — it’s the process of identifying an individual with the right personality, skills and talent to help an organization make the most of their workforce. Every job and every candidate is different and a proper talent acquisition strategy can help hiring managers and recruiters fill open positions in a way that is smarter, faster and cheaper. Beyond recruitment itself, talent acquisition also requires the development of a broad strategy to manage an organization’s present and future hiring needs.   

Is your talent acquisition strategy sound? Ask yourself these questions to make sure it fulfills your organization’s goals.

1. What are your staffing needs?

Is your organization looking to fill one key role, an entire department or something different altogether? When putting together a talent acquisition strategy, ERE recommends making staffing plans for long-term and short-term business needs, including at least a year’s worth of hiring needs, changes in business that could affect the volume of hiring, key roles and the risks of employee attrition or retirement. Anticipating your upcoming staffing needs will allow you to put the proper talent pipelines in place to attract the right number of candidates at the right time. 

2. What is your employer brand?

To attract talent, your company needs to be attractive. What makes candidates want to work for you? One of the best tools to reach and appeal to talent is through the curation of an employer brand that demonstrates your company’s purpose, values and culture. With recruitment marketing software, your employer brand can be used to attract talent based on a particular persona — like those crafted specifically for engineering talent or military veterans — and highlight the benefits of being a part of your organization.

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3. How are you sourcing candidates?

Are you proactively searching for talent, developing talent communities or attending career fairs? Your answer should be yes, yes and yes, according to Recruiting.com. Candidates are anywhere and everywhere and your talent acquisition strategy needs to reach them wherever they are.

That’s why there’s talent acquisition software. Equipped with powerful candidate sourcing tools, the ability to build talent communities, fill talent pipelines and make plans for recruitment events, talent acquisition software is the recruiter’s best friend when hunting for the next big hire.

4. Are you making the most of your hiring process?

Once your talent acquisition strategy has produced a crop of candidates ready to be interviewed, you don’t want to give them a reason to ghost you.

Throughout the hiring process, a quality candidate experience can make or break a candidate’s impression of your company. Negative candidate experiences can lead candidates to write off the notion of working with your company — or even stop doing business with it altogether. Use modern recruitment tools like interview self-scheduling or mobile job applications to make your candidate experience the best it can possibly be.

5. Are you maximizing your onboarding process?

Make sure new hires understand your organization’s employee referrals program, enabling them to help recruit their colleagues and friends on your behalf. Employee referrals programs are a fast, easy way to fill a talent pipeline with candidates who are familiar with your organization through a trusted friend who is already working for you.