I was a competitive club swimmer all through my schooling life. At the beginning of every year, we had a bunch of new talent join the team, all of whom had been headhunted from other top high schools around Australia. Our school poached them as they held record individual swim times and were added to the team to ensure we always won what was known as the ‘QGSSSA annual swimming event’ (And so our coach made his huge bonus every year). Our Head Coach would map the market identifying a raft of the high performing swimmers he wanted to follow, track their results from a young age and then eventually decide who he wanted to poach into the team usually with a ridiculously good offer on the table. Free schooling at a top private high school was often on the cards. This kind of play was not unheard of across all private high schools across Australia. The rivalry for talent between them was ruthless. Some athletes had multiple offers on the table and ultimately it was a fight for who secured the individual. Similar to the professional sporting world, the competition was high for the best talent.

The fight or competition for talent in the workforce is not dissimilar. The best talent will always be employed and highly sought after. They take convincing to move and when they enter the market, they usually have a raft of employers on their doorstep.

So how do organisations ensure they have the best methods of talent attraction in place to ensure they secure the best? Here are my thoughts on getting the fundamentals of talent attraction right.

1. Have a clear talent acquisition strategy in place

A talent acquisition strategy is designed to ensure you entice and attract the best and brightest people to your organisation. It is a framework that helps organisations make better hiring decisions and ultimately hire smarter. It not only helps you understand where the organisation sits in the market and how to position it correctly but with workforce planning and internal mobility. It also assists in mitigating the risk of hiring the wrong employee which in turn costs a business time and money.

Fact: A recent statistic showed that companies who have a clearly defined talent acquisition strategy in place achieved greater results in retention including a 94% retention rate for first year employees.

2. Build and engage with talent pools and communities

A talent pool is a group of highly-qualified candidates you regularly engage with who are not necessarily active on the job market but are only interested in working for one particular organization. Building and engaging with talent pools is a brilliant long-term strategy for filling positions with high quality candidates faster and cheaper and is a very effective way to build a proactive recruitment model. Some of the benefits of building a talent pooling function include:

  • You will have access to talent quicker  
  • Your time to hire will be reduced
  • The cost to hire will be reduced
  • The overall candidate experience will increase

Imagine if every time you started sourcing for a new position you had talent pools full of active candidates ready to call on right away? No advertising or searching through thousands of applications. I know line managers will be much happier with the speed of shortlists from recruitment teams!

3. Build your employer brand

Your employer brand and your employee value proposition is the face of the company and is essentially what candidates think of the organisation. It is key to any talent acquisition success and helps you manage your company reputation. These days it is just as easy to find out a bad reputation of an employer as it is to ride a bike. Glassdoor is only a google search away and the first place most candidates look before deciding to go for an interview. Having a strong employer brand and employee value proposition will help you tackle these hurdles and influence any perceptions future employees may have on the organisation.  

Fact: A recent survey showed that 73% of candidates would reject a job offer from an organisation that has a bad employer brand, even if they were without a job.

4. Have effective recruitment systems and processes in place

An effective recruitment process includes a thorough job briefing, developing a position description, advertising, sourcing and screening, interviewing, reference checks and making a job offer. Having a strong application tracking system in place will help you automate this entire process. It will also help you with data analytics and reporting on key recruitment trends and metrics.  

5. Beyond acquisition – are these things in place?

Now that the candidate has been appointed, having a thorough onboarding process setup is key as it will help set them up for future success. Just as important as onboarding is also having clear and measurable KPI’s / Goals outlined, ensuring the new employee understands these and what is expected of them. Consider choosing an online platform to assist with this as it makes it really simple!

Need help getting started on any of the above? Let’s chat.

Mikahla Smith
Executive Consultant – Group Solutions

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