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The Secret to Optimizing Your Talent Acquisition Strategy

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Posted by Matt Rivera

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April 29, 2015

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Have you ever had to stop what you were doing and walk away? Tunnel vision can be crippling to individual’s creativity, but it can also be paralyzing for organizations. When the results of your talent acquisition strategy are fleeting, it’s time to go back to the drawing board.

In my opinion, there is no other area where the phrase here today, gone tomorrow applies more than in talent acquisition. Emotions run high and priorities shift in a moment’s notice. More often than not, the process can feel like an emotional roller-coaster.

When jobs are getting filled, morale is high and the mood is positive; as is productivity. People are able to focus on the task at hand. But, on the flip side of that, when positions remain open month after month, retention is at an all-time low, and productivity decelerates, panic quickly ensues.

We've worked in tandem with a number of human resource departments and talent acquisition teams, and I know the weight HR has on its shoulders. From hiring to firing, talent attraction to retention, and ensuring the company functions at optimal levels, HR is responsible for one of the most unpredictable aspects of the business; its people.

Now you can argue that all working professionals manage people and projects to some degree. And while true, I believe the chief difference is that those people reporting to you have opted to be there.


What to do When HR Hits a Breaking Point

We tend to hear most from prospective clients when hiring hits a very low point. Positions are not being filled fast enough, if at all, and they are looking for an answer to solve all of their recruiting problems. This is one of the most common missteps in assessing and/or developing a new talent acquisition strategy. There’s no “I” in team, and that's true for a reason.

HR is the heart and soul of the organization. Without the proper resources in place, the organization will never really be able to answer why recruiting efforts aren’t producing.

Opening up the discussion to subpar or failed recruiting efforts is a delicate one at best. Would you walk into your superior’s office and say, “We need to hire someone to help me do my job.”  Well, when your department is under performing and under staffed, yes, you might.


4 Questions to Assess Your Recruiting Effectiveness

To help drive that conversation, I’ve offered up some of the most common questions Yoh uses when offering a professional assessment of a company’s talent acquisition functions. 

1. What is our talent acquisition strategy, and is it really working?

Remember my example about taking a step back to see what is really happening. Well, sometimes, that is exactly what the talent acquisition team needs to do. Critically analyze each step of the process, identify who must be involved, and determine how this fits in with the company’s business objectives.

 

2. What is your volume of hiring relative to resources?

To prepare the necessary recruiting resources, it’s helpful to have a workforce plan in place. This will help you to forecast hiring by season, skill, growth needs, etc. However, many organizations fail to successfully do this. Without access to a plan or quality metrics (historical data), it is extremely difficult to anticipate how to supplement your future hiring needs.

 

3. How do you continually enhance recruiting effectiveness?

In many instances, the HR team or individual is so bogged down, that they aren’t able to stop and smell the roses. There simply isn’t enough time in the day, week or month to catch up on the latest industry trends or technologies. Often, this is the biggest asset a staffing program, such as an RPO program or MSP program, can bring to the table. Figure out how to create consistency and structure amid the chaos; preferably driven by fact.

 

4. How do you measure your results?

The ATS is a really powerful, but historically an underutilized tool. Many companies only use it to house resume. Not optimizing your ATS is typically due to a lack of knowledge, a lack of time, or a combination of the two. In any event, your ATS is the secret weapon that will aid the department in contributing to the bottom-line. When HR is viewed as a more than a cost-center, you can begin to ask for additional resources. 


Consider this, by asking for help from a staffing provider, doesn’t mean you’ve lost control of the department or can’t handle your position. Sometimes, resources like project-based RPO are implemented to assist in a specific part of the recruiting process; like background checks, on-boarding or recruiting. Regardless of the solution you select, focus on clear and tangible results. Know that while the initial conversation can be difficult, the results outweigh the uncomfortable discussion.

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This blog was written by Matt Rivera. Matt serves as Vice President, Marketing and Communications and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of Yoh’s marketing and brand communications. Matt holds a degree in Journalism/Public Relations and has been working in the staffing industry for more than 25 years. Prior to this role, Matt held many different roles from branch recruiting and proposal writing to technology management and online marketing.

Topics: HR Strategies

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