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Talent Acquisition and Retention Strategies

Talent Acquisition and Retention Strategies
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Talent Acquisition, also referred to as Human Capital Management, is a fast evolving concept in Human Resources Management and it is a critical activity with prime focus on enabling and developing people. It is a “methodically organized process of getting the right talent on board and helping them to grow to their optimal capabilities keeping organizational objectives in mind”. Talent acquisition begins with hiring, deploying people, retaining and nurturing talents.

In other words Talent Acquisition is about recruitment and selection, employee placement, learning, training and development, competency management, succession planning etc. It is also marketing your employer brand to individuals with the appropriate skills and experience irrespective of whether you have vacancies for them or not.

Talent Acquisition entails tracking and selecting the right people for the organization which is a great challenge for many organizations, as the quality of an organization is primarily determined by the people it employs. Talent acquisition and Management is aimed at creating a motivated workforce that would stay with the company for a long time. The exact way of achieving this will differ from company to company.

Invariably, talent acquisition encompasses many HR responsibilities and it is not enough to say you manage HR and then you are managing talents because, it entails having a designed strategic plan to gain optimal results and maximize the value of employees.

Talent acquisition in some ways is different from recruitment. While talent acquisition is an ongoing process of engagement across many platforms with the type of people your company intends to attract, recruitment is a short-term exercise that is aimed at finding suitable candidates to fill an existing position.

HR Surveys reveal that organisations globally are faced with shortage of talented employees and it’s often more difficult to retain them. In view of this, effective talent acquisition is a critical factor that enables an organization to compete favorably and stand out in the market-place.

Important Issues in Talent Acquisition

In talent acquisition, it is important to:

i). Understand every aspect of your business:

For effective talent acquisition, it is important that you understand every aspect of your business and devise an employer brand that aligns with the company culture and vision as it is an essential ingredient in attracting the type of talent you want to employ.

ii). Constitute Effective Hiring Team:

Recruitment has gone beyond one-man show. To limit the errors in your recruitment process and minimize the incidence of bad hires, you need to involve skilled people who would identify candidates with potentials during the hiring exercise as they eliminate bias and are more open to hiring a diverse workforce.

iii) Adopt data-driven methods:

Talent acquisition that worth its salt should not be done manually but involve gathering of HR metrics and analyzing same.

iv) Composition of Your Post:

In placing a job advert, you should also understand the key arguments of your company, employee value proposition and translate same into the campaign and communicate it effectively to your target audience.

Job vacancies are composed and posted in different platforms including the social media – LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter etc and shared to friends. There are basic information expected of a good advert- the background of the Company, job and its requirements because it communicates the right candidates expected by the recruiting companies as companies display her adverts showing the reasons why they are employers of choice and keep below the requirements for the job position as to attract more applicants, emphasizing more on why the job is attractive.

The way your post is composed or structured and worded, projecting your employer brand, determines to a large extent, applicants responses. If your post does not get good and expected responses from great applicants, try review your post and platforms/ medium.

Job adverts contain most or all of the following:

  • Background of the employing company
  • The job
  • Job ID
  • Location
  • Tasks and Responsibilities
  • Requirements (Education, age range, competencies etc)
  • Address to forward CVs to (e-mail address, address of company or postal address etc)
  • Closing date of advert

v) Engagement with applicants:

Your engagement with applicants / candidates most importantly have direct consequencies (negative or positive) and the applicants see the company through you.

vi). Always Review Your Talent Acquisition Strategies:

Review your talent acquisition strategies at intervals. Do not believe that you have arrived with the best talent strategies as the world is fast evolving at an alarming speed. Constitute team and always meet to review your strategies to be ahead of others.

vii) Continually Carry out Research:

Always carry out research to see what is new and to see what your competitors are doing differently and how you can be ahead of competition.

Talent Retention Strategies

Talent acquisition may be informed by several factors which could result in several activities culminating in the need to hire from within (internally) or without (externally) depending on the policies of the organisation and other variables as they both have their merits and demerits.

Comparisms between internal and external hiring:

Internal Hiring                                                       External Hiring

  1. Cost effective                                              Expensive
  2. Creates disaffection amongst               Does not create disaffection Managers/ employees
  3. Takes lesser time to fill                             Takes more time to fill
  4. Options are lesser                                      More options
  5. Faster integration                                      Takes time to integrate
  6. Higher cost of training                              Low cost of training
  7. Boosts employees morale
  8. Could result to favouritism                      Best candidates emerge
  9. Easier to manipulate                                 Not easy to manipulate
  10. It is a closed system                           It is an open system  
  11.  Low turnover                                             Turnover is high
  12.  It is motivating                                           Injects fresh blood and new thinking
  13.  Proof of the organization’s willingness to develop employees’ careers
  14. Contributes to implementation of equal opportunities policies

Retention Strategies

These are some of the strategies to retain your best talents:

  • Ensure that your salaries are internally equitable and externally competitive;
  • Implement quality supervision and management
  • Develop equal opportunities policies
  • Promote career progression opportunities
  • Review at intervals your recruitment and selection policies to reflect current Company thinking
  • Monitor competitors to be ahead of them in your people management
  • Improve and offer quality training and education to employees
  • Offer better choice of benefits to employees
  • Improve job designs and introduce flexible working practices

It is an open secret that the best job candidates available in the job market are employed and they are passive. Most people who attend career fairs are students, the unemployed and they are the desperate ones. These are certainly not the people companies are expecting to meet; they are the people companies don’t want to spend more than 2mins talking to.

Talent Acquisition is therefore is essential for attracting passive candidates but not necessarily for recruitment.

This piece was written by Agolo Uzorka, CEO/ Lead Consultant, Eugene + George Consulting Limited

Agolo Uzorka
Agolo Uzorka
the authorAgolo Uzorka