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Applicant Tracking System Recruiting & Hiring

How to Improve Your Talent Acquisition Process in 5 Steps

November 18, 2021
7 min read
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Performance Management, Supercharged


The talent acquisition process is not as simple as it may seem. Many might think it’s just screening candidates — but recruiters and HR professionals know better. Talent acquisition strategy includes recruiting, screening, interviewing, hiring, and onboarding. With effective talent acquisition strategies, recruiters and candidate sourcers are able to think ahead and stay on the lookout for top talent.

A strong talent acquisition process is a must in today’s competitive labor market. U.S. workers continue to quit in record-high numbers, resulting in a workforce of 5 million fewer people than before the pandemic. To fan the competitive flames, only 11% of companies report hiring freezes today compared to 45% in 2020.

The perfect storm of job availability, a shrinking talent pool, and a hiring upswing have made finding top talent harder than ever. 74% of HR professionals say they're having trouble finding candidates. So, there’s no better time than now to refine your company’s approach to talent acquisition.

Talent Acquisition Vs. Recruitment

Talent acquisition and recruitment are often used interchangeably, but recruitment is just one part of a talent acquisition strategy. Recruitment is limited to filling open positions and getting new employees in the door. But with a talent acquisition strategy, teams consider their company’s hiring goals long-term. You can think of a recruitment process as reactive and talent acquisition as proactive.

You need a modern #TalentAcquisition strategy in today’s competitive talent market. Try these 5 tips from @ClearCompany to find, #hire, and #engage top talent:

Talent acquisition specialists source top talent for several roles, especially for hard-to-fill executive and leadership positions, even if the position is filled. The fact is that eventually, nearly every role at your company will change hands. Talent acquisition strategy ensures that the best possible candidate takes the previous employee’s place. It’s a central part of your human resources strategy and enables retention, performance, and engagement efforts.

Now that we’ve covered the difference between recruiting and talent acquisition, let’s look at a few measures you can take to keep your strategy fresh.

1. Evaluate Current Processes

First things first: take stock of your current recruitment and/or talent acquisition processes. Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll have a better idea of how your current processes are working and where they could improve. Ask yourself:

  • Have you created a consistent candidate experience across roles and departments? 
  • Is your recruiting and sourcing team identifying internal candidates for promotional opportunities? 
  • Do any of your candidate sourcers scout talent for executive positions? 
  • Are any team members nurturing a talent pipeline for your organization?
  • Do your recruiters and sourcers have access to resources and tools to assist their efforts, including software tools?
  • Are you tracking recruiting and sourcing data, including time-to-fill, time-to-hire, retention rates, top candidate sources, etc.?

If you answered “yes” to all of the above, congratulations! You’re on the right track with talent acquisition. Analyze your recruiting and sourcing data to find opportunities for maximizing efficiency.

If you answered “no” to any or all of the questions, focus on developing new talent acquisition strategies that target those areas that are lacking.

2. Streamline Candidate Experience

53% of job seekers say candidate experience is more important to them now than before the pandemic. They’re not just saying that: 63% of candidates will reject a job offer if they had a poor experience. Today’s job seekers expect transparency, honesty, and communication around their application status.

Candidate experience starts from the time a potential candidate sees your job posting and continues until an offer letter is signed. The job description should be clear and thorough while avoiding biased language, and the application should not be too time-consuming. Throughout the interview process, your recruiting teams should stay in touch with candidates and clearly communicate what to expect. After an offer is extended and signed, start the new hire onboarding process for a seamless transition from excellent candidate experience to engaging employee experience.

3. Recruit And Promote Internally

Recruiting and promoting internally is a hugely beneficial talent acquisition strategy. Internal candidates are more engaged, the hiring process is faster, and associated costs are lower, according to Mark Lobosco, vice president of talent solutions at LinkedIn. But, Lobosco noted, hiring internally boosted retention most of all.  "Our data show that employees stay 41 percent longer at companies that hire internally compared to those that don't," he said.

We found even more evidence to bolster the relationship between internal hiring and retention. According to a new study from the University of Minnesota, internal hires tend to be both higher-performing and more likely to stay on at their company. Conversely, high-performing external hires are more likely to leave. As the ‘Great Resignation’ continues with no signs of slowing, companies are shifting their recruiting budgets to proven strategies like internal hiring programs to keep valuable talent on staff.

Did you know? According to LinkedIn data, employees stay 41% longer at companies that hire internally compared to those that don't.

4. Leverage An Employee Referral Program

An employee referral program is an excellent way to expand your talent pool and bring in new candidates. Referred candidates are four times more likely to be hired and can save businesses more than $7,500. They’re also more qualified, better-fit candidates: 48% of companies say their top candidates are referrals. Not to mention, their retention rates are also much higher than average. 46% of referred employees stay at the company for three or more years, compared to 14% of job board hires.

Referrals seem almost too good to be true, but there are even more advantages to a referral program. Employee referral programs are an excellent way to reach active candidates: 71% of job seekers use referrals in their search. Referred employees tend to be hired much more quickly and often settle into their positions more quickly thanks to their connection to your company. 

#TalentAcquisition is so much more than just #recruitment. You need a modern strategy to find new talent pools and get in front of qualified candidates. Try these 5 steps from @ClearCompany for improved talent acquisition processes:

Employee referral programs often include monetary incentives, for example, a bonus awarded after the referral has been in the position for 90 days. Offering an incentive is a good idea since it results in higher-quality referrals. Whether you start a referral program or reevaluate your existing program, be sure to spread the word among employees. Ensure your HR team tracks important referral hire metrics to compare to other candidate sources, including time-to-hire, retention rates, and hiring costs.

5. Implement Or Upgrade Your ATS Software

Many companies are already using talent acquisition software like an applicant tracking system (ATS). 78% of companies say their ATS makes it easier than ever to find great talent. ATSs can automate and manage talent acquisition processes like job board posting and employee referral programs, create an engaging candidate experience, and track recruiting data, too. “Anything a recruiter is doing more than five times a day can and should be automated," said Anil Dharni, CEO and co-founder of Sense.

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According to Dharni, using software is all but a requirement in today’s talent market and into 2022. If you need more candidates, he said, technology is the only way “to effectively reach five times or even 10 times more candidates.” If you have an “abundance of candidates for a position,” you need technology to find “the needle in the haystack.”

Whether you need a brand-new ATS or your old system needs an update, you’ll want to ensure your software can support any of your new talent acquisition efforts. Be sure to choose an ATS with proven results that can grow with your company.

A successful talent acquisition strategy is possible even in today’s contentious hiring landscape. With the right tools and proven techniques, you can tap into candidate sources that produce A Players — the highest-quality, most effective candidates that are out there.

Find your A Players with the help of ClearCompany’s award-winning Applicant Tracking System. Reach more candidates, manage employee referrals, and automate recruiting processes for your most powerful talent acquisition strategy yet. Sign up for a demo of ClearCompany’s award-winning ATS software today.

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