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9 Impactful Talent Acquisition Strategies for HR Professionals (with Examples)

May 29, 2024
10 min read
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New research from Josh Bersin on talent acquisition shows that more than three-quarters of companies believe their strategies need a complete transformation in order for them to grow. But the same study showed that only 32% of HR executives are involved in strategic workforce planning. Most say they’re operating reactively, “running around to keep up,” and have been tasked with cutting costs.

In short, companies want a talent acquisition transformation but few are backing it up with resource allocation. But successful strategies require investments, whether time, money, or both. Put either into your talent acquisition strategy and you’ll reap the benefits, pulling ahead of the competition to hire top candidates.

Let’s take a look closer look at what your HR and talent acquisition teams can do to develop their own strategies. Then we’ll share nine talent acquisition strategy examples for HR and recruiters.

📈 Did you know that just 32% of HR executives take part in strategic workforce planning? Try these 9 talent acquisition strategies to increase your team’s influence on business strategy:

What Is a Talent Acquisition Strategy?

Your talent acquisition strategy is the why behind your talent acquisition processes. Strategy guides the way your company recruits qualified candidates, conducts fair, fast interviews, hires the best-fit person, and completes all the steps of an engaging, useful onboarding process. It also includes your plans for nurturing your passive talent pools and meeting future staffing needs.

To compare talent acquisition vs. talent management strategy, the former refers only to the beginning stages of the employee journey: recruitment, hiring, interviewing, and onboarding. Talent management strategy refers to the entire employee lifecycle, from first touch to offboarding. With both of these in place, your HR team can take a proactive role in helping the business meet its goals.

How to Develop a Talent Acquisition Strategy

Recruiting, interviewing, hiring, and onboarding are critical stages of the employee lifecycle. They’re your chance to build a solid foundation for an excellent employee experience. It’s essential to develop effective talent acquisition strategies to support engagement and retention during these important periods.

Depending on the roles you need to fill, the industry you work in, and even the day of the week, you might face any number of talent acquisition challenges. Your strategies are how you anticipate, eliminate, and respond to them.

Follow these steps to create a talent acquisition strategy framework for your organization.

  1. Evaluate your current talent acquisition processes. What are your current strategies, and are they working? Take stock honestly and be sure to consider how your processes vary depending on the role, department, and candidate source.
  2. Identify business goals and workforce planning needs. What are your company’s business goals, and is its current headcount helping or hindering progress? To implement strategies that work, you need to understand organizational goals and whether meeting them requires more people now or in the future.
  3. Map out the candidate journey. What does your current candidate experience look like? Mapping out their journey gives you insight into what’s working and what’s lacking. For example, you might learn whether candidates could benefit from more touchpoints with recruiters and HR or how your hiring process compares to those at similar companies or for comparable roles.
  4. Consult data and analytics for informed decision-making. The best way to make strategic decisions is to look at the data. You might feel like your team does a good job of keeping in touch with new hires before their first day, but a survey reveals that new hires don’t agree. Without the data, you’d never uncover the discrepancy, but now, you can put together a communication cadence and monitor survey responses to see if the new strategy is working.
  5. Incorporate diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) initiatives. Support your company’s DEIB commitment and stay compliant with employment laws in your recruitment processes. To do this, you can set clear goals for DEIB, review hiring practices for biases, launch targeted recruitment campaigns, use inclusive language, give structured interviews, offer bias training, and track progress toward your goals.

9 Examples of Talent Acquisition Strategies to Try

Sometimes, you have the opportunity to completely overhaul your processes, and other times, you need a quick solution. We’re sharing nine tips for either circumstance, both for when your team can handle weeks-long projects and for when you want to test a new strategy today.

First, we’ll discuss a few easier ways to revamp your strategies. These tips can be implemented in a few hours or days, especially if you’re using talent acquisition software.

🔓Unlock the secrets to effective talent acquisition! Learn how top companies attract and retain the best talent:

1. Sponsor Your Job Posts

Today, many recruiters aren’t getting the same number of applications as they were even a couple of years ago. You can reach far more interested job seekers when you give your open roles a boost on social media. Sponsor job posts and set targeted parameters for who sees your ads to increase visibility and attract a strong pool of candidates.

2. Design an Email Drip Campaign for Passive Candidates

The best candidate for the role you need to fill might not be actively looking for a new job, but that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t consider it. You have a massive talent pool of passive candidates who are already familiar with your brand, and you can nurture them with email drip campaigns.

Email drip campaigns are a series of emails sent to a potential candidate over a period of time designed to pique their interest and entice them to set up an interview. You can set these up to send automatically to maintain the desired cadence and save time spent writing and sending emails.

3. Create an Employer Value Proposition

Your employer value proposition (EVP) summarizes the best parts of working at your organization and is part of defining a strong employer brand. In talent acquisition, the EVP is an excellent way to attract applicants who identify strongly with your company culture and share important values. Not only does this help increase applications, but it also increases the likelihood that the candidate you choose will stick around.

ClearCompany’s EVP communicates everything our employees love about working here:

“Missions are accomplished with people driving towards a greater purpose. At ClearCompany, our mission is to help our 2,000+ clients achieve theirs. When talking to our own team of A players, you’ll find that it’s not only the opportunity to drive this mission forward that keeps us thriving. It’s the freedom, flexibility, and support ClearCompany provides back that contributes to our professional development and the pursuit of our personal missions and passions outside of work. Learn more about our state-of-the-art, cloud-based talent platform and why you should consider joining us here.”

4. Incentivize Employee Referrals

88% of employers agree that employee referrals are their most efficient source of reliable candidates. While there’s certainly a benefit to creating a formal referral program, you can get this strategy off the ground quickly, too. Start by testing incentives for just a few of your hardest-to-fill positions. Typically, financial incentives are awarded after the new hire has been in the role for anywhere from 90 days to several months, depending on the role and industry.

Employee referrals are most useful when you’re looking for candidates with highly specialized skill sets or in close-knit industries. Plus, you're more likely to find a candidate who will stick around when they come recommended by someone already familiar with the company and its culture. Incentivizing referrals can help you both increase your pool of potential candidates and help improve employee morale and retention.

5. Try New AI and Automation Tools

More than likely, your teams are already using artificial intelligence (AI) and automation. If you’re just dipping your toes into the AI pool, you can start small by leveraging these tools for simple content generation, like composing emails to candidates or writing job descriptions. You can automate interview scheduling by including a link to your scheduling tool in your outreach emails. Be sure to review principles for responsible AI use with your team to ensure everyone understands both the benefits and risks of using the technology.

Now, we’re sharing a few tips that take a little longer to implement but are well worth the effort.

6. Send Candidate Experience and New Hire Surveys

We’ve long discussed the importance of a positive candidate experience —but how do you know how yours stacks up? Get their feedback! Start sending candidate experience and new hire surveys to learn what they really think. You can send them to anyone who completes their candidate journey, whether they withdraw, are rejected, or are hired into the role.

Sending surveys is much simpler than you think with the help of employee engagement or talent management software. You can choose from a library of survey templates, or build your own from scratch. The answers help you determine what motivated candidates to accept your job offer, why they chose to withdraw from the process, and their impression of your company even if they weren’t hired.

At ClearCompany, we send employee surveys both to new hires (after two weeks on the job) and to their hiring managers (90 days after the new hire joins). These surveys help our recruiting team learn that we excel at fast hiring and give hiring managers insight into whether they made the right choice.

7. Onboard Digitally

It’s still not uncommon for onboarding to be done manually, but moving to a modern, paperless process takes your talent acquisition strategy up a notch. It’s faster, less prone to errors, and results in a digital record that’s far easier to access and update. It also enables your business to start the onboarding process prior to day one (if possible for the role). New hires can complete some or all of their onboarding paperwork quickly, sign documents digitally, and hit the ground running on day one.

Digital onboarding was a huge benefit for ClearCompany client Rendevor Dialysis, whose HR team handles onboarding for employees across the U.S. The HR team spent hours filing, faxing, and emailing to manually onboard employees. When they began using ClearCompany Recruiting and Onboarding software, they could automatically generate onboarding packets and sync employees’ information with ADP. Thanks to our software, their team saves tons of valuable time.

8. Look for New Candidate Sources

When was the last time you looked beyond your usual candidate sources to find top talent? We’re not talking about finding another recruiting agency or a new job board —explore the candidates who already know about your brand. That could be previous applicants who weren’t hired, your current employees, or even former employees who have left the company, also known as boomerang hires.

Internal hiring is a favorite of HR professionals, with 81% saying it’s great for employee retention. When employees see there are opportunities for growth within the company, they’re far more inclined to stay and it can even motivate them to level up in their careers. Boomerang hires are a more unconventional candidate source, but bringing back former employees could be the right choice for some roles. Boomerang employees bring both new experiences they’ve gained as well as their knowledge of the business and often, a newfound appreciation for your company.

9. Try New AI and Automation Tools

You read that right — this tip made the list twice. While you can leverage AI and automation in HR for quick wins, they’re not going anywhere. You need a plan for using them responsibly and incorporating them into your HR workflows long-term. With an AI-enhanced talent acquisition software solution, you get access to AI and automation tools for recruiting, hiring, and onboarding and the expertise of the software provider. These tools help your team work faster, learn more about your company’s workforce, and make informed strategic decisions.

As you search for the right talent acquisition software, ask vendors about their approach to responsible AI development. You want to ensure you choose a provider that understands the risks of AI and is taking steps to mitigate that risk. With this knowledge, you can far more easily make a choice about which AI-equipped software solution is right for your organization.

AI-Enhanced Talent Acquisition Software for Strategic Success

Get all the tools you need to incorporate these tips into your talent acquisition processes with software. ClearCompany’s Applicant Tracking System (ATS) and Onboarding software combine to form a powerful suite of Talent Acquisition tools:

  • AI-enhanced content creation helps HR and recruiters write job descriptions, candidate emails and texts, offer letters, and more instantly.
  • Enhance your Career Site with a helpful Chatbot that can answer visitors’ questions, walk them through the application process, and save your HR team time.
  • Reclaim valuable hours with automated workflows, including drip email campaigns, interview scheduling, and new hire onboarding packet creation.
  • Eliminate bias and maintain fair hiring practices with the help of Interview Guides and Scorecards and robust analytics and reporting tools.
  • Access a single dashboard where you can manage job posts across various major job boards, see candidates’ profiles and hiring status, send email and text communications, and much more.
  • Showcase your company culture and make it easier than ever to apply with branded Career Sites with a built-in AI Chatbot.

Sign up for a demo of ClearCompany Talent Acquisition and ask about our AI-enhanced features and automation capabilities.

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