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Acquiring talent is distinct from recruiting though the terms are often used synonymously. When meeting an organization’s continuing employment needs, recruitment is only one aspect of the hiring process. Recruiting is concerned with filling open positions immediately and, therefore, has short-term goals. On the other hand, talent acquisition anticipates and prepares for the future and the key competencies and skills necessary for positions that will help the company succeed.

Many companies debate that creating and maintaining a talent acquisition strategy is too costly. However, not devoting time and money to regularly evaluating your talent needs and managing talent will cost you eventually, especially as the talent war rages against the competition and you are always at risk of losing good people. The goal of talent acquisition is to lower attrition and, when the time comes, be prepared to make the best hires. Here’s how to create a talent acquisition strategy:

Build talent profiles

You can only acquire talent if you know what attributes will lead to success. When you build talent profiles, start by rating and ranking your existing employees, allowing you to identify your top performers. What are the attributes of your highest-performing workers? What do they have in common? Talent profiles help you understand workstyle, learning style, and preference. Other valuable components of talent profiles include accomplishments, work history, developing competencies, training history, and compatibility for team opportunities.

Identify your needs

Often, what a company lacks are skilled individuals that you wouldn’t assume would work for your sector. For example, a tech company may have an impressive team of developers, analysts, engineers, technicians, and designers. What the company doesn’t have, however, are project managers that not only have adequate technological understanding and skills but also know how to solve problems, manage time, and most importantly, lead. A tech company may also need a marketing professional who can create campaigns with copy and content that communicates to a wider audience, not just those who understand tech terms and jargon.

Update your succession plan regularly

Succession planning aims to prepare your company for the inevitable turnover of key positions. Taking into account both immediate needs and long-term objectives, such planning puts the right people in the right positions immediately and in the future. Through succession planning, you identify critical positions, paying special attention to potential vacancies which may happen due to retirement or promotions. Recognize the key competencies necessary to ensure business continuity and focus on ensuring people receive the right training and development to acquire those skills.

Because businesses, markets, and talent evolve, you should visit your succession plan regularly. The best practice would be to assess your succession plan every six months, more often if your sector is prone to high attrition and volatile business environments. When you analyze your succession plan, update it to reflect significant business challenges, critical positions, and high-potential employees.

With talent acquisition, you’re always thinking ahead. Having a passive talent pool saves time and money and prepares you to compete in the talent war.  

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Inscape Consulting Group
Greg Nichvalodoff, BSc. BM (Honors), MBA, PCC, CMC
Office: 604.943.0800
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