Some HR departments seem to spend all of their time in reactive mode. They're either backfilling for unanticipated vacancies, reacting to ever-shifting business priorities that have created new talent needs or rushing to put out some other fire. 

It’s incredibly hectic — and a sure sign you need a talent acquisition strategy. 

With a best-in-class talent acquisition strategy in place, HR teams can be far more proactive and value-adding in their recruiting methods. When that happens, instead of scrambling to cover short-term needs, these teams are fully integrated into the long-term business planning process, and far better aligned with senior leaders on all of the big-picture goals. What's more, they're able to map existing talent capabilities onto the business strategy — including plans for adopting new technologies. 

Like any cure, of course, this one starts with the correct diagnosis. Do you recognize any of these three common pain points?

1. limited success with job boards

Online job boards are usually great for exposure. But like any other tool, they won’t function — or magically produce amazing candidates — if you don’t use them properly. So ask yourself:

  • Is the job clearly described?
  • Are we doing more than just listing out responsibilities? 
  • Are we providing engaging information about our company, such as insights into its mission, culture or values? 
  • Have we optimized the job posting with relevant keywords?

If you answered “no” to any of these, then it’s clear where your talent acquisition trouble lies. 

Beyond that, there’s also a generational angle to keep in mind if you’re relying on job boards, as the following chart makes clear.

job seekers by generation who prefer to use job boards

job seekers who prefer job boards graph

Got it? Good — be sure to incorporate these insights as you build your talent acquisition strategy going forward. 

2. negative employer branding

It’s one thing if job seekers don't know about your company. But if they actually have a negative perception of your organization? That’s a different issue entirely — obviously, your employer brand needs some attention. After all, a strong employer brand is an especially pivotal draw for millennials, who at this point represent almost half of the U.S. workforce, according to Gallup. 

Notably, too, this cohort is known for its desire to do meaningful work, which might also explain its preference for digitally advanced companies that offer employees ongoing opportunities for learning, development and growth. In fact, 87 percent of millennials believe that learning and development in the workplace is important. 

The lesson? If you want to turn the tide on negative employer brand perceptions, providing employees with the learning and development opportunities they crave certainly won’t hurt.

86 percent graph

86% of employees said they wouldn’t apply or continue to work for a company that had a bad reputation among former workers.

3. new initiatives require immediate hires with niche skills

Standard recruiting methods sometimes come up short when you have highly specific or niche talent needs — and that’s understandable (it’s also a good example of a situation where staffing partners, with their deep reservoirs of talent on demand, can step in and deliver value).

But going forward, developing your own forward-thinking talent acquisition strategy will help you avoid having to scramble for talent again. Of course, you’ll need to work with senior leaders ahead of time to develop recruiting methods  to source these hard-to-find-skills. But you can do this, given a little bit of collaboration and planning. 

Otherwise, when the business need is critical, and the supply of skilled talent is scarce, you'll find yourself between a rock and a hard place.

key takeaways

Do any of these all-too-common talent acquisition woes ring true at your company? If so, you aren’t powerless to spearhead meaningful change — and actually get out ahead of business goals. But you’ll need to have an overarching talent acquisition strategy in place. Download our comprehensive talent acquisition playbook for deep-dive insights into how you can develop one today.

Click here to get the complete guide to talent acquisition.