The single most valuable piece of advice about building a talent acquisition strategy might be that there is no single best method for building such a strategy.

Nonetheless, strategic talent acquisition is vital to the success of any business—a way of strengthening your talent pipeline, attracting more qualified applicants and decreasing hiring costs. A structured approach helps with recruiting efforts across the organization and reduces time to hire for executive-level roles and positions that require hard-to-find, niche skills.

How is a talent acquisition strategy different than recruiting? Unlike recruiting, a talent acquisition strategy provides a road map for cultivating relationships with top talent, regardless of open positions. In other words, it’s a plan for taking action now that smooths the path for hiring later on.

getting started

As you create your plan, remember it should be closely tied to the goals of your business, and take into account any trends that are unique to your industry or line of business. While, ultimately, your plan will touch on many different aspects of employee attraction and recruitment, to get started you should focus on just a few areas, with the understanding that your plan will continue to change and evolve over time.

start with the future

Your strategy will be most effective when it aligns with and supports the growth strategy of your business. Start with a 12-month, two-year or five-year business plan to determine which functional or departmental areas project the highest growth, and which will likely have related talent needs. By anticipating these growth areas, you can focus on nurturing relationships within very specific talent pools.

From a broader perspective, your plan should include regular communication with leaders or hiring managers to assess future workforce needs, discuss retirements or leaves of absence, and learn how current employees might advance within the organization.

Your talent strategy should also identify ways to stay current with your industry's trends and forecasts. By understanding industry dynamics, you’ll be better prepared for upcoming staff augmentation needs, and have a greater chance of success when it comes to attracting very specific, strategic hires.

build your brand every day

Simply put, companies with strong employer brands attract strong candidates. That's why your talent acquisition strategy should span a variety of multiple, ongoing activities to maintain and strengthen your employer brand.

For example, employer brand research shows that candidates today look for quite a bit more from an employer than a paycheck and benefits package. This means your talent strategy should identify how to clearly and consistently communicate your brand attributes to both active and passive candidates.

A strong brand is especially important now that millennials make up the majority of the workforce. This demographic is known for its desire to do meaningful work with a digitally forward company. Your talent acquisition strategy should spell out how you will communicate your company culture, digital abilities and employee benefits across audiences and platforms.

utilize technology and data

Technology and data are integral to any effective talent acquisition strategy. How you use them also tends to have a determining influence on who you recruit, where you recruit them from and more.

On the one hand, technological advancements can quickly create demand for (or eliminate) specific skill sets within your organization. Think about how to establish relationships with tech-savvy teams or other information sources so you can stay in the loop with relevant advancements and keep your talent strategy ahead of the technology curve.

From another perspective, any number of software tools can help you collect, record and evaluate data related to candidate recruitment, acquisition or experience, just to name a few. In your talent acquisition strategy, outline which metrics you can generate in-house and which you may need to acquire. Identify who within the organization can help interpret results, and specify how and with whom you will share results and how you will articulate next steps.

Your plan might also consider aligning with a digitally proficient recruitment and workforce solutions partner. This type of partnership can make your digital strategy more robust and create cost efficiencies.

continue to finesse

As with any plan, a talent acquisition strategy will evolve over time and reflect current workplace dynamics. Keeping it up to date will help you secure top candidates with less stress and fewer recruiting dollars. Consider your plan to be a living document. Revisit it frequently and finesse the details as your strategy matures.

If your organization is ready, but you need some help along the way, we have the experience and know-how to guide you. Click here to learn more.