Your business deserves the best. In a world where competition is constantly growing from every angle, sourcing and securing the finest talent in your industry is both more important and more challenging than ever. This is where corporate talent acquisition can make a real difference. Having the right strategy in place elevates your efforts to secure the next generation of talent for your business, setting the course for its future and uniting departments across the business in a single-minded effort to continue growing.
At AGP we have both the experience and the resources to work alongside your company – taking the time to understand its long-term goals and transforming traditional recruitment efforts into fully rounded talent acquisition. Here we explain all you need to know about corporate talent acquisition and how it can change the way that you shape your business…
What is corporate talent acquisition?
Corporate talent acquisition is a unified, cross-company effort to secure and retain the brightest and best talent in your industry, often through innovative and forward-thinking methods that help the business to stand out from the competition. Encompassing everything from sourcing to onboarding, talent acquisition represents the combined efforts of recruiters, hiring managers, HR professionals and others – meaning that recruitment is only one part of it. At its heart, it’s simply a game of finding the first person for the job, but with an eye on the future as much as on the present.
Recruitment vs talent acquisition
So what exactly is the difference between recruitment and talent acquisition? They are both about placing the most well-qualified people into the roles that suit them best – finding where they will truly excel and change the course of a company for the better. Both can focus on any area of the company but corporate talent acquisition tends to revolve primarily around the executive level and leadership roles, those which set the course for the business.
However, recruitment in its traditional sense tends to focus on filling gaps and meeting the short-term staffing needs of the business – a role becomes vacant and it needs to be filled by someone qualified as soon as possible in order to maintain the smooth operation of the company. But talent acquisition is a much more strategic and forward-looking process. It takes the company’s long-term ambitions as its central basis and focuses on paving the road ahead with as many talented individuals as possible, whether or not there’s a suitable role for them right now. Immediate staffing needs tend to be less relevant to corporate talent acquisition than future projections.
Why is talent acquisition important?
At a fundamental level, every business wants to find and retain the most highly skilled and capable people it can. But attracting the best people becomes even more important when these people will decide the direction of your company. Even if your talent acquisition efforts aren’t immediately focusing on the executive level, that’s where your most talented employees will eventually rise to.
But talent acquisition also transcends conventional recruitment methods. If done correctly, it operates as a comprehensive human resources recruitment approach, integrated into your longer term strategic objectives. It aims to populate your company with as many skilled and high-potential employees as possible, while ensuring these people fit in with your company’s culture, values and priorities.
Reviewing the talent acquisition process
When reviewing your talent acquisition process, or endeavouring to turn your conventional recruitment process into something more closely resembling corporate acquisition, it’s always worth being clear on the key steps in the process. These are:
Sourcing and generating leads
At the heart of this step is an unmissable, perfectly worded job description. This can then be circulated around as many networks as possible, both virtually and in person. Having representatives attend plenty of industry events and conferences in order to establish a clear presence is key to building a large pool of interested – and interesting – candidates.
Recruiting and attracting top talent
Part of this stage is establishing a company brand that’s as strongly defined for prospective employees as it is for customers. An attractive company culture is a central tenet of this, and along with an appealing overall package it will play a role in bringing in the best people in your industry.
Relationship management with candidates is also an important part of this – ensuring each has a positive experience and keeping in touch with people who may well be a perfect fit for future roles even if they aren’t the right person now.
Interviews and assessment
It’s worth taking a fresh approach to devising questions at this stage – what does your company really need? The more a question gives a candidate the chance to show their resourcefulness and problem-solving skills, the better, but it’s also the perfect opportunity for them to showcase their personality and why they would fit right in at the office (whether virtually or in person). The more closely the interview and assessment process can reflect the realities of the role, the better.
This is an often overlooked but vital step – a second opinion from a trustworthy reference underpins the confidence you have placed in your favoured candidate, or confirms any concerns or other impressions that you may have formed during the assessment process.
Final candidate selection
It’s likely that you will have several strong candidates for a top-level position rather than one standout person. So how do you begin to choose? It’s up to you and your business but having a robust evaluation system in place that can grade candidates against set criteria goes a long way towards simplifying this difficult part of the process.
Hiring and onboarding candidates
It’s crucial to make sure that a positive onboarding experience makes every effort possible not to undo all the groundwork put in during the talent acquisition process. This period will set the tone for your working relationship with your new colleague, so being as prepared as possible makes all the difference.
Tips for effective corporate talent acquisition
As well as establishing a clear structure and best practice for corporate talent acquisition, keeping the following tips in mind will help to ensure you get the most out of the process for everyone in the business..
- Identify roles early and plan accordingly. High level and specialist roles can take months to fill, so prioritise the positions which are most complex to hire for.
- Keep a close track of candidates you don’t hire. You never know when someone who was almost the right fit will be the perfect person to meet the company’s needs. Keeping in touch and maintaining a positive relationship increases your chances of securing them when the time comes.
- Involve other departments in the process. Talent attracts talent, so if you’ve got people in any department who know what they’re talking about then it’s worth setting up referral programmes and financial rewards for successful hires to incentivize a team effort in sourcing the best candidates.
- Take as much time as possible. It’s important not to rush corporate talent acquisition, and it’s often this more gentle pace that sets it aside from simple recruitment. The more face-to-face time a candidate can have with different people in the company – whether in formal or informal settings – the better.
Speak to us about talent acquisition today
At AGP, we offer unrivalled and industry recognised retail executive recruitment services across the UK and Europe. Get in touch today by calling Tony Gregg on 0207 316 3146 to find out what we can do for you.