Making the Right Hire is Even More Important in a Challenging Economy

Feb 21, 2023

It’s a competitive market for top talent. Since our return to “normal” from the long-lasting effects of the pandemic response, the Great Resignation and other factors have created a hiring climate that’s more challenging than ever before. With 40% of employees still considering a move at any given time (according to McKinsey), it’s not solely about hiring top talent; it’s about retaining these staff members. It takes a lot more than an attractive salary to lure the right people to your organization. And that goes double in a downturn. The right talent acquisition strategy can help you find the best, skilled employees that will remain loyal to you for years to come.

What is Talent Acquisition?

Talent acquisition refers to the finding, recruiting and hiring of skilled individuals to fill open positions within a company. The aim is to ensure that you have the most qualified and skilled people on your team to enhance your organization’s performance and profitability. All of the activities involved in the hiring process, from sourcing and screening potential hires to onboarding and retention, are part of the talent acquisition process. How we hire talent has definitely evolved over the years, shifting from a passive hiring approach (think a hiring manager publishing a listing in the classifieds and waiting for possible candidates to walk in with resumes) to a more active one. Technology has played a big role in this evolution, and its bridge to social media, mobile apps and job boards helps you source, recruit, track and retain the best people for your company.

What’s the difference between recruitment and talent acquisition?

If you’re hoping to simply fill a position with a candidate that could do the bare minimum to get the job done, then you can refer to the process as “recruitment.” Your approach will be focused on the immediate need, with the candidate potentially being a short-term, temporary solution for a role that doesn’t require much specialization. Harvard Business Review reports that one-third of U.S. companies monitor their hiring practices to ensure they’re hiring suitable employees, with even fewer tracking metrics during the process.  Talent acquisition is focused on hiring individuals with the skills and knowledge that will advance the organization and enable it to meet its goals and objectives. This includes staying abreast of hiring trends, setting up a dedicated team to oversee the acquisition process and creating a diverse pool of candidates from which to hire. In fact, diversity is a key area of focus for the best talent acquisition departments. Effective talent acquisition will also align hiring practices with market demand and economic conditions. 

Does Talent Matter in an Economic Downturn?

The threat of an economic downturn often persuades organizations to take a more cautious approach to new hires. But even in times of uncertainty, talent is still very much needed to ensure business continuity and ongoing success. When you have skilled talent at the forefront of your business team, they’ll be better prepared to handle any bumps in the road, weather any condition and continue to reach success regardless of what the economy might throw at them. The goal is to restructure your talent acquisition strategy to match the current economic climate, not to become so rigidly structured that it hinders your ability to adapt to changing business needs. When economic conditions are uncertain, hiring the right talent actually matters more.  How so? Hiring from the top of the talent pool when times are tough will:

  • Save money on hiring costs and competitive salary offers 
  • Decrease the risk of turnover
  • Provide access to a more specialized workforce due to highly-skilled candidates entering the job market due to layoffs 
  • Build a more resilient team of employees that appreciate your organization for helping them out of tough times
  • Put your company in a position to win the war and come out on top when conditions improve

So why does hiring the right talent really matter more in times of uncertainty? Companies can lose almost $15,000 for every bad hire, according to CareerBuilder. And when your company is struggling to make ends meet, the cost of hiring the wrong person for the job is much more than just money. It’s your reputation, your relationship with customers and your overall market share that is on the line. Getting the best people into your empty chairs will open up more time spent on tasks that generate revenue, increase overall employee morale and create a more productive and profitable company.

5 Tips to Effective Talent Acquisition – No Matter The Economy!

Now that you’re committed to making smart hires, let’s talk about the best ways to find the right people. The following five tips will help you attract the best candidates and find your next star employee to help you thrive in any condition.

Don’t always post positions internally first

Posting a job opening from within first can often be expected as part of your standard hiring procedures. It can potentially save you time and money otherwise spent on advertising, recruiter fees, extensive interviewing, onboarding and more. It also promotes loyalty and gives employees a greater sense of purpose. However, it can lead to a lack of diversity and new ideas, while perpetuating bias and a stale company culture. When you want the best fish, it’s always best to cast a wide net.

Consider remote interviewing

One of the most time-consuming part of the hiring process is conducting interviews. The pandemic opened up new avenues through remote recruitment and screening that can continue to save valuable time. Whether or not you promote a work from home culture, choosing to conduct interviews remotely expands your pool of talent and eliminates some of the common barriers to hiring. It also increases efficiency by allowing for more rapid decision-making. With virtual interviews, candidates often feel more relaxed – meaning you’re more likely to get a true picture of their suitability for the job.

Metrics and analytics are key

There are a number of ways to measure the success of your talent acquisition strategy. These include:

  • Cost per hire
  • Time to fill 
  • Offer acceptance rate
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Vacancy cost

Tracking metrics during the recruitment process can help you identify which areas are working well and which ones need improvement. When you take the time and integrate the best tools to collect the data, you’ll be able to make more informed decisions about your hiring strategy and candidate experience. While these methods may require a little extra work from your talent acquisition team, the results will help you refine your strategy and ultimately improve your hiring outcomes.

Leverage a talent acquisition specialist

While human resources (HR) departments can play a vital role in talent acquisition, there are times when a dedicated talent acquisition specialist can be more effective. An outsourced professional can focus on your strategy, offer a higher level of skill and expertise and dedicate more time to finding the best practices that will increase the number of qualified job candidates. They can even be leveraged to help train and educate your existing HR team on the latest trends and techniques in talent management. 

Hire for culture fit

Skills and experience are certainly important, but building a team with a shared vision, core values, and passion for the work is crucial to a successful talent acquisition strategy. When hiring, it’s important to look for individuals who are also a good fit with the company culture. You can spend time using personality tests and other methods to see how an individual will mesh with the rest of your team. Remember, you can get the best potential candidates through the door but it’s the right company culture that will make them stay.

Add ApplicantStack to Your Arsenal

Technology has become a major player in the world of talent acquisition. Your talent acquisition manager can use software to source and screen candidates, review resumes, interview job seekers and track multiple people analytics to ensure your strategy is working.  There are several different types of software that can help you optimize your talent acquisition process, including applicant tracking systems, social media management software, background check tools and more. ApplicantStack can help you streamline the hiring process and build a strategy that yields results. Our Applicant Tracking and Recruiting software becomes your talent acquisition partner, letting you find and reach qualified candidates where they are – on their phones, through text messages. Everything you need in the talent pipeline, from job creation, postings, pre-screening, scheduling and communication is all in one place. Get more time back to spend on the things that matter.  The right recruit is out there; let us help you find them. Start your ApplicantStack free trial now and see how we can help you build your dream team.

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