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Talent Acquisition: Three ways to tackle a tough talent market 

As a Talent Acquisition specialist, I’m hearing organisations lamenting frequently about challenges engaging talent.  The Australian labour market is tough and is going to get tougher.  However, unlocking long-term sustainable success in the talent market is possible. 

Talent Acquisition – what is it? 

Talent Acquisition is the organisational approach to identifying, sourcing, engaging and welcoming new talent to your organisation; aligned to your organisation’s strategic roadmap.  Recruitment is a central activity in the talent acquisition system.  If you’re looking to grow, or shift in the market strategically, or to stabilise your organisation’s talent pipeline long-term then investing in your talent acquisition capability should be central to your strategy. 

Three steps to talent acquisition evolution 

Strategically preparing your organisation to welcome, grow, engage, develop, farewell and re-engage talent will offer insightful organisations a key advantage over their competitors. Incorporating these three steps will help you keep your talent acquisition program fresh and effective: 

Step 1: Regularly review your talent acquisition system 

Organisations cease to exist when they get stuck in a rut doing the same things hoping for different results. There is now access to an expansive suite of tools, data and methodologies which enable greater access to talent on a global scale. They’re at our electronic fingertips.  Regular reviews of your talent acquisition approach is your first step to illuminating why you’re missing out on great talent; why your people may be evaluating your competitors with interest; and why you’re unlikely to be competitive in a contracting labour market. For 10 years I was a senior executive in one of Australia’s largest recruitment process outsourcing contracts. The changes and adaptations resulting from our system reviews enabled us to achieve the highest level of recruitment results for our client in their recorded history.  Holding a mirror up is never easy but the insights will help you adapt.   

Step 2: Continually educate yourself on the art of the possible 

The talent acquisition market is flooded by new technologies, emerging psychological methodologies and innovations which are reframing how to engage talent. To identify what’s right for you engage an expert to inform you, or do your own research to build your awareness of the breadth of options available. Incorporate this education into your annual strategic review.  Change doesn’t have to be major to be impactful.  Be careful adding more to your process however; it’s an easy mistake to think that more steps means higher quality talent engagement.  Sometimes more is just more and will detract from your effectiveness. A continual learning approach will help you adapt your approach to the market. You may not get it exactly right but at least you’ll make progress. 

Step 3: Adopt an experimental approach 

To reinvigorate a stale talent acquisition process, start with a hypothesis in mind, and apply a scientific, data driven approach to experiment with different ideas, methods and technologies.  Try new techniques which are not difficult to administer but which offer an objective assessment of a candidate’s suitability, not just based on skill, but on potential and behavioural approaches. In 2020 I initiated an experiment to incorporate Predictive Analytics into a high-volume recruitment program. My hypothesis was that developing predictive analytical models, based on objective data inputs, would enable recruiters to differentiate high-potential candidates from others, earlier in the process. Initial experiments indicated a need to adjust the predictive models, however we persisted and by the end of our second trial period we were seeing exciting results.  The predictive models were later implemented into our recruitment program with a continual focus on experimentation, review and adjustment to ensure they kept current and effective for our recruiters. 

Organisations who prepare for change, by taking a strategic, experimental approach to talent acquisition, will fare better in tightening labour markets than those who remain reactive.  Whilst this shift may take time, it has the potential to generate improved traction in tight employment markets, reduce costs, and build an innovative talent culture.  

At Humanoeuvre we offer a comprehensive Talent Acquisition Review, which will align to your strategy and objectives.  Contact us for a free consultation.  


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