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Tips for Jumpstarting Your Talent Acquisition Strategy

Terms like recruitment and talent acquisition are used synonymously, but they aren’t the same. Recruitment is a short-term fix for most “big-picture” employers, whereas talent acquisition is a long-term solution. 

While you may need to fill a vacancy quickly, organizations should focus on long-term planning if they want to improve their culture and work towards a unified vision.

Talent Acquisition Vs Recruitment

Recruitment is about filling vacancies. Talent acquisition is an ongoing strategy that focuses on finding leaders, specialists, and future executives. For HR to run a successful talent acquisition strategy, they need to plan and find candidates well.

There are other subtle differences, Talent acquisition:

  1. Requires a lot of planning
  2. Uses metrics and data to improve the recruitment process
  3. Focuses more on skills and experiences. Recruitment concentrates on the position.

Although employers hope their employees will give 2-weeks notice before quitting, there are plenty of times where that isn’t possible. Of course, an employee suddenly leaving is why employers prefer the recruitment strategy, but planning can make talent acquisition possible.

Should I Be Recruiting or Acquiring?

Not every industry needs a recruitment strategy, but how do you know if your position requires the acquiring method? Generally, the more specialized and high-demand roles should take an acquiring approach, regardless of urgency.

Some would argue that all positions require talent acquisition, and employer review websites like JobSage prove this. For example, a fast-food cashier is still challenging to fill long-term because front-of-house workers handle angry customers. You’ll want to hire talent that fits your corporate culture to reduce turnover rates, even for easy-to-fill positions.

How to Create a Talent Acquisition Strategy

A poor talent acquisition strategy can impact your organization as a whole. To ensure the right talent fills your vacant positions, follow these steps to create your acquisition strategy.

Start With the Right Communication Strategy

High-quality talent wants to work for companies that offer great benefits, an incredible corporate culture, and growth opportunities. Therefore, it’s essential to communicate your total benefits package and differentiators when promoting career opportunities.

Don’t Forget About Competitive Pay

Inflation has hit hard. The recent 7.5% increase has made even the most well-paying jobs insufficient for people with families. That means salary and salary growth potential are more important than job seekers.

If you’re consistently losing out on talent at the last possible second, look at the salary your competitors offer. Be competitive.

Consider Contractors and Employee Referrals 

Employee referrals are one of the best ways to find new talent. Consider implementing an employee rewards program to make it attractive.

Alternatively, you could seek out independent contractors to fill positions. Not only are they less expensive to hire, but they can work remotely and jump into a job at a moment’s notice. 

Remove Bias From the Hiring Process

Diversity in the workplace leads to increased productivity, creativity, cultural awareness, and marketing opportunities. However, unconscious biases can cause us to choose candidates based on their sexual orientation, race, religion, age, religious affiliation, or gender. 

To make your recruitment process more diverse, use Applicant Tracking Systems, non-bias workplace tests, and a more structured interviewing process that focuses on skills.

Keep Past Applicants Engaged

Keeping a passive talent pool will allow you to pick from it when necessary, but you can’t just promise a job at a later date. Instead, you need to stay in contact with your applicants by telling them you’ll contact them should another position become available.

Create a separate email sequence that speaks to your potential hires to let them know what’s happening in your business. 

Offer a Remote or Hybrid Work Environment

A PwC survey found that 72% of workers prefer to work from home at least two days a week, while 32% want to work from home full-time. Since remote employees are more productive than their in-office counterparts, it makes more sense to offer remote employment options.

By removing geographic barriers, you open up your talent pool beyond your physical location. As more businesses switch to the hybrid office, you’ll need to do the same to be competitive.

Regularly Speak to Students

Your strategy’s unconventional talent acquisition step should include university and college students, especially in fast-moving industries. While students won’t have the experience you’re looking for, they will have new skills and a go-getter attitude.

You can start by sending recruiters to job fairs who can speak to students. Then, consider partnering with specific schools for internships or on-the-job career training to scope out top talent.

Ask for Candidate Feedback

Organizations rarely ask their candidates why they wanted to apply for a position or why they declined an offer. However, you must gather this data to know what kind of candidates you’re attracting and how you can be more competitive.

Make sure the survey is anonymous as not to discourage participation.  You’ll also make your candidates feel like their opinion matters, improving your brand by asking for feedback.

Promote From Within

The best thing about hiring from within is you already know your candidates. Additionally, they already fit in with your company culture and have the skills to move into their new positions. Finally, hiring from within is great for long-term talent retention.

The 2-Minute Career Story Every Executive Jobseeker Needs

How to Hone Your Professional Career Narrative (And Why It Matters)

Have you met these executive jobseekers? What do they all have in common when it comes to having or not having a professional narrative?

Most of us recognize these stereotypes. Furthermore, many of us inadvertently fall into the same traps when asked to introduce our skills, experience, and career goals.

  • The Historian. Shares every bullet point on her three-page, 25+ year resume. This overwhelms you with details.
  • The Opportunist. Emphasizes so much willingness to do “anything and everything.” You have no idea where he’d be the right fit.
  • The Generalist. Downplays her true skills with generic accomplishments like “building great teams.” Leaves no lasting impression.
  • The Reactionary. Treats you as his therapist. Allows emotion about his last employer drives the conversation until you’re screaming for the exit.

For executive jobseekers, the stakes are high. Recruiters, hiring managers, and networking contacts need a clear picture of your unique strengths and ideal role. All in just a few short sentences.

Enter the professional narrative.

Overcome Talent Scarcity by Widening the Talent Pool

A professional narrative captures your career story at its most memorable level. Ideally, that’s about two minutes in conversation, and less than 200 words when written. It’s a power-packed paragraph. When done right, clearly differentiates you in the job market. It identifies your target role and keeps you top of mind.

The professional narrative forms the foundation of a successful executive job search. It addresses the most important questions for career transition. Specifically:

  1. Who are you as a senior leader?
  2. What do you do best?
  3. Where do you add value to an organization?
  4. What is your ideal next step?

Those questions can seem straightforward. However, taking time for self-reflection, and getting outside perspectives from colleagues or your outplacement firm, results in a stronger, more succinct story.

Avoid Clichés and Forgettable Phrases

Here’s an example of the transformation:

  • Original summary: “I started my career in brand management about 20 years ago in California, after getting my MBA from Stanford. I also have a B.A. in business from UCLA. I bounced around for a bit and had really good opportunities to travel and build some wonderful teams. Then about six years ago I moved back to the Midwest. I joined a startup, a really scrappy organization, and this time I had far more responsibility for product development. I’m good at making things work better, putting strategies together, and leading teams. I’m ready to take my leadership to the next level—maybe a chief marketing officer role—where I can have a significant impact on the business.”
  • Revised professional narrative: “As an energetic, consumer-led brand marketer and general manager, I develop strategies that unlock marketplace success. Leveraging my experience in strategic and new product development, P&L ownership, and cross-functional team management, I quickly assess business conditions and apply proven best practices. I am recognized for developing insightful strategies that are rooted in deep consumer knowledge, flawlessly executed, and able to garner winning results. In my next role, I will leverage my passion and skills as a senior member of a marketing team driving superior performance. I will apply my leadership at both strategic and operational levels to create new opportunities for growth.”

Focus on Career Specifics

Where the original version lacked a hook to grab attention, the winning narrative shows personality from the start. It emphasizes specific accomplishments and demonstrates the candidate’s strengths instead of centering on overused clichés, rambling career history, and forgettable descriptions.

A great professional narrative also takes a forward-looking approach. It focuses on a precise next role. The audience can picture immediately while emphasizing the impact a candidate can make rather than what the job seeker expects from their next employer.

This clarity makes it easy for others to spot opportunities.  It makes it easier to facilitate networking introductions. It also uses a recruiter or hiring manager’s limited time wisely.

Professional Narrative Versus Personal Brand

Personal branding gets a lot of buzz with job seekers. It’s common to mistake a personal brand as “enough” to support your job search. While there’s a definite intersection between what you stand for as an individual and your career aspirations, these are two distinct elements. A personal brand applies in many situations and stays constant across your life. A professional narrative speaks to a clear goal and focuses more on your work identity.

In either case, senior leaders often waste space calling out skills and experiences that are baseline expectations, rather than true personal differentiators. For example, at a C-suite or vice president level, we expect robust leadership abilities and proven team-building.

A smart professional narrative drills into attributes that truly set a candidate apart. This can seem counterintuitive, but you will stand out less the more you try to look good at everything.

Enlist Outside Help to Assess Your Strengths Objectively

Creating the ideal career story can be challenging. Especially when working alone. It’s challenging to step back and assess your strengths objectively. Emotion can also derail your overview. Especially if you’re not in transition voluntarily.

These are all good reasons to tap firms like Navigate Forward. Ask to help identify your top strengths. Job seekers often overlook their best assets simply because these traits come so easily.

Once you’ve crafted a winning professional narrative, use it often and consistently across your resume, bio, and LinkedIn profile. It’s also suitable for conversational introductions, cover letters, and “about” statements in emails. This repetition of key themes will reinforce your message and help fast-track your next career opportunity.

Gamification in Recruitment | How it Can Help You Attract and Hire the Cream of the Crop

The traditional hiring process has relied on the basic model for many years. Collecting resumes, sifting through them, evaluating candidates with assessments, and then shortlisting candidates for interviews. However, the hiring landscape has shifted, and employers need to find new ways to attract and assess applicants.

Enter gamification. A concept that uses game theory, mechanics, and game designs to engage and motivate people to achieve their goals digitally. Let’s see how gamification in recruitment can convert dull and frustrating tasks into fun processes for recruiters and candidates.

Top Reasons why Gamification in Recruitment works

Overcome Talent Scarcity by Widening the Talent Pool

Most recruiters select candidates from a very limited talent pool, making for a severe skill shortage. As companies struggle with not having enough candidates to pick from, hiring managers also face the dilemma of separating the wheat from the chaff, even with a small candidate pool.

History will tell us that gamification has helped solve these problems time and time again. Using data analytics and AI to analyze and process more than a billion data points, hiring teams can access people in places they wouldn’t have been able to reach otherwise. Moreover, they can rapidly screen candidates and pick out the best without spending energy and effort on manual resume-sifting.

Level the playing field for all applicants

The right candidate comes in all shapes, sizes, and packages – white, black, old, young, neophyte, or experienced. The recruiter needs to look for talent and ignore the wrapping they come in. That, however, can only be done if the hiring team puts aside unconscious and conscious bias.

Research shows that more than 75% of employers believe the unconscious bias has an impact on their hiring decisions. This results in the loss of top talent. Luckily, this is where talent assessments backed by gamification step in.

Talent assessments, powered by gamification, assess people based on their skills, knowledge, and personality rather than their background and other socioeconomic factors, thus giving every individual an equal opportunity to shine forth and reach their full potential.

Build brand awareness

Knowing where to find the right talent isn’t enough to build a healthy talent pipeline. You need to differentiate yourself from other competitors by building a strong employer brand to attract high-quality candidates. 75% of job seekers consider an employer’s brand before applying for a job.

With gamification, companies can boost their brand and showcase themselves as innovative and tech-savvy employers, making the organization more desirable to talent.

Entice the Digital Natives

The utilization of digital tools plays a significant role in the attraction and retention of talent. The millennial cohort will make up 75 percent of the workforce by 2025, so knowing what attracts and motivates them is essential. Millennials are essentially a tech-savvy generation and have grown-up playing games.

As a matter of fact, the game designer, J McGonigal, believes the average western millennial will have spent 10,000 hours on computer-generated gaming by the time they are 21. A company’s reputation as a digital leader also enormously affects job seekers’ decision to join the company.

Adopt a Mobile-First Approach

More than nine-in-ten Millennials own smartphones and spend a significant amount of time using them, which is why it becomes easier for them to explore exciting job opportunities on the go. It also makes sense why about 45% of them use their phones to search for jobs.

Employers should, therefore, optimize their assessment processes to accommodate the needs of the tech-saturated generation and improve their perception of the company.

Gamification platforms that offer talent assessments typically follow a mobile-first approach, thus giving job seekers the convenience to complete the job application on their phones

Conclusion

In a nutshell, gamification presents itself as a comprehensive solution, allowing employers to establish themselves as digital leaders, pique individuals’ interest in job positions, and accurately predict potential hires’ future job performance.

Author bio: Paul Keijzer is the CEO and Co-founder of The Talent Games. A seasoned HR and Leadership Management expert, Paul is a versatile business leader delivering extraordinary results for organizations globally.

HR in Healthcare | The Crucial Role HR Plays in Urgent Care

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, health care job openings are expected to grow by 16% from 2020 to 2030. This rate is significantly faster than the average growth for all occupations, making healthcare HR an important industry to watch.

Part of this growth is due to the Baby Boomer generation needing more care as they age. However, the healthcare industry is experiencing a shortage of clinical staff workers. Many nurses are of that age group and will be retiring as patient care needs increase.

In addition, millennials leave this industry because of low satisfaction and lack of training.

With ongoing staffing deficiencies, providing quality health care will be one of the main concerns for many organizations. As a result, hospitals need HR (human resources) more than ever to meet demand, replace retirees, and close the gap.

The Importance of HR in Urgent Care

HR can effectively recruit and train employees while implementing safety measures within the workplace. HR in healthcare is crucial for the industry for many reasons. From providing staffing efficiency to maintaining an effective workforce, these are some of the benefits urgent care clinics can receive with HR. Knowing that the Healthcare Industry has been forced to change– organizations needed to take a fresh look at workplace healthcare trends and rehaul their programs.

Furthermore, a high-quality HR management program can develop worker satisfaction while patients receive exceptional service.

To overcome the challenges of staffing deficiencies, hospitals need effective staff training, which will be one of the most critical tasks in the health care sector.

What are some of the approaches that HR professionals can take to close the growing talent gap within the industry?

1. Training

HR professionals are equipped to identify the staffing needs of a workplace. However, with the rapid advances of technology, existing staff members require training to fill in the gaps and run an organization efficiently.

Moreover, HR can maintain talent recruitment by partnering with training institutions and monitoring enrollment for future candidates. Many health care organizations support training through a hands-on teaching approach. HR professionals can design these programs to help with future staffing needs and ensure quality service.

A properly trained health care workforce is paramount to meeting the public’s needs.

2. Targeted Recruitment

Recruitment involves identifying staffing needs, determining a targeted source of new workers, and advertising the jobs. Meeting the needs of recruiting requires unique solutions.

Since 79% of job seekers use social media to search, social recruiting will be a more effective strategy. One of the primary benefits of social recruiting is its cost-effectiveness for organizations. A strong social plan can generate reach when done correctly and avoid a cost-per-click expenditure.

3. Career Development Strategy

Worker career development plays a vital role in retaining and attracting a solid workforce. The proper employee management strategy sustains success by incorporating leadership, culture, and talent insights. Furthermore, it should involve offering workers the opportunity to grow and learn.

Some strategies that enhance a worker’s development should start immediately within orientation training. This focus helps new workers understand the organization’s behaviors, culture, policies, goals, and missions.

Likewise, a development strategy should integrate new health care technology and patient care methods. Regular leadership workshop scheduling can help workers acquire leadership and management skills in urgent care.

4. Retention and Compensation

To improve worker retention, urgent care centers should define competitive compensation. Compensation plays a significant role in worker motivation and retention. To attract top talent, it should either match or slightly increase what is currently available on the labor market. Essentially, this will increase organizational competitiveness.

A good retention plan involves more than a basic salary and benefits. Attractive benefits include paid holidays, comprehensive retirement plans, scholarships, and good medical insurance.

In addition, retention rates are determined by an organization’s culture, involving both worker and management behavior. Maintaining open communication will be one of the best strategies for detecting problems and preventing turnover.

The Possibilities of Recruiting Qualified Personnel

An effective human resources management plan will determine the hospital’s growth and performance. Health care organizations can utilize creative solutions to find and retain qualified workers. However, HR professionals must employ all possible measures to retain top talent.

Recruitment strategies and an effective resources management plan will be the solutions to developing and retaining qualified talent in a healthcare organization, ultimately promoting HR in Healthcare properly.

Photo: LinkedIn Sales Navigator

#WorkTrends Getting Real About ATS

We may be at a tricky point in the economy, but hiring is on many company’s minds — along with what tools can help. So Meghan brought in Doug Coull, founder and CEO of APS, Inc.— the makers of SmartSearch talent acquisition and staffing management software — to talk ATS. They spent this episode of #WorkTrends going over the nuts, the bolts, and the advantages of applicant tracking systems. 

Of course, not every business needs an ATS, Doug noted. But if you employ any kind of sizable workforce — say around 150 or more, you likely need one. What you should look for, however, isn’t a plug and play system, but a system that comes with a partner. Understand your own needs, then look for a counterpart that has a similar outlook — and size and approach that fit your own. Parity helps align the decision-making, he said. As Meghan added, you want an ATS provider whose culture matches your own.

The most apparent hiring and recruiting issues may just be “symptoms of the problem,” Doug explained, but technology can help you find the weak links. And he cautioned against the practice of pitching an ATS to people who aren’t actually involved in the day- to-day of talent acquisition. Don’t just sell it to the director of HR or the director of recruiting, said Meghan. Sell it to those who are going to be actually using it, and know what they need.  

 Listen to the full conversation and see our questions for the upcoming #WorkTrends Twitter Chat. And don’t forget to subscribe, so you don’t miss an episode. 

Twitter Chat Questions

Q1: Why do organizations need an ATS? #WorkTrends
Q2: What strategies can help organizations better choose an ATS? #WorkTrends
Q3: How can companies optimize their technology purchase? #WorkTrends

Find Doug Coull on Linkedin and Twitter

This post is sponsored by SmartSearch.

#WorkTrends Recap: Corporate Culture & Understanding Your Workplace Genome

Understanding your corporate culture is critical to the success of any organization. Culture is not one size fits all. It differs based on who the employees are, what they value, what inspires them, what motivates them, what it is about the company that attracted them, what makes them proud to be part of the team and, of course, why they stay. All of these pieces make up your workplace genome.

On today’s WorkTrends show, guest Charlie Judy explored what it means to honestly understand and embrace your workplace culture. He talked about why it’s important to stop trying to become the organization everyone else says you are or should be, and how to make the most of the organization you already are.

It was an invigorating discussion that you can listen to on our BlogTalk Radio channel, which you can find here.

You can also check out the highlights of the conversation here:

We have built an awesome #WorkTrends community and would love to have you join us. You can tune in and participate with us every Wednesday from 1-2pm ET (10-11am PT). Next Wednesday, April 27, we have an exciting show where we’ll explore the keys to exemplary leadership with guest Dr. Jason Carthen, author and former New England Patriots linebacker.

The TalentCulture #WorkTrends conversation continues daily across social media. Stay up to date by following the #WorkTrends Twitter stream, in our LinkedIn group and on our Google+ community. Engage with us any time on our social networks or stay current with trending World of Work topics on our website or through our weekly email newsletter.

photo credit: DNA via photopin (license)

#WorkTrends Preview: Corporate Culture and Understanding Your Workplace Genome

When undertaking any transformation within the workplace, leaders should focus on a deep understanding of the corporate culture. That means knowing who their employees are, what they value, what inspires them, what motivates them, what it is about the company that attracted them, what makes them proud to be part of your team and, of course, why they stay. These things? They are your “workplace genome.”

You’ll want to join us for the next #WorkTrends show as our guest Charlie Judy will help us explore that workplace genome. We will talk about why it’s important to stop trying to become the organization everyone else says you are or should be, and truly embracing the organization you already are. Sounds awesome, doesn’t it?

In this episode of the #WorkTrends show, Charlie will walk us through the basics of:

  • Understanding your corporate culture
  • Aligning culture with true success
  • How to OWN everything about what you are – the good, bad and the ugly
  • Discovering and understanding culture at an intimate and authentic level

This conversation will help businesses and their HR teams laser focus in on corporate culture, maximizing the true essence of your business, and attracting and retaining top talent in the process. This show is sure to be as interesting to employees as it is to HR pros and senior managers, as they will no doubt share insights on what matters to them from a corporate culture standpoint, what attracts them to an employer or a job, and what the key to retaining them is. It is sure to be a don’t miss episode and we’d love to have you there!

#WorkTrends Event: Corporate Culture and Understanding Your Workplace Genome

#WorkTrends Logo Design

Tune in to our LIVE online podcast Wednesday, April 20 — 1 pm ET / 10 am PT

Join TalentCulture #WorkTrends Host Meghan M. Biro joined by Charlie Judy as they discuss corporate culture and understanding your workplace genome.

#WorkTrends on Twitter — Wednesday, April 20 — 1:30 pm ET / 10:30 am PT

Immediately following the radio show, the team will move to the #WorkTrends Twitter stream to continue the discussion with the entire TalentCulture community. We invite everyone with a Twitter account to participate as we gather for a dynamic live chat, focused on these related questions:

Q1: What are different ways workplace culture manifests itself? #WorkTrends (Tweet the question)

Q2: How can an organization truly own its culture? #WorkTrends (Tweet the question)

Q3: How can an organization authentically improve its culture? #WorkTrends (Tweet the question)

Until then, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #WorkTrends Twitter feed, our TalentCulture World of Work Community LinkedIn group, and in our TalentCulture G+ community. Feel free to drop by anytime and share your questions, ideas and opinions. See you there!

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What Talent Management, Engagement And Culture Share

Company success links directly to what talent management, employee engagement and organizational culture have in common. The causal link among the three elements is powerful. It’s much like a rowing crew’s connection among rowers, oars, and scull.

Previously defined, talent management is an organization’s commitment to recruit, retain, and develop the most talented and superior employees available.

That commitment is enhanced by effective employee engagement, a buzz-phrase for the past several years. Employee engagement is the individual’s investment of her/his time, energy, skills, knowledge, and creativity in the efforts and directions set by the organization.

Organizational culture contributes to a business’s employee engagement. We define organizational culture as the values and behaviors that contribute to the unique social and psychological environment of an organization.

Your company’s culture offers critical engagement factors. These factors impact the three talent management components: recruitment, retention and development.

Talent Management: Recruitment

Recruitment currently targets those in Generation Y, the Millennial generation. Recruitment is a talent candidate’s first contact with your company. Recruitment should positively engage that candidate from the get-go. Organizational culture has a say in how you recruit, and therefore in how (well) you engage. Consider this about Millennials:

  • They seek work that is social. They are technologically savvy. They want jobs that motivate by time off and job satisfaction, rather than just by compensation.
  • They appreciate recruitment via use of social media. They expect personalized attention. They anticipate internet-speed responsiveness.

How does your company’s recruitment process and procedure measure up?

Talent Management: Retention

Retention remains the money-saver to talent management. It is costly to hire, onboard, and bring a new hire up to speed. Strong employee engagement delivers stronger employee retention.

The SilkRoad Talent Talk Report 2014 states: “…in an unpredictable financial climate, companies need loyal, productive, and engaged employees more than ever. Employee engagement emerged as the most pressing concern…” Indeed, 53% of the 3,700 survey respondents indicated their company lacked an attractive culture to engage employees.

A company culture that offers, encourages, and maintains engagement by employees impacts every individual. Baby Boomers savor a workplace in which they can engage their energies and values. Gen Y workers relish a company that recognizes their independent skills. Generations in between approve of the chance to engage for their own reasons.

What salient employee engagement factors does your business culture provide?

Talent Management: Development

Development is significant action played by talent management. Developing employees from Day 1 throughout their time of service demonstrates company commitment. That commitment, perhaps greater than any other offering, stimulates employee engagement. The commitment to such development can be a cornerstone value of a company’s culture.

Employees have always requested, accepted and appreciated training, education, mentoring and development. They have asked welcomed opportunities to engage in personal and professional improvement. Consider the variety of ways an organization may satisfy that engagement:

  • Training that is job-specific or professionally generic.
  • Coaching and/or mentoring.
  • Formal education through university partnerships, tuition reimbursement, and online credits.
  • Professional associations and conferences.

Does your company offer developmental opportunities in each of these categories?

The connection is clear. Organizational culture can generate employee engagement. Employee engagement can support the three legs of talent management. They have in common a shared contribution to your business’s successful competition.

About the Author: Tim Wright is a professional speaker/coach/facilitator with expertise in employee engagement and culture improvement.

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