5 Fundamental Shifts Required In A Modern Talent Acquisition Strategy

I spend the majority of my day either helping clients to find top executive talent, or helping exceptionally talented individuals to make the most appropriate next move in their careers. The world of work is changing rapidly, and talent acquisition practices that used to work for organisations no longer deliver the same results. The dynamics that drive talent acquisition are shifting, and the competition for scarce skills will only continue to intensify.

There are a few themes in this landscape that stand out for me, and I would like to share the following advice with organisations:

Create a talent ecosystem around your organisation

Talent networks have become global, and traditional recruitment practices were not designed to deal with this. The Internet has forever changed the way that people create new connections, learn about companies and apply for jobs. Connecting with talent in the modern world of work requires that organisations create a powerful ecosystem around themselves, able to attract the skills they need from a variety of sources in “real time”. Amongst other key elements, this ecosystem should include a powerful employer brand, employee referrals, alumni networks, social media networks, supplier relationships, Executive Search firms, in-house strategic talent sourcing teams, to name but a few.

Build a powerful employment brand, side by side with your marketing brand

Individuals with high-demand skills have choices, and standing out above the competitors for those skills will not happen without deliberate action. There are countless examples of organisations who have invested large sums of money in creating consumer brands that serve as a platform for their continued growth. Modern recruiters need to think more like marketers, and work closely with their marketing colleagues to create an integrated branding and communication strategy that attracts talented individuals to their organisations.

Re-recruit your leaders, managers and employees every day

Individuals look at their careers very differently in the world we live in today. The most talented people in organisations don’t go looking for new opportunities, new opportunities come looking for them. When approaching potential executive candidates during a search assignment, I very seldom come across people who are not interested in at least having an exploratory discussion about a potential new opportunity. Their reasons may differ, but the result is pretty much always the same. The onus is on modern employers to create such a compelling employee value proposition, that their employees may explore other opportunities but choose to stay where they are.

Solve an executive problem, not a recruitment problem

Growth is on every CEO’s list of top priorities, and is very seldom achievable by continuing to do the same things with the same people. Faced with a scarcity of key skills and the evolving demands of top talent, modern CEO’s have to play a much more active role in creating the talent acquisition strategy that will support the business objectives of the organisation. Not doing this will most likely result in organisations losing out on attracting the people and skills they need to drive continued growth. In many ways, talent acquisition is among a company’s most important goals, and CEO’s should lead the charge in addressing it successfully. 

Create a hybrid recruitment model, combining the best that insourcing and outsourcing has to offer

Very few corporate and human resources leaders who I interact with believe that their talent acquisition strategy effectively deals with today’s talent realities. At the same time, organisations continue to go through cycles where they insource and then outsource responsibility for talent acquisition. Both of these options can and should add value in a well-balanced talent acquisition strategy. The best hybrid models are based on a clear segmentation of talent requirements, understanding which types of roles should be handled by in-house recruiters and which types of roles should be allocated to external partners who are able to secure the best outcome.

Written by: Wynand Du Plessis
Executive Partner at Mindcor InterSearch Africa | Executive Search and Talent Solutions Expert