Talent Acquisition: 10 Ways to Find the “Purple Squirrels”

It can be no less than a nightmare to find the perfect candidate for new manpower requisitions in a company, especially when the person you want, simply doesn’t exist! In such a case, you have to create one!
As has rightly been said, ask any founder, “what is the biggest challenge in growing your business?”, they’ll say “talent acquisition”. In today’s extremely competitive business environment, those you are hiring have to be the right culture fit, the right everything – just perfect. I’m talking about the “purple squirrels”!

Here are a few best practices to drive an effective talent acquisition process:

Build a Talent Pipeline – What are you searching for?

Recruiters should be clear about the qualities and qualifications they are looking for in their desired candidate. Being sure at the onset saves time and energy and pays off in the long term. According to research, the average time to hire a new employee is more than 23 days. However, it varies across the industry and for some specific roles, it may take even longer.
Hence, start recruiting even if you don’t have open requisitions! It can take a great deal of time to find the right candidates once you need them, so make sure you build a talent pool.
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Use of Software

Today, we have to focus on making the work process oriented instead of people oriented. Businesses already use various software products to keep track of their billing, sales, payroll and complex things like customer relationships or for tracking employee performance. So, even for recruitment, it becomes extremely important to use a software. It helps not only in maintaining a database but also to make it available at the right time. It saves time and cost and once the desired criteria match with the available lists, the probable candidates are easily identified. It reduces a lot of trouble for recruiters, especially in high employee turnover industries.

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Marketing Strategies

There are a few similarities between sales and recruitment. In sales, we market the product or service but in recruitment, we need to market the job description as well as the employer company. Both should be treated as a brand and promoted in that sense.
Also, if you make an effort to work on your employer branding, potential hires get the impression that you care. Glassdoor found that 94% of people are likely to apply for a job if the company regularly updates their online image, such as responding to reviews or creating videos about the life of their employees.

Senior Management Feedback

The interviewee should at least have a meeting with the senior management to better understand the job environment and to decide if he would like to join. Also, the feedback from each senior about their impression of the candidate should be taken into account.

Encourage Employee Referrals

Employee referrals should be used to their maximum as it’s the most effective way of hiring while involving all parties; candidates, employers and the employee who is referring.
What Does UpGrad’s Content Team Look for While Hiring?

Highlight Culture

You can leverage culture as a tool to attract the right sort of talent by emphasising what your company stands for. You should bring forth the company’s mission, core values and traditions during all stages of the recruitment process. It’ll help the future employees understand what they’re getting into and whether it’s the right path for them or not.

Leverage Social Media Platforms

While the use of social media remains a top concern, it can generate a good pool of organic applications for you, if done properly. It can help you attract and reach a larger pool of talent. Posting job openings on sites like Facebook or LinkedIn is only the first step. It’s even better if you’re able to create engagement on these platforms to drive interest and referrals.

Adopt Agile Hiring Methods

With the diversification of work in the form of remote working etc – it’s important to adopt a flexible talent acquisition process. An increasingly mobile workforce is a chance for HR to broaden their talent pool and capture candidates that they didn’t have access to in the past. Allow virtual interviews and be more flexible with the timings/ schedule to cater for time differences etc. Also, a lengthy recruitment process can be a real killer. Asking candidates to complete tasks and projects is, of course, a great way to test skills and abilities, but be reasonable with what you ask. Consider the needs and expectations of your candidates before developing a range of benefits programs that will suit a large number of people and increase your attractiveness as an employer.

Optimise the Recruitment Funnel

Just like sales or marketing, HR should keep track of a conversion funnel to optimise every step of the recruitment and selection process. How many applications do you receive? How many of these applications turn into interviews? How many people do you need to interview to fill a vacant position? These are a few ratios you should maintain to establish benchmarks.
The important aspect covered above is the use of technology/software and increasing use of social media for effective recruitment. Elaborating further, over the years, with the change in technology there has been a significant change in the talent acquisition pattern. After 2017, the recruitment and HR industry has been more digital-savvy than ever. In addition to the online job boards, candidates are increasingly turning to social media to find new job opportunities instead of relying only on job boards, word of mouth and classifieds, while looking for a job. The interview process too has changed, as the employers are now encouraging telephonic and video interviews to avoid delays of face to face interviews.

Automation in Talent Aquisition

An increase in hiring volumes is observed with each subsequent year but, on the other hand, the size of recruitment teams is growing at a very slow pace, so the need of bringing automation in recruitment is growing stronger.
In 2018, finding top talent will depend on a recruiter’s ability to rationally automate their workflow.

A few areas where automation in recruitment will bring a huge change:

1) Resume screening
2) Generating talent pools
3) Enhancing candidate experience with real-time feedback
4) Scheduling/rescheduling interviews
5) Assessment of candidates
Industry experts have faith that automation in recruitment will augment and enhance human recruiter abilities, rather than replace them. 
Are You Dreaming the Right Dream?

UpGrad has been constantly trying to build a community of talented minds by adopting above best practices of talent acquisition to deliver what we stand for, i.e; Building careers of tomorrow!
Please visit career section of UpGrad or send your resume at to join us.

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