Rethinking talent acquisition from the inside out

If your organization is healthy and growing, then you have experienced the pain of finding critical talent. Simply stated, hiring and retaining the right people makes or breaks a company’s ability to execute on strategy.

There is a thriving industry focused on luring outside talent to your front door, but so far there is no silver bullet.

A solution to these challenges is to view talent acquisition through the lens of employee engagement, encouraging employees to engage their heads, hands and hearts as part of the talent acquisition solution to provide a broader range of solutions. The following are three such solutions.

The Head: The Business Case for Development
Employees want to grow their skills and careers, and they crave hard evidence that your organization will help them get there. But too often messages of internal opportunity are drowned out by the drum-beating of external talent shortages. Demonstrate that your organization values and delivers upon internal talent growth with these investments:

• Open and market positions to your employees first, and remove barriers to internal transfers.
• Fund employee development with an eye toward skills and experience needed for upcoming positions.
• Educate employees about their career options through cross-training, job rotation, or internal career fairs.

Your current employees represent your next generation of leaders. Viewing them through that lens makes employee development non-negotiable.

The Hands: Employees as Recruiters
Your employees have a network, which are a fruitful, often untapped source of external recruits. Develop or reignite an Employee Referral Program, which will pay for itself through reduced recruiter fees and a faster time to hire. Successful programs share these key attributes:

• Easy access to hiring needs, including job openings, core requirements, and other information about the role that employees can share with prospective candidates
• A streamlined process for employees to submit candidates for consideration
• Follow-through on submitted referrals to create a strong candidate experience
• Award rewards and recognition, including meaningful dollars for a successful hire.

Executed correctly, these programs deliver results while keeping a strong focus on your employees.

The Heart: Building and Sustaining Employee Engagement
Even your most dedicated employees need reasons to stay. Employee turnover accounts for a large percentage of talent shortages, and must be a core component of any talent acquisition strategy.

• Conduct “stay” interviews, and not just with your top performers. Understanding the perspective of a wide range of employees is key to developing responsive and effective solutions.
• Understand and exploit the perks of your organization. Having and communicating an employment brand makes your benefits real and recognizable. It also highlights aspects that employees might not have considered, such as the strong mission of the organization or the ability to work from home.

By keeping attrition at bay, you have avoided reactive costs and efforts that you can channel into proactive activities that pay future dividends.

Embracing the Internal Approach

Talent acquisition challenges won’t disappear, but there is an opportunity to view them differently with an expanded set of solutions. By engaging your employees in the challenge of talent acquisition, you have gained a share of their heads, heart and hands, with results that can sustain your organization both now and in the future.

About the Author:

Tammy Munson is a leader in Point B’s Organizational Effectiveness Practice. Tammy has developed and optimized Talent Strategies for a wide range of organizations in her 25+ year consulting career.

The views, opinions and positions expressed within these guest posts are those of the author alone and do not represent those of Becker's Hospital Review/Becker's Healthcare. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are not guaranteed. We accept no liability for any errors, omissions or representations. The copyright of this content belongs to the author and any liability with regards to infringement of intellectual property rights remains with them.

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