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May 5, 2022

What Is Talent Acquisition? A Ghost-free Guide for Growing Companies

illustration with a briefcase running away

Have you ever sat down for an interview and about fifteen minutes later realized you were the only one who planned to show up?

Candidate ghosting is real. And a very real problem for today’s growing companies.

A survey by Indeed found that 48% (nearly half!) of job seekers say they dropped communications with a potential employer, another 46% simply didn’t show up for their interview, and a small but worrying 7% no-showed on their first scheduled day of work. 😱

Yep, this is scary stuff. 

But here’s the kicker: Some 77% of job seekers say they’ve been ghosted by a potential employer. 

That’s right, when it comes to taking ghosting out of the world of online dating and into the world of work, both candidates and employers carry the blame. 

So what’s the solution?

By dropping the “hiring with your hair on fire” methods of the past and embracing a proactive talent acquisition strategy, recruiters and hiring managers can start building a better relationship with job seekers from the moment they click into your open job posting.

Table of contents

  • What is talent acquisition?
  • Recruitment vs. Talent Acquisition: What’s the difference?
  • A 5-step framework for stellar talent acquisition

Okay, but what actually is talent acquisition? 

Talent acquisition is a proactive approach to finding skilled and qualified candidates with a focus on long-term talent sourcing and nurturing. Rather than waiting for a role to open up then trying to fill it as quickly as possible, talent acquisition aims to project your future hiring needs and build a pipeline of engaged candidates ready to fill positions as they arise.

Traditionally, a talent acquisition (or ‘TA’) strategy is commonly used by businesses in niche markets that require highly-skilled candidates who may not be easy to find, or for senior leadership roles that require candidates with specific experience.

But to understand why talent acquisition is crucial to all employers, it helps to take a closer look at the reasons candidates ghost. 

According to the Indeed survey, job seekers cited the following reasons for ghosting:

  • Poor communication
  • Lack of response
  • Absence of opportunities to engage with potential employers throughout the recruiting process

The good news is, with the right talent acquisition strategy and the right tools to back it up, employers can create the transparent and engaging recruitment process candidates clearly want — without having to spend hours chained to their inboxes.

And that matters now more than ever. 

In January 2022 alone, there were 11.3 million open jobs and not enough workers to fill them.

Fact is, all businesses — regardless of size or niche — can benefit from a long-term approach to hiring by way of a TA strategy.

Recruitment vs. Talent Acquisition: What’s the difference?

You might be thinking, “Human Resources already has a recruitment process. Do I really need a talent acquisition strategy?” The answer is most likely yes.

When your company relies solely on a recruiting process:

  • You wait until there are vacancies before looking for people to fill them.
  • For every role that pops up, you more or less have to start from scratch to find the right candidate.
  • You fill the role and don’t think about the next one until it’s “time to hire”’ again. 

When your company has a talent acquisition strategy:

  • Hiring is focused on the long-term.
  • Hiring processes are adaptable to the unexpected.
  • Recruitment is easier and quicker to scale.

In short, there are no corners to cut with a recruitment-only approach to hiring. Either you get someone to fill the role or you don’t. 

But with a talent acquisition strategy, you don’t have to fly by the seat of your hiring pants. You’ve already built a robust talent pipeline, actively screening in the most qualified candidates and engaging regularly to keep them interested until something opens up.

Showing up for candidates: A 5-step framework for stellar talent acquisition ⭐

We’ve all been there. Sometimes, all you need is someone to fill the role asap — and that’s totally ok. 

But done right, recruitment is just one crucial aspect of a larger talent acquisition strategy that puts you in the driver’s seat. And it’s easier than you think to get started. Kick off your TA strategy with these five simple steps.

1. Define your talent acquisition goals

Talent acquisition goals differ from business to business. But the overarching aim is to have a pipeline of candidates that can fill positions as and when they arise. 

Your own TA goals are going to boil down to a range of factors, including:

  • The size of your company: The smaller the company, the fewer the resources to invest in TA. But don’t worry, the right set of budget-friendly tools can make it happen.
  • Current and prospective hiring needs: Talent acquisition hinges on having an awareness of your current and future hiring needs. If you haven’t yet, break out the org chart and start forecasting.
  • Your existing hiring network: If you already have a significant following of people with skills and experience relevant to your industry, tapping into your network to slowly move people into your pipeline is a great way to start your TA strategy.

2. Strengthen your employer brand

To build a steady stream of qualified candidates, you need to get the word out about how awesome your company is. 

Candidates need to know about your mission, values and organizational culture, as these are just some of the things that will make them eager to find out more about what working for your company is like. Remember, 🤝🏻 > 👻 every time.

Let’s touch on some of the ways you can build a strong employer brand

  • Create a compelling career site: Candidates who want to know more about your brand will most likely check out your website. Make sure your careers page showcases your company the way you want candidates to perceive it. 
  • Build awareness on social: Social media has become the first stop for candidates who want to know more about a brand. Don’t limit your content to products and services. Highlight team member wins and show off your company culture.
  • Promote your best work: The high pay at big tech companies like Google and Facebook isn’t the only reason tech professionals apply there in droves. To a large extent, it’s because these companies do awesome work and are good at promoting it. Help potential candidates understand the work you do and the impact it can have. 

If you’re a Breezy user, it’s easy to create a customizable careers page in a matter of minutes, simply: 

  1. Click the gear icon ⚙️ in the left sidebar.
  2. Hover over Recruiting Preferences.
  3. Click Careers Site Settings.
  4. Choose the correct section on the left sidebar.
  5. Add or edit details and click Save Changes.

If you want to get a little fancy with it, you can use custom JavaScript or CSS to further customize your careers page.

Career portal testimonial settings

3. Build and nurture talent pipelines

Herein lies the heart of talent acquisition. 🧡

At this stage you want to leverage every opportunity you have to connect with the right talent. To start building your shiny new pipeline:

  • Tap into your existing network
  • Attend industry events and conferences
  • Build relationships with industry experts 
  • Join college recruitment events 
  • Stay active in relevant social networks, online communities and groups 

Even if you just do two of these things well, you’ll have an awesome pool of talent in no time.

Once your talent pipeline is filled, keep candidates engaged by regularly sharing company updates, news, and of course — open roles.

In Breezy, Nurture Campaigns help you build a solid relationship with the people in your pipeline through a series of automated emails and text messages. 

Here’s how it works:

  1. Open the position or pool.
  2. Click the settings menu to access the stage where you want to set the action.
  3. Click Edit Stage Actions in the dropdown.
  4. Click the dropdown for Available Stage Actions.
  5. Select Nurture Campaign and click + Add.
  6. Choose the correct nurture campaign under Configured Stage Actions.
  7. Click Save Changes.

You can even organize and delay sets of templates so that they're sent out at just the right times to keep candidates engaged — all without lifting a finger! 🙌🏽

4. Centralize candidate selection and assessment

This is the stage where you’re finally ready to hire. 

And isn’t it beautiful that all you need to do is evaluate the candidates already in your talent pool and find the best people for the role?

At this point, you'll also carry out your key qualifying tasks like: 

  • Checking candidate skills, experience and background
  • Verifying candidate references
  • Preparing interview questions
  • Scheduling and holding interviews
  • Preparing interview scorecards
  • Tracking successful candidates

Depending on whatever cloud-based recruiting solution you’re using, your HR tech stack should be able to do much of the heavy lifting here. 

For example, with Breezy:

  • You can access the candidate profile which is home to your candidate details, experience and hiring team actions (e.g., notes, scorecards, scheduled meetings, etc).
  • Team members can add feedback, schedule and follow up on interviews, communicate with the candidate or each other. 
  • You can create an interview questionnaire to be displayed on your screen for easy access during the interview.
  • You can also create a single scorecard for all team members to add their feedback and assign each candidate a score.

Plus, way more. By organizing and automating the bulk of the hiring grunt work, you can focus on consistently showing up for your candidates.

5. Streamline hiring and onboarding

Remember that 7% of job seekers who no-showed on their first day of work? Talent acquisition doesn’t end when the candidate accepts your job offer.

To make your TA strategy completely ghost-proof, make sure you provide candidates with a stellar employee onboarding experience that delivers on the VIP recruiting efforts they’ve had so far. 

While employee onboarding is not necessarily the job of the talent acquisition team, it is a crucial part of the hiring process — one that can make or break new employee-employer relationships. 

Here are a few talent management tips for a great onboarding experience: 

  • Get your new employee up to speed on company values and culture. 
  • Provide them role-specific training and resources.
  • Ask hiring managers to share information on goals and performance management expectations.
  • Help them set up necessary communication tools like company email and group messaging.
  • Don’t forget the swag! A branded t-shirt or coffee mug can go a surprisingly long way in making team members feel welcome. 

Skip the ghosting with a candidate-first talent acquisition process

With a well-defined talent acquisition strategy, you can keep your hiring process ghost-free by walking the walk and consistently showing up for job seekers and candidates.

The best part is, you don’t need a professional HR background, massive hiring team or pricey enterprise software to make it happen. 

Choose a user- and candidate-friendly applicant tracking system that keeps things organized and automated with features like:

  • Automatic job board posting
  • Customizable career pages
  • Pipeline management and candidate nurture
  • Analytics to track views, visits, and number of applications

At the end of the day, that’s all a talent acquisition suite really is.

Whether it’s scheduling candidate interviews or instantly posting your open roles to the top job boards, Breezy can help you automate the bulk of your talent acquisition process and attract top talent while you’re at it. Check it out for yourself with a free 14-day trial!