Published 16. Jun. 2016

What is Your Future-Proof Talent Acquisition Strategy?

Human Resources


It has never been easy to hire top talents, but right now the top-notch candidates know their value and – rightfully or not – their demands are maybe higher than ever. Companies without a clearly defined mission, respectable values, strong market position, and attractive job openings may find it hard to get high-quality applications. And without high-quality people, it is unfortunately difficult to do high-quality business. It is somewhat typical that companies face either a strong positive cycle (booming business, good reputation, good hires, and even more booming business) or completely the opposite negative cycle that leads to trouble.

Given the talent shortage, it is no wonder why companies want to continuously improve their recruitment practices and candidate experiences during the hiring process. For many companies, recruitment is, in fact, about to become a continuous innovation race. These companies wish to delight their potential applicants by e.g. telling their story in a completely new way or using new tools to deliver the messages, or both. Be it mobile recruiting, video-based communications, social media, recruitment games, or whatever, the key point is to stand out from the peers in the industry, in a fresh and positive way.

But in addition to talent attraction, many of these digital innovations can be valuable also in several other ways. For instance, these tools can make the recruitment process more effective, faster, and of higher quality. They can potentially eliminate unnecessary steps, hassle and waiting during the candidate hunt and selection. For instance, if interviewing requires plenty of travelling, why not do it through a video call and save time and money? Or if the CVs and applications are lost in the email boxes of various people, why not use a recruitment system that harmonizes practices and keeps the necessary documents in order?

It is likely that the recruitment business will continue to be a great arena for new interesting digital innovations in the coming years. But how much will actually change in the daily recruitment practices of companies? And when will the change happen? Well, it depends on the company. For many, there is plenty of willingness to test the waters, to innovate, and to try new things. These companies are comfortable with the risk that not everyone will completely like their approach, tools, or messages. And they also feel that their targeted applicants are ready to try new tricks and be onboard with the movement that leads to new ways of getting connected.

Yet in some other companies, the HR function sees that in recruitment, it is best to avoid big risks and to stick to the existing proven practices. In this case, the key things are to be clear about what the company stands for and what the new open roles are, and then communicate those messages as effectively as possible. And as they say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” It is clear that some new things may not work optimally at the beginning, so playing safe may indeed be a good strategy for many companies.

So, should the companies embrace new innovations, tools, and messages in their talent hunt? Or should they wait and see? What the recruiters can do is stay true to themselves. Act in accordance with what their company is about and what it believes in. Try not to invent something artificial if it doesn’t fit with their values, goals, and reputation. Whatever the company’s choice is in terms of new stuff, it has to create a talent acquisition strategy that is also fully in line with its candidates and be able to speak the same language they do. Only in that way can a company truly attract the best talents out there.

Sanoma Recruitment Media will be attending our 600Minutes Executive HR, Finland, event on February 1, 2017, as a solution provider.