A cyclical strategic imperative and not a tactical approach!
For some time I have been pushing the thinking that a true and ‘best in class’ TA success story cannot be achieved without an equally solid EVP and Employer Brand foundations and this is 100% correct. However as I have thought this through, I have come to accept that the reality facing the live working environments of every TA Practitioner can never be the same. This will be the case from one TA professional to another and for the same person, from one job to the next.
There are multiple variables that will impact on each TA role you take on, far too many to list them all but I am sure you know your own S.W.O.T status. It is clear there will be many TA strategies and jobs that will work better and be more enjoyable and rewarding for some than for others. You could be working for a Branded House corporate like Google or Virgin so your budgets, primary objectives and impact points will be far different than if you work for Joe Blogs Widget Company or No Name Insurance Limited.
No matter the company you work for and what impacts you face from your starting “as-is” point the need to clearly understand the full strategic value of talent acquisition and what skills need to be applied; allowing you to implement as many elements of the best possible strategy you can at the time, remains constant and common for every TA professional.
Bersin by Deloitte’s definition: “Talent Acquisition is a strategic approach to identifying, attracting and onboarding top talent to efficiently and effectively meet dynamic business needs”
With specific sub-sets or elements combining together in an overall process to produce its strategic goals; these sub-sets are:
- Talent Acquisition Planning & Strategy
- Workforce Segmentation
- Employment Branding
- Candidate Audiences
- Candidate Relationship Management
- Metrics & Analytics
Each of these TA child elements have their own range of activities and best practices and require the right combination and use of supporting technology, tools and third party partners in order to achieve your desired outcomes.
In order to be successful in any senior TA role you must first ensure you fully understand every sub element above and how they can be applied in a best case scenario, then gain a total understanding of the current picture and SWOT in applying each element to its maximum potential in the live environment you are in.
You can’t then just start, as the unfortunate reality is that you may totally get what is needed and what will and will not work but in most cases your reality will not yet match the perceptions and “Maps of the World” to that of your C-level stakeholders! Your task, once you know what is needed is to change unrealistic C-level perceptions so they meet the reality of what can be successfully achieved over an agreed and realistic timeline. You must effectively communicate your business case, what you intend to do and the reason for doing it. Once C-level stakeholders are bought in to your thinking and agree mutually achievable outcomes, you can then begin your TA roil out and manage the delivery process.
No matter the company, the culture, the size of the organisation or the threats faced; once you know (and everyone agrees) which of the elements above require the highest level of prioritisation to efficiently and effectively meet dynamic business needs you will then start to gain an achievable ROI from the TA Strategy you implement. For some this will offer more immediate and greater returns than others but that’s a fact of circumstance, nothing more. What is important and positive to know; once you are working inside your cyclical TA framework and everyone agrees and understands the desired outcomes, you can then re-appraise and work on each sub element of your TA strategy to continuously improve and work toward a ‘best in class’ TA solution for that company, ongoing.
While I still believe to get the most from and to build a first class Talent Acquisition Strategy you must first have a real EVP and visible Employer Brand and that your TA drivers should not be pure hard performance numbers like Cost of Hire or Time to Fill but focus more on the number and variety of new solutions and ideas that positively impact those hard numbers. The bottom line is; the ‘real world’ for most of us runs slightly differently.
What must be constant for every TA professional is the ability to fully understand what TA outcomes are realistically deliverable in whatever environment you find yourself working in.
A quick thank you to Susan Burns as I used her image from the article “Planning for the Future of Talent Acquisition: Meet the Talent Broker” Great image and interesting read, cheers Susan.