With the increase in remote work, employers may want to rethink their approach to hiring by moving away from recruiting and towards talent acquisition. While both talent acquisition and recruitment share the same end goal of finding the right people, recruitment is a short-term operational initiative designed to fill a vacant role while talent acquisition is a long-term strategic approach to hiring based around growth projections and strategic imperatives. Another way to think about it: recruitment is about the role, talent acquisition is about the people.
Because of its rigorous discipline, talent acquisition can end up taking months whereas recruitment can sometimes be completed within a span of weeks. Talent acquisition helps companies focus on candidates’ growth potential and target individuals with the skills and aptitude to grow.
Regardless of your company's size, a well-planned talent acquisition strategy gives you a blueprint to tap into the most skilled employees available to help you build high quality teams.
Remote Works' Impact on Talent Acquisition and Onboarding
Remote work can be very beneficial for talent acquisition, but it also raises some challenges for employers.
1. The increasing appeal of remote work makes it more difficult to attract the right candidates.
Remote work is becoming an integral part of work culture as increasingly more employees indicate a preference for it.
A 2021 Harvard Business School Online and City Square Associates online survey found that more than 80 percent of respondents would prefer not to go back to the office at all or have a hybrid schedule going forward. Over 25 percent hope to work remotely full-time. (The survey reflected the opinions of 1,500 professionals who worked remotely at least part of the time from March 2020 to March 2021.)
Companies need to be ready for the seismic change that remote work is causing when attracting and retaining talent. Ask yourself: Am I a short-term recruitment-focused employer or a long-term talent acquisition strategy company?
This means companies will need to rethink their culture and even their operations. As remote work continues to be one of the most desired employee benefits, remote-friendly companies will have an advantage in talent acquisition.
2. Remote work has widened the global talent pool promising greater access to top talent.
The current trend of remote work presents an advantage for talent acquisition. That’s because WFH or work-from-anywhere (WFA) allows a company to recruit from a worldwide talent pool.
The field of candidates is no longer limited by geography, which helps companies find world-class talent globally.
3. A competitive market for remote workers can hamper talent acquisition efforts.
Paradoxically, remote work can also be a challenge for talent acquisition. Since employees don’t have to relocate to access a job, they have a wider choice of opportunities at their disposal. This can naturally result in a scarcity of talent.
So, if all you have done is search for people when a position becomes available, you may find the best people have been cherry-picked by companies that have a solid talent acquisition strategy.
The fierce competition for talent makes a long-term talent acquisition strategy even more critical, so that you’re not caught off guard when you’re searching for superior talent.
4. Remote work opens a door for competitors to poach top people.
Now that talent is available to employers worldwide, it’s easier for competitors to poach your best people.
5. Explaining company culture is a prime consideration when onboarding remote workers.
Onboarding new employees who are starting remote work presents unique challenges.
While automating hiring documents and getting digital signatures are an easy part of virtual onboarding, other issues require more thought. Take company culture for instance. Now more than ever, making culture a competitive advantage can help your talent acquisition strategy.
So how do you ensure that new remote employees can understand the culture and feel they can be a part of it even though they work out of the office?
- Have a video conference to discuss your core company values. Provide a few examples of how the values are lived (e.g. "How is work-life balance encouraged? On Fridays, we quit earlier.”)
- Bring the vision to life by explaining the fundamental reason for your company’s existence beyond just making money. Talk about what your company aspires to achieve.
- Provide stories to illustrate what it’s like to work here. Explain to them how leaders help employees. You can also get candidates on a Zoom call with team members to help them get a feel of employee relations. Ask team members to share what they love about working for the company.
- What is your Employee Value Proposition (EVP)? These are the tangible rewards and experiences that employees get working in your company. Target your EVP to the specific talent group you’re addressing. For example, suppose you’re hiring a technical expert. In this case, you may offer a “dual-ladder system" that allows a technical employee to still progress in terms of compensation without having to stray far from their favored R & D focus to join the management ranks.
- Give remote workers some context to the company history. What are the things that have made your company great? What are some hero stories that you want to bring forward? What are some lessons learned from the past? What are exciting opportunities?
- Consider enlisting the help of a remote onboarding peer who can explain the company's unwritten rules and social patterns.
A talent acquisition strategy may be time-consuming to set up, but in the long run, it will help you get things right when you need to attract the best.
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