How to Improve Talent Acquisition?

How to Improve Talent Acquisition?

Talent acquisition is more than just advertising for open vacancies, shortlisting the matching profiles and selecting candidates after an interview. Hiring the right talent is multipronged process with as much as the company’s future at stake. There are plenty of things to watch out for; for instance, is your recruiting strategy biased towards a particular gender? Are you accidentally hiring candidates that are overqualified for the role and hence hard to retain? Is your employer brand reliable enough to attract top class talent? These and many more questions should cross your mind while making the next hire.

  1. What is Talent Acquisition?
  2. Ways to Improve Talent Acquisition

What is Talent Acquisition?

Talent acquisition is the process of finding and hiring relevant talent for fulfilling an organizational need with an eye on the future.  It is a term used interchangeably with recruiting to a fault.  Recruiting or hiring is more about filling the open positions. Talent acquisition is a strategic investment in creating leadership with the focus on future of your company.

Ways to Improve Talent Acquisition

Evolve your talent acquisition strategies to attract the right employees

Evolve your talent acquisition strategies to attract the right employees

Hiring new talent is arguably one of the hardest tasks for any recruiter. Talent acquisition process can be even trickier as the hiring is done for key positions and will make a greater impact than everyday recruitment.  A simple mistake can cost heavily. Rapid technology advancements have changed the game entirely and therefore as a TA specialist, you need to evolve your strategies with the changing landscape. Using the same interviewing methods and techniques, or same sourcing practices can lead to missing out on the top talent. Candidates have become more tech savvy. They are using different ways to identify the right job opportunity for them. Surveys show that job searching is now predominantly done while on the move, on mobile. As a talent acquisition leader, you need to accept and embrace these changes and adjust the TA strategy to attract talent to your company.

(Also Read: How to Improve Recruitment and Selection Process)

Adopt data-driven recruitment strategies to attract talent to your organisation

With tools and technologies permeating every sphere of life, more data is being created with every passing second. Data analytics can help structure and make sense of this data to predict human behavior, patterns and choices. Using tools that can access, structure and analyze data related to jobseekers can help you get insight into talent demographics, their behavior and choices. Even within an organization, the data related to high performance employees can provide an understanding of which talent will perform better in future thus giving a factual basis to your hiring decision.  (Also read: Recruitment Strategies to Attract and Retain Talent)

To fully embrace a data-driven approach to talent acquisition, adopt a system of recruitment metrics.

Adopt data-driven recruitment strategies to attract talent to your organisation

Measuring crucial data points is important to know which efforts are paying off and which are not. You should be able to identify the right metrics for your business as per the organization goal and business strategy.  Some of the important recruitment metrics that you should be concerned about include retention rate, cost to acquire, time to fill and offer to acceptance ratio. These metrics are individual to every open requisition.   Measuring these data points should not be difficult if you have a well-structured hiring process in place and you are using well-rounded recruitment software. Analyzing these metrics can provide important missing links in your talent acquisition process.

(Also Read: Top 5 Recruitment Metrics That Matter)

Reduce turnaround time in recruitment for talent acquisition improvement

Reduce turnaround time in recruitment for talent acquisition improvement

The top talent will not stay open to job opportunities forever. The brutal competition for talent means you need to work within tight deadlines and shorten the recruitment process. Set a timeline for candidates by emailing them a turnaround time within which they have to respond to the job with their profile or availability for an interview.  Ensure that all internal stakeholders involved in the interview process stick to a 24-hour timeline for all vital steps of the process. When making the offer, make sure to mention a timeline for response. Setting up deadlines shortens the hiring process, makes it more productive and also presents your organization in a more professional light.

(Also Read: Chatbots In Recruitment: How Do They Help?)

Improve talent sourcing to attract talented employees

Improve talent sourcing to attract talented employees

Social media and employee referrals have become too important sourcing channels to ignore. In addition to job boards and your own career site, make sure to post your requirement on social channels that have a significant audience of job seekers specific to your industry. Leveraging LinkedIn works well in cases where candidates are looking for attractive offers passively. Leadership talent is most likely to refer to their network for new opportunities and less likely to seek employment on job boards. Therefore utilizing the relevant social media channels for sourcing talent is essential to your overall strategy. At the same time, try try making good use of your employee’s referrals as the hiring through your trusted employees has more credibility and is also a time saving process.

(Also Read: How to Improve Talent Sourcing in Your Organization?)

Actively following the above mentioned practices for talent acquisition can leave a marked difference in performance and quality of talent being hired in the organization.


ATS Vendors

A Guide to Boolean Search Recruiting with Examples

Talent sourcing is simple. You have an open vacancy in your organization. All you have to do is perform search basis keywords, designation, location, job title, experience, skills and other requirements in your ATS which obviously will return the best profiles matching your query and behold! You have found your candidate.

Okay. That was all in good humor!

We all know talent sourcing is the trickiest part of hiring because the software that you rely on may return the highest qualified candidates, but it may or may not return the best candidates for that role depending on the search and matching capabilities it comes equipped with.  Today vendors may entice you with fancy words like Artificial Intelligence, Machine learning and cognitive computing but before these technologies exploded on the scene, most Applicant Tracking Software relied on Boolean search for their search and matching capabilities (and they still do).

Search engines like Google have been the flag bearer in this area as they first introduced Boolean in their search algorithms which was followed by much complex Semantic search and quickly progressed to AI based deep learning algorithms for returning search results to user queries. Recruitment has been quick to pick up the clues and has followed in the feet of the online search industry.  The current breed of recruitment software has vastly improved algorithms to source candidates more effectively.  We will see now how the search technology in ATS has moved from Boolean to Semantics and why the shift was necessary.

Boolean search strings in recruiting

Recruiters have relied on Boolean search for returning matching candidates from their company’s CV database in an ATS, or from other systems such as LinkedIn for a long time now. The search technology in most applicant tracking systems is an application of a standalone Boolean logic or combination of a two or more Boolean logics. Being equipped with a Boolean search functionality means you can use “OR”, “AND”, “NOT” , word operators to find candidates for particular requirement. In addition to these, we also have the “” and ().

So in total, Boolean logic works through five operators

  • OR
  • AND
  • NOT
  • “”
  • ()

For example, if you are searching for a marketing executive for your digital marketing team, and the manager insists on a Google Adwords certified individual, all you need to input is Marketing AND Google Adwords through a text query. If your recruiting solution has well-built taxonomy you might not even have to type Google Adwords in the query box, as it would automatically show in suggestions or fetch a Google Adword certified individual once you input Marketing as a key skill.  However, taxonomies are more of a semantic search concept than pure Boolean logic.

Other boolean search recruiting examples can be:

  • Job skill AND Experience AND Location

Software Development AND 5 years AND New York

A candidate who has software development as a skill,  5 years of experience and preferred location as New York.

  • (Job Skill OR Job Skill) AND Experience AND Location

(Software Development OR Software Testing) AND 5 years AND New York

A candidate who has software development or software testing (any one of the two) as skill and 5 years work experience and preferred location as New York

  • (Job Skill NOT Job Skill) AND (Location OR Location)

(Software Development NOT Software Testing) AND (New York OR London)

A candidate who has software development as a skill but software testing is excluded and preferred location is New York or London.

In an ATS these logics are also applied through check boxes and extensive filter

As it is evident, Boolean is a pretty easy way of constructing a query that fetches some relevant data.

Limitations of Boolean search techniques

True enough, boolean logic can find you candidates from your database as long as the search is syntactically correct. But that doesn’t mean it is finding you the best candidates. One limitation is that Boolean search works on exact terms specified in the query. For instance, a recruiter searching for “Web Designer” would certainly miss profiles that do not have the term and are alternatively listed as “Front End Designer”, or “UI Designer”.

The other problem that comes with Boolean search is the limited parameters around which you have design your query. For instance, if you need a candidate with 5 years’ experience in a particular skill set, such as software testing, there is hardly any way to specify this using Boolean, unless the developers of the Applicant Tracking System went to extreme pains of creating the most advanced Boolean search system. Another limitation is the sheer number of results that a Boolean query returns and that too not in any particular order. To get to the best possible candidate, the HR might have to open each profile and find the best match, which again is a time taking process depending on how large is your database of profiles.

Evolving to Semantic Search Recruiting

Some ATS’s have fought this drawback by providing functionality where candidates are divided in Premium and Other category based on predefined parameters like their College, Experience Years, and Current Employer. But that’s not good enough. Therefore, it’s time to look beyond and incorporate new search technologies with Boolean to make the most effective talent sourcing machine. With arrival of Semantic search and the age of artificial intelligence we have big hopes for sourcing and recruiting industry. How this search technology is different from their previous counterpart, we will study in our next post.

(Also Read: The Benefits of Semantic Search in Recruiting)