Talent Acquisition In A Competitive Talent Market: How to Use Recruitment Experts to Find the Right Fit

employee recruitment

HR professionals have heard the drum call: brace for a talent war.

Unemployment rates are down. Job growth is on the rise. There’s a demographic transition in the works. Not enough talent supply to fill demand. Unscrupulous talent poaching and outrageous compensation packages are just the tip of a competitive talent market that’s just starting to heat up. Employee engagement is central to recruitment and retention. It can make the difference between a candidate’s decision to join your team and a star performer’s decision to leave the fold.

The Recruitment Process Takes A Lot Of Time And Effort

  • Meetings to confirm job descriptions and a wish list of candidate attributes
  • Sourcing and screening candidates
  • Arranging and overseeing interviews
  • Keeping in touch with candidates
  • Providing guidance and support to hiring managers
  • Paperwork

Staffing agencies with niche expertise alleviate some of those burdens. But how do you make sure an external talent search service segues into and supports your organization’s vision, mission, values and overall employee engagement?

Employee Engagement 101

There are very high correlations between engaged employees and engaged customers.

You’re hiring a firm, so you’re the customer.

But it’s not the firm, it’s the person or people that will work on your search that you want to get to know, the employees in this picture.

Are THEY engaged in their work?

Passionate about what they do?

Have they gone above and beyond in their research and understanding of your organization?

Does that little bit of extra effort show up in the questions they ask?

If they’re engaged in their work chances are you’ll be a well served and satisfied customer.

If they’re engaged in their work chances are you’ll be a well served and satisfied customer.

What To Look For In A Recruiting ExpertAsk for their own recruitment and retention statistics for both employees and customers. Those numbers reveal big stories.

  1. Find out what companies they have to stay away from (because of the placements they’ve made for these clients in the past). It may be the position you’re looking to fill is limited by earlier contracted agreements.
  2. What sources do they use to network with passive and active candidates? Is their outreach reaching the right people? A younger demographic means a stronger online emphasis. What’s in their recruiter’s toolbox?
  3. Do they conduct employee engagement surveys?
  4. If not what is their understanding of employee engagement? How does it apply to what they do (if they’re an individual consultant) or their firm?
  5. If they conduct employee engagement surveys, what does their employee engagement program look like?
  • What are their engagement scores?
  • Are their employees proud to work there?
  • Do they recommend the company as a good place to work?
  • How is their leadership team viewed?
  • What about professional growth and development? Talk about their initiatives and yours.
  • Communication – share your successes and challenges and delve into theirs.
  1. Ask for a definition of their corporate culture (or personal philosophy).
  • What is their structure and approach?
  • Are they hierarchical? Servant-leadership oriented? Innovators and risk takers?
  • How do their answers fit with your organizational reality?

The factors that influence employee engagement in your organization should influence your decision when it comes to outsourcing recruitment to a consultant or firm. You want the same kind of trust and working rapport with the people handling your recruiting projects, that’s established with your workforce. Ideally your talent acquisition experts should feel like an extension of your organization. A true partner integrated into your culture, engaged in sourcing and securing the best talent for the job. Not just because it’s what they do, but because they’re engaged, invested and care.

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