After considering the Marketing Mix in Talent Acquisition, the next step in the recruitment process is putting together a sourcing strategy, for each role. After meeting with the hiring manager to understand the exact needs of the role, as well as its nuances. After understanding their role fully, including their management style, we move to the Candidate Generate Phase – a well thought through strategy designed to ensure that we have a proper plan to attract candidates. Because no role is exactly like another, there may be similarities, each role then should have its own strategy.
This individualized plan should be co-designed with the hiring manager, and other key stakeholders in the hiring decision. I think it’s important to have their buy-in to the ‘how’ we are going to market to find the suitable candidate.
In this plan, we determine the channels we will use so that our effort reaches our intended target market. The plan also includes what the assessment phase should look like, how many interviews will be held, what technical questions need to be asked, which competencies are to be measured, which ones are the most important, and how we will rank these. We need find out here if psychometric assessments will be conducted. If yes, what kind.
The AIDA principle works really well when putting together a job advert, because you must get Attention first, then Interest, we need to highlight those attributes of the role that are appealing to get Desire, and then finally Action. My thing about advertising, is that we need to understand our target market, and where they are most likely to see the job post.
The Candidate Generation strategy then specifies upfront, exactly where our adverts will be placed. For example, when looking for specialist and senior skills I opt for LinkedIn, and for internships Twitter has been the best platform. When the advert is placed through the companies Applicant Tracking System, we can post internally to explore interest within the organization, and simultaneously place directly on our website for external candidates.
Here we also decide whether we will engage with recruitment agencies, or if we will try to fill the vacancy directly as a cost saving initiative. Most hiring managers have appreciated when I asked if we should add agencies to the search, they say that in most instances the recruiter has gone out and used agencies without their knowledge, and only found out about it when the bill came. They like the option of getting extra help when its urgent, or if they want to tap into the agency’s data base and network.
The beauty of a talent acquisition strategy is that it’s not only a wonderful tool to understand how we are going to search, it also acts as a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). When things don’t work out, we can go back to the plan to make adjustments. It also acts as a Service Level Agreement (SLA) between HR and the business.