Talent Acquisition has edged out cost reduction as a top business challenge in recent years according to HireRight’s 2013 Employment Screening Benchmarking Report. Problems finding effective staffing solutions are often some of the biggest challenges faced by human resources staff and managers, and finding the right candidates with the skills and experience to do the work as well as the right fit for company culture makes those challenges even tougher. Weak recruiting processes, lack of leadership, ineffective line management, and gaps in policies and procedures are just some of the contributing factors in chronic turnover and staffing shortages. Owners, managers, and human resources personnel tasked with hiring can become desperate for effective staffing solutions, but success lies in improving the recruiting process.

Workforce Planning

The best staffing solutions to address and eliminate talent acquisition challenges must include workforce planning. Current and future workforce supply assessment, demand forecast, and gap review are important areas to manage in workforce planning. In “RecruitCONSULT! Leadership: The Corporate Talent Acquisition Leader’s Field Book,” author Jeremy M. Eskenazi defines workforce planning as a systematic process of analyzing what talent a business has and what talent it needs to meet business objectives. Recruiters and employers need to be able to be proactive in hiring rather than reactive. Rather than starting a fresh recruiting process with each new requisition, those who are involved in ongoing workforce planning have avenues for sourcing and active plans for recruiting in place.

Metrics for Staffing Solutions

An old management adage that is very relevant to talent acquisition and recruiting is “you can’t manage what you don’t measure”. William Edwards Deming, business consultant and statistician, said “You can expect what you inspect.” It’s extremely important to have meaningful and effective recruiting metrics in place for the most successful staffing solutions. In recruiting, speed and quality are even more important than cost, and having metrics that measure these will result in very effective improvements. Use time to hire and quality of hire as honest assessments of the efficiency and effectiveness of your recruiting process and staffing solutions, and add a few more metrics for the aspects of recruiting and hiring that are important in your company. For example, if a survey of senior management reveals a need and desire for more educated sales managers, plan to measure how many sales manager with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in sales and marketing you hire.

Don’t Make These Mistakes on Your Staffing Solutions

Challenges and difficulties in the talent acquisition process when seeking staffing solutions can be complicated and overwhelming. There usually isn’t one magic bullet solution when a company has a high turnover rate or lengthy vacancies in key positions. A balanced approach to create improvements that will have the most impact will produce the best results.

Don’t make these mistakes when working on staffing solutions:

1. Don’t confuse proactive talent sourcing with harvesting resumes from job boards. Proactive talent sourcing means developing relationships in targeted industries and fields with activities such as participating in forums where your ideal candidates are and discussing your company and openings with college and university professors who are teaching the students you want to hire when they graduate.

2. Don’t ignore candidates within the organization, both for open positions and for referrals, when seeking staffing solutions.

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3. Don’t focus only on active candidates; incorporate passive candidate recruiting activities into all recruiting processes and staffing solutions.

4. Don’t leave your employer brand out of the talent acquisition process. Use it in every sourcing and recruiting activity, introducing your company, culture, and benefits at every interaction.

5. Don’t spend too much time and money trying to find the “purple squirrels,” the ideal candidates who meet all the criteria for skills, education, and experience. Focus the bulk of your sourcing activities in areas that produce the most candidates, usually a combination of sources and methods.

Give your Talent Acquisition efforts the best chance of success by supporting them with carefully thought out staffing solutions. As Daina Holliday of ContractRecruiter states, “Building a Talent Acquisition strategy without solid staffing solutions is like building a rowboat without oars”.


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