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6 Tips for a Successful Talent Acquisition Process (+ 6 Challenges to Overcome)

Design a streamlined talent acquisition process to drive efficiency and reduce recruitment costs.

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It’s easy to let fantastic talent slip through the cracks if your current recruitment strategy doesn’t set you up for success. 

As Chetan Vyas, Talent professional at Deel, says, “If your role has been open for 7+ months because you haven’t found the perfect candidate, it’s likely a company issue, not a candidate issue. Simplify the job. Have a realistic goal. Ask the right questions. Make the decision.”

The answer is to build a talent acquisition process—a series of repeatable steps that will attract exceptional candidates to your hiring funnel, then nurture their interest from application to onboarding. 

This guide covers everything you need to know about talent acquisition strategies—the challenges, the best practices, and why you must invest in a well-oiled machine. 

Why a solidified talent acquisition process is important

If you’ve been guilty of throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks, designing a structured process will skyrocket your success and ensure you are keeping up with current talent acquisition trends. When you plan out every stage of your hiring process, from attraction to employee onboarding, it: 

  • Drives efficiency: With a set recruitment process, you’ll quickly identify any bottlenecks in your funnel. Once you’ve ironed them out, expect faster hiring times and fewer wasted resources.
  • Reduces recruitment costs: The efficiencies associated with faster turnaround times save the company significant money. Managers take less time out of their profit-generating work to attend interviews, while productivity soars when teams are fully stocked. 
  • Ensures accountability: Knowing who owns every task in your process ensures all activities are appropriately handled and keeps every stage of your operations moving. 
  • Supports succession planning: By focusing on key skills and experience, you can create a talent pipeline of capable employees ready to step into senior or specialist roles. 
  • Is proactive rather than reactive: Without a hiring process, you react to open vacancies on the fly by setting the recruitment wheels in motion. A formal talent acquisition process builds a pool of potential candidates and reaches out when the time is right. 
  • Improves DEI hiring: A meaningful talent acquisition process aligns with your internal DEI strategies to improve representation throughout all organizational levels. This begins by implementing a process to attract candidates from a wide variety of backgrounds. 
  • Attracts investors: An org chart filled with high-caliber candidates is enticing to investors. They want to plunge their money into a company with the ability to attract even more top talent and create an excellent return on their investment. 

6 common talent acquisition challenges

Consider how you’ll overcome the following hurdles as you develop your talent acquisition strategy:

1. Failing to attract qualified talent

Hiring candidates for skills rather than education, connections, or previous big-name employers is a priority for recruiters in 2024. Yet, over half of recruiters struggle to find the top talent they’re looking for. Being realistic about the skill sets you need and being open to remote and hybrid roles can widen your recruitment net. 

2. Losing new hires during onboarding

Talent acquisition doesn’t end on a new hire’s first day. 29% of workers admit they’ve quit a role within the first 90 days, making it essential to develop streamlined onboarding processes to smooth their transition into company life.

3. Ensuring legal compliance

A single misstep in your process can lead to legal action, so it’s essential to review it regularly, seek professional advice, and ensure hiring managers are trained in compliance.

4. Facing intense competition

52% of organizations find it difficult to hire their top pick ahead of their competitors, according to Robert Half. Providing an enticing total compensation package and a positive candidate experience can beat your rivals. 

5. Implementing AI

Automating repetitive hiring processes such as interview scheduling can greatly enhance the candidate experience and free up time for recruiters. But balancing AI delegation with human interaction and decision-making is hard. 

6. Being decisive

Too many stakeholders in your talent acquisition process can make it impossible to reach a mutual agreement and delay a job offer being sent out. Knowing who is responsible for making the final decision and communicating it clearly to all involved can prevent gridlock. 

6 tips for solid talent acquisition

Set up your talent acquisition teams for success with the following tips and best practices: 

1. Focus on employer branding

Employer branding is how internal and external candidates view your company as an employer. In an organization with positive employer branding, employees remain with you for the long term, sing your praises on social media, and refer their friends to job openings. A negative employer brand has the opposite effect: high turnover, bad online reviews, and a struggle to attract talent. Try the following to boost your brand: 

  • Benchmark your current brand: Conduct surveys to discover why your employees enjoy working for you and what keeps them motivated. Act on the results, then repeat the survey periodically to compare the results. 
  • Showcase your employer brand in your job postings: Let candidates know what they can expect from your company regarding work-life balance, benefits, career development opportunities, and more.
  • Lean on social media: Use platforms like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and X to share company culture content and interact with potential candidates.  

Speaking on the Talent Acquisition Leaders podcast, Terri Lawless, Head of Talent Acquisition at Stop & Shop, expresses her hopes that all candidates experience their employer brand positively:   

“I want people to believe and feel like they were treated so well that even though they didn’t get the job, they would refer us.” 

2. Be creative in your outreach

If it feels like you’re not attracting enough applications, your talent acquisition metrics are lackluster, or you’re hearing from people who are underqualified for your roles, it’s time to explore alternative candidate sourcing strategies. For example: 

  • Improve your job description: Ensure it provides adequate information for candidates,  such as the skills they need, your salary ranges, and inclusive, gender-neutral language that doesn’t repel anyone from applying.
  • Target a diverse range of job boards: Instead of returning to the usual big-name job boards, try niche boards for your industry, location, or the specific skill sets you need. For example, post your job on Professional Diversity Network, Hispanic Jobs to improve diversity, or Arc for global, remote talent. 
  • Set up an employee referral program: Encourage your workers to refer their friends and family members by offering rewards for successful hires.
  • Experiment with AI: Tools like Juicebox allow you to “chat” with its people search engine using natural language to obtain a list of candidate matches. 

3. Prioritize the candidate experience

40% of job seekers report that an employer has ghosted them after a second or third-round interview. But this is a circular problem; the more that recruiters fail to engage with candidates, the likelier they are to stop communicating, regardless of how far along in the hiring process they are. 

Terri Lawless highlights that every job applicant should be treated well, regardless of the seniority of the position they’re applying for. 

“Candidate experience has always been something that is important to me as a TA leader and should be important to everybody. It doesn’t matter if your candidate is applying for a VP role or if they’re applying for a cashier position; they’ve taken the time to apply to your organization and should be acknowledged in some capacity.”

Deliver an exceptional candidate experience by: 

  • Providing fantastic communication: Explain timings, steps, and decision-making. 
  • Delivering feedback: If your candidates have completed skills assessments, interviews, or submitted work samples, provide feedback.
  • Preventing bias: Ensure that candidates are evaluated solely on their qualifications and not factors such as gender, race, or age. Implement blind resume reviews to eliminate bias from the decision-making process. 
  • Enabling AI chatbots: Candidates can receive immediate answers to FAQs without waiting for a human talent acquisition team member to become available. 

4. Host effective interviews

Your interviews are just as much about evaluating the qualified candidates as they are about impressing them with your organization. Make sure you: 

  • Prepare for the interview: Review resumes and application materials before the interview so you’re aware of any accommodations the candidate requires.
  • Use behavioral-based questions: Ask open-ended questions that allow candidates to discuss their experiences and how they’ve handled particular scenarios in the past.
  • Focus on skills: Along with gaining insight into technical skills, evaluate soft skills like communication, problem-solving, and creativity. 
  • Introduce the candidate to the team: It’s important for candidates to meet potential coworkers so they can gauge cultural fit and understand team dynamics.
  • Keep interviews concise: Avoid an elongated interview process that could deter candidates from pursuing the role. Stick to a scheduled time and aim for no more than two or three interviews. 

5. Offer smooth employee onboarding 

First impressions of your company have already been made. But onboarding likely involves a new set of faces for candidates to become familiar with. Provide a valuable onboarding experience by: 

  • Establishing onboarding systems: Whether using an HRIS, people enablement platform, or other forms of automation, ensure that your onboarding process is simple and accessible. Your materials should cover company culture, job expectations, and where to go for support within your organization.
  • Assigning a mentor: Don’t just leave it down to the hiring manager to bring your new employees up to speed. Provide new hires with someone to shadow during their initial days and weeks to quickly ramp up and learn the ins and outs of their role and team. 
  • Offering a buddy: Assigning someone to new hires can make them feel more at ease and help foster relationships with coworkers early on. 
  • Welcoming them to the team: Joining a new company can feel isolating. Consider hosting a team lunch or happy hour to introduce them and start building those crucial team bonds. 
  • Checking in regularly: Ensure you continue supporting the employee’s integration into your company by conducting regular check-ins during their first few weeks of employment. Ask for feedback on their onboarding experience and address any potential concerns they might have. 

6. Craft an enticing compensation package

The offer you slide across the table significantly impacts your ability to attract and retain top talent. This encompasses: 

  • Base salary: Potential employees want to know they’re receiving fair pay compared to similar roles in the industry. 
  • Comprehensive benefits package: Job seekers want their employers to support them personally and professionally. 
  • Flexible work arrangements: People want their work to fit around their personal lives, not the other way around. 
  • Professional development opportunities: Candidates need to visualize their future at your organization. 
6 tips for solid talent acquisition

Strengthen your talent acquisition process with Benepass

If you’ve built a well-oiled talent acquisition funnel and are still struggling to attract the best of the best, Benepass is your missing piece of the talent acquisition puzzle. 

Our flexible benefits platform enables employers to deliver an irresistible range of perks and benefits, including: 

  • Pre-tax benefits, including HRAs, HSAs, FSAs, and commuter benefits 
  • Post-tax perks and stipends, including wellness, professional development, meal, family and childcare, lifestyle spending accounts, remote working, and rewards and recognition. 

Ready to attract fantastic talent to your ranks and keep them there? Sign up for a free Benepass demo today. 

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Rebecca Noori

Rebecca Noori is a freelance HR Tech and SaaS writer who is obsessed with our world of work. She writes about everything from employee benefits and performance management to upskilling and productivity tips. When she's not writing, you'll find her grappling with phonics homework and football kits, looking after her three kids.

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