Dramatically Improve Your Talent Acquisition Process with these 5 Best Practices

Whether you’re looking for live chat agents, hospitality workers, seasonal workers, or call center agents, your goal in hiring is always the same: to find the right person at the right time who is qualified for the job, and who will stay on the job long enough to be an effective employee to help you achieve your financial targets.

In our last blog, we discussed developing an organized approach to the talent acquisition process using the supply chain model as a guide. This method can help maximize the efficiency of the hiring process while minimizing the costs.

However, the potential ROI of the supply chain analysis method doesn’t end with the traditional six-step model. At least, not when you want your business to have a sustained competitive hiring advantage.

Not Your Great-Grandfather’s Supply Chain Model…

For years, the undisputed holy grails of supply chain management were speed and low cost. Though these are certainly necessary, they are not enough to give businesses the edge over their competitors in the long-term (CBS Money Watch).

In his Harvard Business Review article, Hau L. Lee discusses three practices that provide sustainable competitive advantage in terms of supply chains: agility, adaptability, and alignment.

Since the high-volume talent acquisition process presents its own unique set of challenges, there are a few additional considerations that need to be taken into account.

5 Best Practices of Supply Chain Talent Acquisition

Where the supply chain analysis method pinpoints weak links in the talent acquisition process, these five critical capabilities can provide significant financial value by not only increasing the quality of hire, but reducing attrition and cost per hire.

#1 Agility

The objective of agility is to respond to short-term changes in demand or supply quickly, and in terms of recruiting organizations, there are a few ways this can happen.

One way is to continuously provide updated hiring demand data, and provide workforce planning with updated data on supply changes. Additionally, a small, qualified candidate pool should be maintained in preparation for sudden changes in demand.

Example: Schedule weekly meetings with hiring teams to review hiring needs. Establish an “always-on” hiring and recruiting approach to maintain an active hiring pool. The Zappos Insider Program is a great example of this.

#2 Adaptability

In the hiring process, adaptability enables organizations to adjust the staffing process design to accommodate market changes.

To achieve adaptability, track the market condition changes. For example, if you’re hiring for a contact center, track changes such as new call center openings, other hourly employers, and overall labor market conditions. Other measures your business can take to increase adaptability include:

  • Using intermediaries to find reliable sourcing supplies by market
  • Creating flexibility in the staffing process to accommodate local market changes
  • Using different staffing procedures for different positions
  • Monitoring recruiting staff-to-hire ratio to enable teams – and the organization as a whole – to be responsive

Example: Using call centers as an illustration, create a team whose core responsibility is to research community call center happenings, and network with call centers in the area through professional organizations.

#3 Alignment

Unless hiring efforts have the buy-in from all involved parties, the process will not function optimally. Alignment involves establishing incentives for the entire staffing chain go improve performance of the staffing process.

To achieve alignment in the talent acquisition process, businesses can take a few different approaches. First, clarify each party’s incentives in the process to avoid competing incentives. For example, do human resource teams, operation, and training all have the same incentives when it comes to retention?

Additionally, all groups should be given equal access to demand and supply forecasts and data, and the communications process should be carefully defined among all involved groups.

Example: Establish communication frequency and agendas with all groups (i.e., operations, HR, training). Put financial incentives in place to align across recruiting, training, and operations.

#4 Efficiency

Efficiency allows organizations to determine where time and money are best spent in the recruiting process. Implementing hiring assessment tools like talent acquisition software can speed the process along considerably by narrowing candidate pools down to individuals hiring managers know – with data-driven evidence – have the right set of competencies to succeed.

Additionally, using technology to automate processes opens a door allowing analytics tools to be used to track the hiring process funnels. As a result, metrics can be used to track process efficiency and staffing utilization.

Example: Use an automated process with “high touch” customer service throughout the assessments. Review daily throughput statistics and compare those statistics against the company’s goals. By doing this, the company can then make the necessary adjustments.

#5 Effectiveness

Determining effectiveness involves determining how staffing programs and processes impact each phase of the staffing cycle. In other words, is the new talent selection process working? There are a few different ways you can go about determining this:

  • Measure effectiveness of communications at achieving alignment goal
  • Measure effectiveness of staffing programs to increase average length of service and retention
  • Measure effectiveness of staffing programs to improve the quality of hire

Example: Take the time to conduct a monthly formal review of hiring results. Additionally, perform a quarterly formal review of performance and retention results to determine if, in fact, staffing efforts are meeting desired goals and output.