You can take two approaches to hiring: The usual approach (scrambling to find a hire for the most current open role) or the proactive approach.
Talent acquisition means taking a proactive approach — and it can be a huge advantage for your organization since competition for top-tier talent is intense. Enlist the help of a talent acquisition consultant so that your organization can create a comprehensive hiring strategy that will save your recruiting team from rushing around at the last minute when staffing needs arise.
We’ll show you more about what these consultants can do below.
What Is a Talent Acquisition Consultant?
You can hire an in-house talent acquisition consultant or a contract one. Either way, this person holds a permanent, often full-time position with your company so that they can conduct ongoing recruitment operations. They handle much of the recruitment process — networking, building a talent pool, creating a talent pipeline, posting job descriptions, filtering resumes, and more. At some organizations, they handle the interviews, as well.
Talent Acquisition vs. Recruitment
While the objectives between acquisition and recruitment are the same (to fill open positions with qualified candidates), recruitment is reactive because it happens when roles come open, and you react to those vacancies by starting the hiring process.
Talent acquisition is a proactive, continuous process that happens whether you have open positions or not. It seeks to not only fill current vacancies but also develop a strong talent pipeline so that you always have the best talent available when positions open up.
A Quick Analogy for Understanding Talent Acquisition Consultants
Think about the ways that people plan vacations. One person may book a trip at the last minute — and that’s followed by a ton of stress as they rush to get ready. They’re probably still packing the morning of the flight and will probably spend valuable vacation time searching for a convenience store to buy necessities they forgot.
Another person starts planning weeks or months in advance. They’ve read all the travel guides, made lists, and gotten discounts for early bird booking. They know everything that will happen down to their drink orders — and all that planning pays off with a stress-free week of sunshine.
If recruitment is like the first type of vacationer, then talent acquisition is more akin to the second. It’s a lot less stressful for hiring team members and job seekers alike — plus, you can get to the onboarding phase quickly without scrambling to post on job boards and put together a quick talent pool.
The Importance of a Long-Term Recruitment Strategy
What makes a talent acquisition strategy great is that it switches your focus from short-term recruiting to a long-term strategy that focuses on reaching out to and building relationships with qualified passive candidates. This way, you can cultivate a talent pool that will fill your future needs.
On the flip side, when you’re focusing only on filling current openings, your organization can become myopic, which means starting from scratch with candidate sourcing each time you recruit for a new role. It can take a lot longer to make a hire since you have to rebuild a talent pool to choose from each time — and that can create many problems, which we’ll examine in the next section.
Why Should You Hire a Talent Acquisition Consultant?
Hiring a talent acquisition consultant helps you maintain a consistent talent pipeline so that you can quickly hire great candidates as roles open. You likely already know that vacancies cost you money in terms of lost productivity — but there are other costs to consider.
- Forty-four percent of workers report a heavy workload as the main source of undue stress at work.
- Fifty-six percent of people say that stress at work has caused them to search for a new job.
- Another 46% say that stress has caused them to stop caring or “check out” while at work.
- Thirty-nine percent have taken unplanned time off to manage workplace stress.
- Twenty-five percent have quit a job because of stress.
That’s what makes talent acquisition so important. Vacancies can create a chain reaction. Open roles mean remaining team members need to pick up the slack, which leads to more stress and people burning out. In extreme cases, it can lead to overworked workers quitting, which means even more vacancies.
When you’re working with a talent acquisition specialist with a ready-made talent pool to draw from whenever you have an opening, you can stop this chain reaction before it can begin.
What Does a Talent Acquisition Consultant Do?
Talent acquisition specialists handle a broad range of tasks that go into sourcing and hiring talent. Whether they handle sourcing or both sourcing and hiring, they take a comprehensive overview of an organization to see which positions need filling and where there will be ongoing needs for fresh talent so that they can build a sustainable recruiting process.
Identifies In-House Candidates With Leadership Potential
When you need talent, one of the best places to look is under your own roof — and talent acquisition specialists can identify employees with leadership potential and the right interpersonal skills and certifications so that you don't waste your in-house talent.
Ensures Compliance With Equal Employment Hiring Practices
It’s crucial to adhere to equal employment hiring practices — and a talent acquisition consultant will be well-versed in rules and regulations so that you can ensure that you’re compliant and inclusive.
Streamlines the Hiring Process
Antiquated hiring processes are common among employers — and since this signals disorganization, human resources management oversights, a failure to keep up with technology, or perhaps a less-than-perfect company culture, it can drive off applicants. Your talent acquisition consultant can help make the hiring process as smooth as possible.
Builds an Appealing Employer Brand
If you want to attract the best of the best, employer branding is crucial. One of the most significant ways that a talent acquisition specialist can help is by creating an employer brand image that showcases that your organization is a great place to work. These specialists know how to sell your brand and track marketing metrics, and they have the communication skills to really make your company stand out to potential candidates.
Assists With Talent Sourcing
These consultants will help you with hiring needs in a variety of ways. First, they should have their own networks from which to source talent — and as they familiarize themselves with your specific talent needs, their network should grow to match. They can also help with job postings, social media, and other outlets where you can actively source candidates.
Creates a Positive Candidate Experience
Competition for the best talent can be fierce — and not many employers focus on creating a positive candidate experience. Doing so can really set you apart. Talent acquisition specialists know this and will do everything possible to provide candidates with a great experience to boost morale and build a great reputation among jobseekers.
Analyzes Past Performance and Forecasts Future Job Needs
Looking at past metrics to develop new competencies and winning strategies is key. Talent acquisition consultants help you analyze past performance in hiring to learn why some positions have been difficult to fill, and they’ll help you forecast future needs so you can fill roles quickly.
Enhances Social Media Presence
If you’re not on LinkedIn, you should start. Other social media platforms are often important, too. Your talent specialist will be able to take your candidate-facing social media presence to the next level. Candidates will have a stronger sense of what it’s like to work for you, which will help attract the right talent.
Maintains Candidate Relationships
Part of what a talent acquisition specialist does is create a large talent pool that you can draw from on demand. Keeping that talent ready for future hiring needs means that your consultant will maintain relationships with highly qualified candidates who could be a top choice for future openings.
Uses Cutting-Edge Hiring Methodology
One of the problems with relying on in-house HR professionals or hiring managers for talent management and procurement is that they may not have the resources to evaluate the success of your efforts effectively.
Talent acquisition consultants use a scientific and data-backed approach to identify when a company is losing candidates to the competition — and they have the resources to develop an action plan that solves these problems. They may rely on applicant tracking systems and other high-tech tools to maintain a database of desirable candidates who can fulfill various job requirements within your organization.
What Are the Qualifications of a Talent Acquisition Consultant?
Talent acquisition consultants search for qualified candidates — and likewise, you should search for a qualified senior talent acquisition consultant to gain the benefits of their knowledge and experience.
Top qualifications include a bachelor’s degree in business, human resources, or a related field. You should also ask for referrals from colleagues with businesses similar to yours to see how well a particular consultant did for their organization’s recruitment process.
Below we’ll detail some other must-haves for your consultant.
Exceptional Communication Skills
Ultimately, talent acquisition is all about communication. Marketing your employer brand, sending out job alerts, engaging potential candidates — talent acquisition consultant jobs require amazing communication skills to handle all of these tasks.
Strong Decision-Making Skills
Building a talent pool and recruiting from that pool requires strong decision-making skills. With that, a talent acquisition consultant must also make good decisions about where to place job postings, how to best showcase your brand, and more.
Excellent Networking Skills
From job fairs and networking events to headhunting for upper-level employees, networking is a requirement for this role. Talent acquisition consultants need to be able to attend industry events and circulate in areas where they’re likely to meet and engage potential candidates — then maintain those relationships if you end up hiring these individuals in the future.
Amp Up Your Talent Acquisition Process With Hunt Club
Talent acquisition is tough — but it’s a process that you need to see through to ensure that you’re filling open positions efficiently and ensuring that your organization stays competitive as an employer and within your industry marketplace.
Hunt Club can help you build a talent pipeline that helps you make high-quality hires easily and efficiently.