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Talent Acquisition – New Opportunities in Recruiting

There is lit­tle doubt that near­ly every com­pa­ny is hav­ing to deal with the lack of skilled work­ers and spe­cial­ists. In fact, 50% of Ger­man employ­ers claim that they have dif­fi­cul­ties in find­ing suit­able tal­ent – the “war for tal­ent”, now more than ever, is in full swing.
This requires recruiters to think out of the box and look at more inno­v­a­tive approach­es when it comes to reach­ing out to inter­est­ing can­di­dates online.
In this con­text, the con­cept of “tal­ent acqui­si­tion” has emerged, which is defined as the process of com­pa­nies proac­tive­ly iden­ti­fy­ing and approach­ing prospec­tive can­di­dates.
Giv­en the advent and rapid dif­fu­sion of the Web, this approach is often used in com­bi­na­tion with the pow­er of social net­works. Here, the key goal lies in mak­ing a sub­tle approach to inter­est­ing job can­di­dates to direct them into a more job seek­ing mode.


Talent acquisition methods

Social Media Recruiting

Iden­ti­fy­ing, attract­ing, engag­ing and hir­ing suit­able can­di­dates via social media net­works like Xing, LinkedIn etc.

Campus Recruiting

Con­tact­ing stu­dents as ear­ly as pos­si­ble and main­tain­ing ties with them through­out their stud­ies, so that they can be employed once these are com­plete.

Talent Scouting

Going under­cov­er to observe tal­ent­ed, young peo­ple per­form­ing their rel­e­vant activ­i­ties (i.e. art, sports, etc.) and eval­u­at­ing them with a view to approach­ing and hir­ing them if deemed suit­able.

Guerilla Marketing

Achiev­ing a big impact with min­i­mal effort and expense, main­ly due to the fact that the activ­i­ties are unortho­dox.

Benefits of talent acquisition

A great ben­e­fit for orga­ni­za­tions here­by lies in their abil­i­ty to also include pas­sive can­di­dates in the sourc­ing process, who are defined as those indi­vid­u­als, who are not cur­rent­ly look­ing for a job, but nev­er­the­less might be inter­est­ed in a new career chal­lenge if the right oppor­tu­ni­ty aris­es. This rather unex­plored source of tal­ent is par­tic­u­lar­ly rel­e­vant, since the major­i­ty of the glob­al work­ing pop­u­la­tion is esti­mat­ed to belong to this cat­e­go­ry. Also, tal­ent acqui­si­tion strate­gies allow for the cre­ation of tal­ent pipelines. Tal­ent pipelines con­sist of a list or data­base of peo­ple with whom employ­ees want to main­tain con­tact, such as for­mer interns or alum­ni. This way, in case of per­son­nel short­ages, recruiters can quick­ly take action and reach out to pre­s­e­lect­ed can­di­dates, which not only short­ens the entire tal­ent acqui­si­tion process, but ulti­mate­ly saves a lot of costs. Once a pipeline of qual­i­fied can­di­dates has been cre­at­ed, its focus turns to estab­lish­ing suit­able reten­tion mea­sures in order to build and main­tain long-term rela­tion­ships with them.

Available tools for direct sourcing

So giv­en these ben­e­fits, which tools can recruiters use in order to acquire tal­ent suc­cess­ful­ly? There is a wide array of recruit­ment tools out there, rang­ing from the Xing Tal­ent Man­ag­er to the LinkedIn Recruiter. On these plat­forms, hir­ing orga­ni­za­tions can find and con­tact tal­ent­ed can­di­dates match­ing their exact require­ments. Like­wise, Talentwunder’s glob­al tal­ent search engine serves as an effec­tive tal­ent acqui­si­tion tool: Recruiters sim­ply have to enter Boolean search strings that define the spe­cif­ic skills they are look­ing for, while the soft­ware then search­es for qual­i­fied can­di­dates on more than 80 social net­works and 1.6 bil­lion pro­files. Par­tic­u­lar­ly jobs in high demand, such as soft­ware devel­op­ers, sales experts and engi­neers are fre­quent­ly searched for this way.

Most searched jobs with direct sourcing

Tal­ent acqui­si­tion strate­gies can be used for the search of a vari­ety of func­tions, where­by soft­ware devel­op­ers, sales experts and engi­neers are among the most fre­quent­ly searched pro­fes­sions. The fol­low­ing image pro­vides you with pop­u­lar job search­es with Talentwunder’s glob­al tal­ent search engine: talent acquisition most searched jobs

Template for Active Sourcing Mails

Once suit­able tal­ent has been iden­ti­fied with such tools, it is cru­cial to know how to reach out to the iden­ti­fied prospects and gen­er­ate their inter­est in the vacan­cy at hand. Here it is advised to rely on a per­son­al­ized recruit­ment approach in order to stand out from the var­i­ous gener­ic recruit­ment mes­sages that can­di­dates receive on a dai­ly basis. For more infor­ma­tion, check out our relat­ed blog­post con­cern­ing a suc­cess­ful can­di­date approach here.

Below you will find a tem­plate for the suc­cess­ful approach of pas­sive can­di­dates :

Hel­lo [first name],

Para­graph 1: Intro­duce your­self and reveal your recruit­ing inten­tions.

Hope you’re hav­ing a great week so far! My name is [name] and I’m [posi­tion title] at[company]. I was research­ing top [posi­tion title] in the [loca­tion] area and came across your [social net­work] pro­file.

Para­graph 2: Explain why the can­di­date would make a great match and give a brief descrip­tion of their poten­tial tasks.

I real­ly liked your [posts/projects] and enjoyed “[title of post/project]”. I think you have a great way of [candidate’s strength, i.e. express­ing your­self], so I just had to reach out! Our  [name of team] is cur­rent­ly look­ing for some­one to help us [explain main task] and giv­en your impres­sive work expe­ri­ence in [experience/skill], we’d love to speak to you about the posi­tion.

Para­graph 3: Give a short com­pa­ny descrip­tion.

Explain your com­pa­ny and why you like work­ing there in 2-3 sen­tences. The  more spe­cif­ic you get about the product/service, com­pa­ny cul­ture, loca­tion  and poten­tial devel­op­men­tal oppor­tu­ni­ties, the bet­ter.

Para­graph 4: Add a clear ‘call to action’.

I real­ly hope to get in touch with you about this posi­tion. Are you avail­able for a call on [date]?

Best,[name and con­tact infor­ma­tion: email + phone]

What are Boolean search strings?

Boolean log­ic cov­ers the oper­a­tors AND, OR, and NOT. A Boolean search string allows recruiters to com­bine phras­es and words by using these oper­a­tors, and they will help them define, lim­it or widen their search.

AND OR NOT (…) “…” *
Tells the database/ search that all search terms must be present in the result­ing records Either term (or both) will be present in the result­ing records The term asso­ci­at­ed with NOT will not be searched for Terms in paren­the­ses are regard­ed as a sin­gle para­me­ter The exact phrase will be searched for “Wild­card oper­a­tor” Words match if they begin with the word pre­ced­ing the * oper­a­tor

Syn­onyms should always be includ­ed in a recruiter’s Boolean search: There are lots of vari­a­tions in job titles in dif­fer­ent com­pa­nies and coun­tries. One com­pa­ny could use the title Devel­op­er, while its com­peti­tors might use dif­fer­ent titles: SW Engi­neer, Soft­ware Engi­neer, or Pro­gram­mer. Exam­ple: (Devel­op­er OR Pro­gram­mer OR “Soft­ware devel­op­er” OR “SW Design Engi­neer” OR “Soft­ware Engi­neer” OR “Senior Devel­op­er” OR “Sr. Devel­op­er”). There is also a dif­fer­ence between “Senior Java Devel­op­er” and “Senior Devel­op­er Java”. Peo­ple use var­i­ous titles inter­change­ably, so recruiters need to be cre­ative when they are con­struct­ing their Boolean search string.

Recruiters vs. talent acquisition leaders

Many peo­ple think that the terms recruiters and tal­ent acqui­si­tion lead­ers are syn­ony­mous, but it is impor­tant to note they dif­fer in sev­er­al ways. While the tra­di­tion­al recruiter specif­i­cal­ly focus­es on admin­is­tra­tive and cler­i­cal recruit­ment tasks, tal­ent acqui­si­tion lead­ers must also be fueled with per­sua­sive and proac­tive com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills in order to con­vince the pas­sive job can­di­dates from the vacan­cy at hand. As a result, con­sult­ing, mar­ket­ing and sales exper­tise should be among their pro­fes­sion­al strengths.

“Tal­en­twun­der has made it pos­si­ble for our hir­ing team to find high­ly-skilled can­di­dates on net­works that were not acces­si­ble to us before. With Talentwunder’s smart search capa­bil­i­ties, we are able to search for can­di­dates with spe­cif­ic skills and expe­ri­ence at a faster rate and with more accu­rate results.” – Char­lotte von Rieß, Expert Tal­ent Acqui­si­tion Deutsche Bahn AG

Char­lotte von Rieß

Expert Tal­ent Acqui­si­tion, Deutsche Bahn AG

“Tal­en­twun­der will win you over through ease of oper­a­tion and excel­lent search results.”

Edda Ret­tinger

Head of Tal­ent Acqui­si­tion & Part­ner Man­age­ment, Swiss­com AG

To summarize the key elements of this post for you, we provided a brief FAQ below:

What is tal­ent acqui­si­tion?

Tal­ent acqui­si­tion describes the process of com­pa­nies proac­tive­ly find­ing and acquir­ing suit­able tal­ents for orga­ni­za­tion­al needs and mak­ing a sub­tle approach to move them into a more job seek­ing mode.

Why is tal­ent acqui­si­tion impor­tant?

It is no secret that the “war for tal­ent” rep­re­sent a key chal­lenge for many orga­ni­za­tions around the globe: There is an acute tal­ent short­age in most indus­tri­al­ized coun­tries, which is due to increase. How­ev­er, many busi­ness­es are still very pon­der­ous, pas­sive and unimag­i­na­tive when it comes to their meth­ods of recruit­ment. To remain com­pet­i­tive on this com­plex labor mar­ket, recruiters will have to learn to approach can­di­dates active­ly and seek to build rela­tion­ships with them for cur­rent or future hir­ing needs.

What types of tal­ent acqui­si­tion meth­ods exist?

Tal­ent acqui­si­tion describes a whole range of options, dis­re­gard­ing the con­ven­tion­al post-and-pray recruit­ment approach­es, such as job adver­tise­ments. Search­ing for can­di­dates via social media, such as LinkedIn or employ­ee refer­ral pro­grammes, is one of the focus areas here. Oth­er tal­ent acqui­si­tion strate­gies include cam­pus recruit­ing, tal­ent scout­ing or guer­ril­la recruit­ing.

What are the ben­e­fits of tal­ent acqui­si­tion?

A strate­gic tal­ent acqui­si­tion helps com­pa­nies recruit pas­sive can­di­dates and cre­ate tal­ent pipelines. That way, orga­ni­za­tions can effec­tive­ly reach out to those not active­ly look­ing for a job, while simul­ta­ne­ous­ly devel­op­ing rela­tion­ships with tal­ents. This  cre­ates a com­pet­i­tive advan­tage and improves an organization’s qual­i­ty of hire.

What is the dif­fer­ence between active and pas­sive can­di­dates?

Active can­di­dates are peo­ple mak­ing an active effort to find a new job in the fore­see­able future. As a result, they apply for a posi­tion on their own accord.

Pas­sive job can­di­dates, on the oth­er hand, are cur­rent­ly employed and don’t invest any time in look­ing for alter­na­tive career options. Nev­er­the­less, they will con­sid­er a new career chal­lenge if the right oppor­tu­ni­ty aris­es.

What is a tal­ent pipeline?

A tal­ent pipeline is a pool of can­di­dates who are ready to fill a posi­tion. These can be employ­ees who are prospects for advance­ment or exter­nal can­di­dates par­tial­ly or ful­ly pre­qual­i­fied to take an open­ing. By main­tain­ing a healthy tal­ent pipeline, orga­ni­za­tions can quick­ly and eas­i­ly fill a posi­tion.

What tools are avail­able for tal­ent acqui­si­tion?

Social media net­works rep­re­sent prac­ti­cal tools for build­ing con­nec­tions and pro­mote easy inter­ac­tion. In fact, it allows recruiters to reach more peo­ple using min­i­mum resources, cre­ate brand aware­ness and tar­get the top can­di­dates for a company’s hir­ing needs.

Tal­en­twun­der can help you take advan­tage of the vast poten­tial of social net­works by enabling the search for suit­able tal­ent across more than 80 social net­works at once.

What’s the dif­fer­ence between a recruiter and tal­ent acqui­si­tion man­ag­er?

While tra­di­tion­al recruiters main­ly focus on admin­is­tra­tive and cler­i­cal tasks, tal­ent acqui­si­tion man­agers are respon­si­ble for exam­in­ing a candidate’s online pro­file, approach­ing them with the spe­cif­ic network’s mes­sag­ing sys­tem, devel­op­ing ongo­ing rela­tion­ships and entic­ing them to con­sid­er employ­ment with the hir­ing orga­ni­za­tion. They there­fore rep­re­sent a form of ‘full stack recruiter’.