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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’.