7 key steps to align talent acquisition with organisational strategy

Andy Agouridis Talent acquisition

Creating harmony between talent acquisition and overall organisational goals is like conducting a complex symphony orchestra. It’s exciting yet intricate. So, what could be the secret behind successful recruitment leaders? Well, if you are thinking of alignment, synchrony, and strategic vision, you are right. Research consistently shows that when talent acquisition is in tandem with organisational strategy, the ripple effects pervade the entire corporate sphere, paving the way to improved hiring processes, better onboarding experiences, and increased productivity. 

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A Business Wire report revealed that companies that align talent with their business strategy could achieve 34% higher employee performance, retain 30% more of their valuable talent, and outperform their competitors by 16%. Impressive, right? But wait, there’s more to that. Having this perfect alignment has a profound impact on overall engagement. When employees feel that their individual contributions are in sync with the broader goals of the organisation, they experience a heightened sense of purpose and connection. 

In a nutshell, this alignment helps you build your dream team, one piece at a time. It's like you are arranging a jigsaw puzzle. When you find the right piece, the whole picture becomes clearer and brighter. Similarly, a well-aligned talent acquisition strategy can do wonders as it allows you to ensure that your company strikes the right balance to reach great success. So, let’s explore in this article the key steps you need to take to create seamless alignment between your talent acquisition and organisational strategy.

1. Analyse the goals and objectives of your organisation

Understanding your organisation's goals and objectives is similar to being handed the GPS coordinates for your business journey. This is a critical step to light up your path toward aligning your talent acquisition with the grand design of your organisational strategy. If you are well-versed in your corporate goals, you are better positioned to attract and onboard talent that complements your overall vision. In other words, it's not just about hiring for skills but also about selecting individuals who embody your organisation's broader vision.

Think of yourself as a map maker creating a detailed guide to get your organisation to its destination. Start by immersing yourself in the company’s mission and values - the core of who you are as a business. Gather diverse insights and perspectives by having open dialogues with corporate leaders and other key stakeholders. This way, you will gain a clear understanding of the direction your organisation is taking, giving you a clearer picture of who you need to hire and why they need to be hired. In this journey of discovery, you're not just a recruitment leader. You serve as a talent acquisition navigator, guiding your organisation closer to its strategy with every successful hire.

2. Identify the competencies needed to achieve the set goals

Unleashing the full potential of your organisation relies on your capacity to pinpoint the competencies needed to achieve the established goals. These can be a combination of technical expertise, personality traits, characteristics, and values - all of which play a crucial role in the culture and success of an organisation. But the key here is ensuring you spot the right ones, as it will help you build a skilled workforce equipped to navigate complex business challenges. Focusing on these competencies will prepare your company for better alignment and performance.

Once you’ve deeply understood your strategic goals, translate them into tangible skills and abilities, creating a roadmap for the talent hunt. It is also helpful to compare with industry standards as it can offer valuable insights into the skill sets and qualifications that are considered essential within your specific field. Enhance this process by integrating data analytics, which can spotlight the traits of your top performers. Lastly, don't underestimate the power of open communication with company leaders, as their insights can often reveal the unspoken qualities critical for the company to succeed.

3. Understand the strengths and weaknesses of your current workforce

Having a profound understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of your existing talent pool is fundamental in identifying the gaps that need to be filled. This deep dive into the workforce serves as the critical pivot point that allows your talent acquisition to align seamlessly with the wider business strategy. Without a clear assessment, you may end up hiring talent that duplicates or fails to complement the competencies already in place, which can lead to inefficiencies and wasted resources. That’s not ideal, is it?

So, are you ready to really get to know your team? It's all about mixing numbers with some good old-fashioned conversation. A great first step is to use employee skills assessments and performance data. This will give you a snapshot of what skills you have in your locker. If you want to dig a bit deeper, consider employing the 360-degree feedback approach to surface the strengths and weaknesses from different perspectives. Make sure to spend some time engaging in constructive conversations with your employees too.

Find out their aspirations and challenges- you’ll surely get valuable insights. And to wrap things up, why not use workforce analytics to spot trends? Doing so will empower you to tweak your talent strategy proactively and future-proof your workforce. 

4. Customise your talent acquisition strategy 

One size does not fit all when it comes to talent acquisition. To achieve the desired alignment with organisational strategy, your talent acquisition approach must be customized to fit the company’s unique needs and goals. And doing this requires precision and careful consideration of specific measurements. When done correctly, you’re not just placing the right people in the right seats but also creating a team that works perfectly in tune with your organisation's vision and goals.

Wondering where to start? Well, after deep-diving into your organisation to understand the strengths, weaknesses, and skills needed, clearly outline your hiring objectives that align with your business strategy. Don't forget about the power of technology! Tools like Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) can streamline your talent acquisition process. Cultivate a culture where feedback and improvement are the norms, and routinely reassess your strategy to keep up with business changes. And here's a little secret, adding a personal touch to your interactions with potential hires can make your brand more genuine and attractive.

5. Foster a culture of continuous talent development

Think about creating a work culture that continuously encourages employee development like growing a garden. Every flower, or in this case, every employee, needs proper care to reach their full potential and adapt to the challenging environment. By focusing on growth, you don’t only sync your hiring with the bigger picture for your organisation, but you also set yourself up for long-term success. You’ll become a place where learning never stops and you’ll just get better each day, ready for whatever the business world throws at you. 

Embracing such a development-centric ethos requires several thoughtful actions. For starters, design a robust learning and development (L&D) program. This will allow your employees to enhance existing skills and learn new ones, keeping pace with industry and organisational changes. It is also beneficial to conduct regular performance assessments, coupled with constructive feedback, to identify areas for growth. Promote cross-functional learning by encouraging knowledge sharing and collaboration. But above all else, make sure these development opportunities are available and easily accessible for everyone through the strategic use of tech-powered solutions like e-learning platforms.

6. Utilise advanced tools and technology for effective alignment

As we navigate the digital age, the benefits of leveraging advanced tools and technology in talent acquisition cannot be overstated. Adopting one not only accelerates the talent acquisition process but also refines its alignment with the overarching organisational strategy. It paves the way for data-driven decision-making, enhances precision in candidate assessment, and expedites the overall recruitment cycle.

Harnessing such tools and technology requires a strategic approach, starting from identifying the tech solution that meets your hiring needs. Research and analyze different options available in the market before investing to ensure your selection caters to your unique requirements and aligns with your long-term goals. For example, an ATS can streamline candidate sourcing, tracking, and management. On the other hand, an HRIS or Human Resource Information System can help manage the entire employee lifecycle seamlessly.

These sophisticated tools and technology can serve as the guiding star for aligning your talent acquisition with organisational strategy - proper implementation and effective utilisation are key.

7. Review and fine-tune your strategy continuously

The realm of talent acquisition is a dynamic ecosystem that necessitates a continuous recalibration of strategies. Similar to a musical ensemble, where each instrument must constantly fine-tune to create harmonious synergy, your talent acquisition strategy needs frequent review and refinement too. This will allow you to ensure that it stays attuned to the ever-changing corporate goals and market trends. This iterative practice enhances strategic alignment and agility, empowering the organisation to keep pace with the evolving business landscape. 

Embracing this culture of continual refinement calls for a mix of proactive and reactive measures. Initiate by establishing key performance indicators (KPIs) to monitor the effectiveness of your talent acquisition strategy. Regularly gather and analyze recruitment data to pinpoint areas for improvement. Then, create feedback loops with candidates and new hires to gain insights into their recruitment experiences. Employ predictive analytics to forecast future talent needs and adapt your strategy accordingly. Last but not least, always stay abreast of emerging recruitment trends and technology, integrating relevant innovations into your strategy for a forward-looking approach.

In a nutshell, aligning talent acquisition with your organisation's strategy involves several key steps. These include identifying competencies, understanding your workforce, customizing strategy, nurturing talent, using advanced tools, and continually improving. This alignment will guide your organization like a compass, providing stability and adaptability during changes in the business landscape. Although it's a challenging process, the benefits are substantial - a strong, prepared workforce that drives organisational success. 

Ready to elevate your talent acquisition strategies and align them with the top priorities for TA leaders in 2024? Grab your copy of our 'Recruitment Trends 2024: 7 trends shaping the industry' report now to stay ahead in the game.

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Andy Agouridis

Andy helps candidates and employers connect faster and better. Apart from being a Jobylon contributing writer and a Careers content creator. He has a background in HR with Fortune 100 businesses, holds an MSc in HRM, and is a Chartered member of the CIPD.

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