Linking Talent Acquisition (TA) to Retention and Engagement

Linking Talent Acquisition (TA) to Retention and Engagement

Talent Acquisition plays a pivotal role in creating the building blocks for retention and engagement, and here's how.

Talent Acquisition plays a pivotal role in creating the building blocks for retention and engagement, and here are some examples and practices that explain the linkages. 

Build vs. Buy and Succession Planning

In a Build vs. Buy conversation, TA creates value when they can leverage market data on talent landscape and help managers make informed decisions on whether to develop internal talent or buy talent externally.  If the decision is to buy talent, recruiters can leverage on market data, and formulate a strategy with hiring managers on the best external approach to talent, and manage expectations upfront, so that the organization finds candidates that are a fit for what the market can provide. This helps set the stage in retention, because the organization is realistic in expectations of candidates.

An example: Going into new or start up areas for which there is no competition to hire from, managers need to understand that perhaps the best way to procure talent is to find transferable skills from another industry, and also understand that new employees hired will need training and will have a steep learning curve, so manager will not demand performance at the onset. 

Recruiters, who understand the longer-term career path for the roles they are hiring for, are more effective in recruiting future ready employees, and whilst succession planning is never a guarantee, when they can articulate the career path to potential candidates, they are better able to attract talent because they differentiate over companies that cannot do so. The former is then seen as more progressive and serious about retention and career development.

Employee Value Proposition (EVP)

Organizations who invest in building its unique EVP (i.e. culture, values, ways of working, and rewards) and in training both recruiters and managers alike to effectively communicate this to potential candidates are able to create excitement and engagement at the early process of recruiting.

When hiring managers are able to understand the value of and articulate the EVP, they are able to see the importance of candidate care, and when they reinforce the message and career path, it also helps create co-ownership of the recruiting process, because they have helped to craft it, and have also communicated it, and will try to live up to the message. 

Promoting internal mobility and referrals 

When TA promotes internal mobility, it sends a strong signal to employees that their skills are valued and they have opportunities to pursue a career path within the company. This of course, needs to be balanced with the needs to sometimes bring in new skills or fill an internal skill gap.  

When an organization promotes its internal referral program, it also reinforces engagement because it is telling employees that their referrals and opinions on good talent is valued, and engaged employees, in turn, refer engaged candidates.

Expectations management 

Knowing challenges of the role and work conditions are crucial to ensuring that TA hires candidates that have tenacity and skills that can overcome those challenges, but also allows candidates to be better prepared and not to have unpleasant surprises when they start work, which helps retention.

Hiring the right level and fit

TA plays an important role in ensuring companies hire the right fit for the role, in terms of skills, culture, and level. I think it is a good practice to not over hire for a role, but to give employee a chance to develop over time. Otherwise, you end up in a situation where employee has learnt the job in one year and is looking for the next career move. There are situations where organization choose to over hire, but I don't think it is best practice to be the norm.  

Onboarding experience

Whilst on boarding in an organization is usually a connective effort across HR and line managers, recruiters can play a part in reinforcing tools available to managers to create an on boarding plan, as well as to introducing new hires to their assigned buddies, and typically, it is the recruiter that brings new hires to their line managers on their first day of work.

And a good recruiter would schedule check-ins with new hires at periodic junctions to help new hires assimilate into the new workplace and this helps reinforce engagement.

Talent advisor

TA can be a talent advisor not only to hiring managers but also to other HR functions like Rewards, and Talent management because they can create awareness of competitive pay in external marketplace and in some examples can also share best practice in how other organisations are designed in similar industries or in new businesses that the company wishes to enter into. This may contribute to creating a viable retention strategy in terms of competitive rewards and good organization design.

I think I have shared my thoughts on some examples where TA can be linked to engagement and retention, and there are many more ways this can be done.

I would love to hear your ideas of practices in your organization that are linking TA to retention.




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