As the skills shortage continues, talent acquisition specialists play a crucial role in attracting the best people in an increasingly competitive job market. In fact, the Michael Page Australia Salary Guide 2019 revealed that talent acquisition roles are one of the most in-demand HR positions for companies today.

So what are companies looking for, and how can you add value in this role?

The role of a talent acquisition specialist

While the term ‘recruiters’ and ‘talent acquisition specialist’ might be used interchangeably, they’re not the same. Recruitment is generally reactive and hire employees for specific vacancies. Talent acquisition specialists are expected to be proactive and strategic, considering long-term HR needs and also filling short-term vacancies.

RELATED: Future of Human Resources: How to hire and retain the best talent

Talent acquisition specialists focus on end-to-end recruitment, often for specialised positions that have an extended hiring period, such as niche IT roles or executive positions. The job description typically includes succession planning, nurturing a talent pipeline, plus monitoring and staying actively connected with key candidates who have joined competitors.

How to add value as a talent acquisition specialist

Adopt a creative approach to recruitment consulting

In the war for talent, companies with strong employer brands have the upper hand. Talent acquisition specialists that flourish are the ones who bring fresh ideas, designed to get a company noticed — even by professionals who aren’t actively looking for roles.

Some ideas for creative approaches can include submitting your company to lists like the Great Place to Work awards, launching a marketing campaign like the “Best Job In The World”, creating social media content to highlight your company culture or hosting open happy hour nights in your workplace. The objective is to make candidates from competitors think, “I want to work there.”

Build strong relationships with key internal stakeholders

Talent acquisition consultants are not expected to miraculously guess the needs of each department. The best employees add value by working together with different department leaders or senior executives, in order to better plan and anticipate hiring needs.

Take the time to meet with key stakeholders, noting their objectives, their current and potential hiring needs, and what they’re specifically looking for in a candidate. Immerse yourself in their world to better understand their needs and priorities, as well as the trends in their field. With this information, you can build a hiring strategy together.

“Go to meetings that you're not invited to. Take part in the conversations and attend the meetings you need to attend to get information. A product meeting can help you become a subject matter expert, which makes you a better recruiter.” - Nellie Peshkov, VP of Global Talent Acquisition at Netflix.

Cultivate your talent pool

If your CFO or CTO left and you had to hire their replacement tomorrow, would you be ready? Losing a key player costs companies significantly, and talent acquisition specialists face significant pressure to find the right hire quickly. You want to be ready with the perfect candidate on hand rather than scrambling to scrape together candidates at the eleventh hour.

Cultivate relationships with candidates who are a good fit for key positions, whether it’s a pre-screened candidate or a potential hire who received a better offer. Follow them on LinkedIn and invite them for a cup of coffee if you’re in the neighbourhood. These little actions will help keep your company top of mind, so you have plenty of options to turn to when you need to fill a position in the future.

Are you looking for your next role as a talent acquisition specialist? Take a look at our open positions here.

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