Competition between companies to get Indonesia’s top talents is getting tougher. Talent acquisition specialists have to put extra effort into it. One illustration of this competition can be seen in the results of a Universum survey of the millennial generation who are still students (Indonesia Top 100 IDEAL Employers student survey 2017). Relying on the company’s image and reputation alone is not enough. They pay attention to employees and company culture, including remuneration and career development opportunities.
Joakim Strom, CEO of Universum Asia Pacific suggests that companies understand what makes target candidates interested, adjust to the company’s capabilities, and have a value proposition that is different from competitors.
“The war for the right talent among employers in Indonesia has never been so intense. This past year, we have seen that the only way for employers to gain an edge is to adopt a talent centric, data driven and targeted approach when it comes to recruitment. In other words, organizations must understand what their target talent finds attractive, match it with what they can offer as an employer, and make sure they have a distinct value proposition.” Strom told HR in Asia.
The fact expressed by Universum is only one of the concerns in the field of talent acquisition. Talent acquisition specialists are also struggling to attract niche candidates who are experienced and possess rare skills. Facing intense competition, how do talent acquisition specialists prepare themselves and apply all their tactics? Then, what is the future for the talent acquisition specialist in the era that is predicted to be the Industrial 4.0 era?
Characteristics that a Talent Acquisition Specialist Must Have
Summarized from the article by Michael D. Haberman, vice-President/co-founder of Omega HR Solutions, Inc. and Eric Titner, here are the characteristics of a warrior talent acquisition specialist who can win the ‘war of talent’:
- Always curious
Your work process as a talent acquisition specialist in finding candidates, including conducting interviews and background checks, requires attention to detail. It’s difficult if a talent acquisition specialist isn’t really ‘curious’, there could be important information being missed.
- Understand business issues
Understanding the company’s business aspects will help the talent acquisition specialist have a strategy to acquire talent that fits the company’s needs. Therefore, talent hunters need to be up-to-date on society, industry and global conditions; Understand the company’s competitors and customers. Apart from that, the talent acquisition specialist is also required to possess knowledge about the company itself, from its history to the company’s plans. The talent acquisition specialist’s job is to convince prospective employees that joining the company is a profitable step. Of course if the talent acquisition specialist cannot answer the candidate’s questions (for example during an interview) the impression shown is not good.
- good communicator
Talent acquisition work requires you to be skilled at communicating. Those skills are useful for managing employer branding and attracting top candidates. When approaching candidates, the talent acquisition specialist needs to effectively communicate why the candidate should join their company.
Communication skills are also important when interviewing. An interview is more than just asking a series of questions and it’s not an interrogation either. If the interviewee feels that he is being interrogated, he will become defensive. As a result, the opportunity to accurately assess candidates is lost.
- Comfortable dealing with company officials
The talent acquisition specialist is responsible for the talents that will determine the future of the company. Therefore, you will be in contact with company officials. You shouldn’t be awkward or insecure in front of those who are ‘titled’..
At this time, human behavior in seeking information has changed a lot. Posting job vacancies in newspapers or in front of the office is ‘out of time’. With the help of technology, you have many ways to reach candidates, such as with social media and job posting platforms (e.g. LinkedIn, Jobstreet, etc.).
Tips for Effective Talent Acquisition
In order for talent acquisition efforts to be effective, LinkedIn suggests 4 things to implement, namely:
- Make predictions
Identify the most difficult positions or niches to fill. Start making plans by prioritizing these positions. Finding people with niche skills and experience can take 3-6 months or even longer. Thinking far ahead will make it easier to find the right individuals and build the right team.
- Build pipelines
Pay attention to the candidates you find. Organize and store their data, at least with a spreadsheet application, if you work in a small company. If you work in a large company, there are special software or platforms that you can take advantage of. Of course, you need to build relationships in order to find potential candidates. Make sure you take the time to network, input and update details about the candidate.
- Take the time it takes
Interviews are indeed an important part of the talent acquisition process and you shouldn’t be in a hurry. Interviews can show how a person behaves in the formal context and is being assessed. However, intuition about how suitable a candidate is to work for your company, can come when you are outside the office. Meetings over lunch or other informal gatherings can be a great way to get to know candidates. If necessary, introduce the candidate to the parties who will work with the prospective employee (should he qualify). Candidates will appreciate the opportunity to get to know each other better.
The Future of Talent Acquisition
Technological developments are growing rapidly. Currently, the industrial revolution 4.0 is increasingly moving into the realm of recruitment. Software and artificial intelligence (AI) have emerged to ease the process of acquiring talent for companies. However, Bagus Hendrayono, VP Talent Acquisition of Go-Pay, believes that the role of talent acquisition specialists will not be replaced by software or artificial intelligence for at least the next 10 years. Talent acquisition requires a human touch because after all, what people are looking for is human.
Bagus explained, “Technology’s function is to help. It’s not a system or a tool to replace human being… We deal with people. Machines cannot interview people. They can ask people, but they cannot interview. The difference with interviews (from asking questions) is two-way communication.”
Now you know how to effectively ‘fight’ as a talent acquisition specialist. Good luck carrying out these tips!