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They Key To a Successful Talent Acquisition Strategy

“What are the two most important factors in your organization that influence your top and bottom line?”

Most Leaders from organizations answer: “Who will perform and how can we retain them.”

There has never been a time where companies are becoming more strategic and leveraging their data to help improve both the top line and reduce expenses. This why an effective talent acquisition strategy using data can help attract, screen and select the top people that can be retained. Even more important, is how organizations translate this data in to an executable business outcome.


Are you attracting people or just posting jobs?

Are you maximizing your data analytics in your attraction strategy?

These questions are important ones to ask yourself as most organizations are just posting their jobs in a standard fashion and not paying attention to the analytics of the people who apply. The reality is a lot of times high achievers drop off quickly as the posting doesn’t “attract” them to the position, the culture or their values. The good news is there paradigm shift occurring to get better at attracting the right people to click “apply”.

Based on research from the ATS Talent Nest (www.talentnest.com), they found that the most successful postings are the ones that are non-traditional and more similar to a marketing campaign. For example, Talent Nest tracks the number of views vs. the number of clicks of people applying to determine the effectiveness of the posting. Talent Nest has also found that shorter advertised jobs to specific markets or cohorts tend to get more applicants. Their research also suggests if you use your sourcing data effectively you can map it back to performance and retention and then you can become more targeted in your efforts to attract top quality people.

It’s important to know your key segments and better understand who you are targeting to get the most hits to your posting. Remember the goal of the job posting is to attract right people so they click apply button! Next time you post a job think about how you can target specific markets or cohorts that have the potential to stay and perform with you.


Have you thought about what are the main predictive screening criteria related to performance and retention?

Once people have applied to your opportunity there is still a strong need to leverage technology to “cull the herd” to filter them out.

Machine Learning (ML), Artificial Intelligence (A.i) and BOT technology are now becoming more streamlined in the screening of resumes and applicants. Given that most of these A.i firms are in their infancy, the majority are partnering with firms who also have a strong foundation in predictive analytics in order to tie it back to performance and retention. As a matter of fact A.i firms have integrated their solutions in to Self Management Group (www.selfmgmt.com) screening and selection assessments.

These types of partnership are the next evolution where A.i can process the front end quickly by “burning less calories” for the recruiter and candidate while at the same time continue to use validated scientific tools to ensure accuracy of screening for performance and retention. While it is important to ensure efficiencies at the front end it is more important that your organization is well protected ensuring that your selection and screening practices abide to human rights and are predicting on the job performance. You can’t just simply be screening based on hire rates as you would making a huge error!

In the screening phase there are potentially two types of errors that can occur such as, “missing someone good” and/or “letting in someone bad”. More often than not most recruiters are trying to do their due diligence to ensure they are not missing someone good. However, the greater cost to the organization is when you let someone bad in to your system. So if you are not using analytics to your advantage and monitoring your data at the screening phase you might end up making a few costly mistakes along the way.

It is fundamental even if using A.i. to monitor your data by comparing both your top to your bottom performers. Many organizations a lot of times just focus on their top performing people and this is a mistake. The reason is, if your top and bottom have the exact same characteristics then you are not predicting anything other than they are the same. Your goal is to be able to properly differentiate your top from your bottom and what are those characteristics.


How is your selection investigation predicting on the job performance and retention?

Having worked for a selection assessment company for the last 15 years it is an EEOC requirement that our assessments are predicting on the job performance. If you are using a selection assessment one the first things you should do is benchmark and validate it to performance to improve the overall prediction in your selection decision. If you do this then you are likely to have at least one third of the decision predicting performance. Follow-up annual validation then would use this model and examine the people you hired to see how many people stayed who are performing. It is a continuous improvement process monitoring this data annually.

Does your organization also hold the other parts of the selection process to same predictive standard?

Organizations need to more objective and validate all parts of their process, such as the interview and fit to the organization/culture etc. Organizations with strong retention and performance validate all parts of their selection process to ensure it is predicting to improve their outcomes of making a good hire.

For example, one company used 10 interview questions as a part of their selection process where all the answers to the questions were then scored. When they validated this information to performance and retention it was found that only 6 were actually predictive and as a result they were able to improve their process. This not only scientifically provided more accuracy, but also the “process” can be continually monitored. I highlighted the word “process” because it’s the process that is driven by data that will help you improve the outcome as long as it is followed. The key is if you are systematic you can be predictive.


The ultimate goal of any talent acquisition strategy are to achieve performance and retention excellence. What this means is the majority of retained employees are achieving top performance in their role as a result of continuous improvement through the use of analytics in making better hires.

While of course there are other key elements that can contribute to performance and retention excellence such as: On-boarding, effective training and on-going coaching (Stay Tuned for Part 2 of this article on an “Effective Talent Management Strategy”) it nonetheless all starts with attracting, screening and selecting top performing people who will be retained.