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Talent Strategy | 5 minute read

4 principles for a solid talent acquisition foundation

April 7, 2021

This blog was originally published in 2019 and has been updated for stats and relevancy. 

What are the 4 principles for a solid talent acquisition foundation?

When it comes to talent acquisition, there are new trends, technologies and techniques being launched daily but there are four key principles that all talent acquisition strategies should include. Read on.

1: Promote your employer brand 

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We are currently in a market where there are more job openings than there are people. As a result, top talent is in high demand so organizations need to make sure candidates fully understand an organization and what it stands for long before they even consider applying for any roles. 

Collaboration is key to a strong employment brand. Marketing, branding, talent acquisition, and human resources teams must work together to execute a holistic strategy, and executive leadership must rally all business units for support. 

Most importantly, employment brand messaging must be authentic. Consider evaluating your company culture before creating employment branding collateral to ensure it aligns with employees’ feelings. Human resources teams should work with marketing and branding teams to tell employment stories in a way that will grab the attention of candidates and inspire them to engage with the brand. Transparency is key to building a genuine employment brand - because candidates will do their research, so be as transparent as possible.

Read more on how top employer brands attract candidates - and how you can too

#2: Create a positive candidate experience 

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Employer branding and candidate experience go hand in hand. It is crucial to create a positive and impactful experience for potential candidates. If an applicant feels their interview experience was positive, they are more likely to accept an offer, reapply in the future, refer the company to a friend, or write a positive review on Glassdoor or Indeed. Candidates share positive recruitment experiences with their inner circles 77% of the time and their negative experiences 52% of the time, according to the Talent Board, so ensuring a top-notch candidate experience is vital.

Creating a good candidate experience starts with providing regular updates to candidates throughout the process. Things can stall all too easy in recruiting; for example, the hiring manager could be out of office or the role could be put on hold, so communication with candidates is essential. Make sure candidates don’t feel like they have been “ghosted.”

#3: Consider culture fit

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Having an engaging work culture is something that makes candidates excited. Company culture varies from organization to organization, but businesses with lively, fun cultures tend to find it easier to attract talent. And, of course, a strong culture also helps to retain staff. 

To ensure a good match, organizations should publish and promote their core values and “DNA.” This spells it out for candidates and allows them to self-select initially. Additionally, allow employees to showcase the true culture of your company through social media with a dedicated hashtag or empower them to create testimonials. This will help shine a light on the culture for potential candidates. 

#4: Showcase your learning and development (L&D) program

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“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest” - Benjamin Franklin

In this ever-changing world of technology, it’s easier than ever to gain knowledge. The opportunity to learn and progress is a key reason why candidates choose one organization over another. Today’s professionals need to constantly re-skill and upskill to stay relevant so companies that offer robust L&D programs (and promote them) are more likely to become employers of choice as it shows candidates that you care about their futures.  

The “one-size-fits-all” approach to L&D no longer works. Employers should, at the very least, invest in a learning management system (LMS) so staff can learn at a pace that suits them. Smart technology like virtual reality and gamification can be incorporated to both make learning more fun and help increase engagement. In addition, peer-to-peer learning is also favored as it gives employees the opportunity to learn from their peers doing the job day in and day out.

Giving employees the opportunity to enhance their skills will help boost retention levels too. 


The above four principles are just a foundation for building an effective talent acquisition strategy, but if you put effort into each one, you’re on your way to being able to attract, hire, and retain top talent.

Read more

How to drive employee engagement among your team

About Sophia Coyne

Sophia Coyne is a recruitment consultant for WilsonHCG and is located at the global headquarters in Tampa, FL. Prior to her role at WilsonHCG, she specialized in technical recruiting. She is now specializing in sales and marketing recruiting.