How to create a talent acquisition strategy

A talent acquisition strategy is a long-term plan for attracting high calibre candidates. It documents the ways that your business will identify and entice well-qualified, high performing individuals. As the recruitment arena becomes increasingly competitive, it’s crucial that businesses are focussed on keeping their talent pool well-stocked, as well as working hard to retain top talent.

While specific recruitment campaigns can be short term, filling roles when they appear or become vacant, talent acquisition is a long-term approach that will raise your profile in front of the candidates that will positively impact your business and nurture your relationships with them, regardless of whether there are current positions available. A talent acquisition strategy can work particularly well in competitive and niche industries, and for high-level, executive roles, but is applicable across businesses that are thinking about the bigger picture when it comes to talent resource and securing lucrative candidates.

So, what elements should feed into your talent acquisition strategy? Below we outline the areas and processes that will help you shape your organisations approach.

Assess your current talent acquisition data

Like all critical business decisions, you should strive to be data-led when it comes to talent acquisition. By calculating your staff turnover and retention rates, you can see just how effective your current strategy is.

Other sources of data that you can leverage are exit interview data; this will provide insights into the value of your employee engagement and training and whether you need to revisit these elements. It could be that your company’s brand mission, purpose and values are prominent within your business.

These sources of data will highlight different areas that need to be addressed. For instance, if people are staying with the company for just a matter of months, it could be down to a poor onboarding experience. If they are leaving after remaining in the same position for a number of years, it could be deemed that your business isn’t offering opportunities for employees to grow and progress.

How does this relate to talent acquisition? Because retaining top talent and empowering them to climb the career ladder within your firm through proper onboarding, learning and development is just as important as hiring them.

What does your current recruitment process look like?

What are the barriers for people entering these roles? Are you specifying a defined number of years of experience or certain level of education? How does this fit in to the supply and demand model within your industry? By creating such strict criteria, you could be ostracising great potential candidates.

Do these requirements align with the current top performing employees within the company, or is just criteria that has always been used within the business? We are now operating in a job seekers market, and you must make your company as accessible as possible to potential candidates.

Knowing where your potential candidates are online, and the values and messages that resonate with them is key when it comes to attracting them to your business. Take the same due care and attention to market yourself to this audience as you would market your business to prospects and customers.

Onboarding and employee training

It’s fair to say that many firms have a legacy of simply playing lip service to both elements, with training in particular, becoming little more than a tick-box exercise.

Once you have analysed the aforementioned data, you can review your current onboarding and training processes and make the necessary improvements. While there may be broad business training that your workforce needs to undergo, there should also be personalised training that is focused on individuals’ job roles, and the direction they want to take, to encourage employee growth and progression.

By setting clear objectives and timeframes and allowing employees the adequate time needed to complete the training, it will become ingrained in your company culture, and you will become known as an employer that supports and empowers their employees, qualities and values that attract top talent. In fact, a report by the REC found that 80% of millennials say the opportunity to learn new skills is an important factor when considering a new job.

Employer brand

Employer branding is an entity that we discuss in more detail.

Essentially, it is successfully cultivating and defining your brand before proactively marketing it. As previously mentioned, by defining your company mission statement, purpose and values, showcasing your companies’ culture and leveraging the story of successful and high performing employees and brand advocates, you will naturally attract attention.

How do you really treat your employees and what is the environment and culture that they work in? Are they happy, loyal and content, and if the answer is ‘yes’, then why? Find out what it is that they love about working for you and make sure that you are outwardly pushing these messages.

Invite your employees to share your company culture on their personal platforms such as LinkedIn, as this will be perceived as authentic and genuine, rather than a sales message. If they truly are happy and motivated, this will naturally happen anyway. Think to the ‘Google culture’, remote working, regular employee social events, modern offices with enviable break out spaces; they are constantly striving to improve the lives of their employees, both inside and outside of work.

These perks naturally create conversation and attract attention. It’s clear that Google have quite the budget to dedicate to their employer brand, and while this isn’t true for every business, there are always ways that you can take an employee-centric approach.


Alex Smith

Recruitment Specialist

I’ve worked in recruitment for the same agency for over 12 years, covering finance, office support, construction, and engineering. Temp and perm. Previously, my line of work was within banking and estate agency.
Favourite food: “Curry (Hot)”
Favourite film: “Heat”

Outside of work

“Gym 5 days a week. Home life consists mostly of entertaining a 3 year old! (for clarification – my son)”

Alex on ACR

“Very refreshing to work for a recruitment agency that genuinely care for their candidates and clients”

T: 01733 235298

Sarah-Jane Bond

Recruitment Specialist

I have spent the majority of my career working in Operational and Project Management roles. I first worked with ACR about 25 years ago as a candidate. ACR secured me a role at RNIB, where I stayed for 15 years, finishing as Head of Operations. Recruitment has always been a big part of the roles I have undertaken and is something that I really enjoy. When you match a fantastic candidate with the right client there is no better feeling!
Favourite food: “Has to be any dish from the Mediterranean”
Favourite film: “There are many, love a chick flick, especially ‘The Holiday at Christmas”

Outside of work

“I love socialising with friends, can always squeeze a bit of retail therapy in around volunteering at Deeping Rangers FC, running their hospitality on match days.”

Sarah-Jane on ACR

“I couldn’t have been more delighted when Nel asked me to join the company and have felt at home since day one. They really do care about providing the best service for their clients and candidates, building genuine relationships with both. The team culture is second to none, everyone supporting and looking out for each other. It is a pleasure to come to work every day.”

T: 01733 235298

Emily Hill

Recruitment Specialist

Emily was a Primary School Teacher for 10 years, before moving into the EdTech space, as a Relationship Specialist for MATs. She joined ACR in July 2023 and particularly thrives when recruiting for Account Management, Customer Service and Sales roles.
Favourite food:
“Spag bol or pizza”
Favourite film:
“The Notebook – or any romantic chick flick really!”

Outside of work

“I have a 1-year-old, so love fun family weekends with my husband and son more than anything. Time socialising with friends and family is where I’m happiest.”

Emily on ACR
“The unique culture, values, and style at ACR is polar opposite to other recruitment agencies and what I believed recruitment was. Having previously been a Relationship Specialist, I feel I’m doing the same thing! No hard sell, we truly care about our candidates and clients, and the team culture is 2nd to none!”
T: 01733 235298

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