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As a leader in business, there will inevitably come a time when you either need to expand your team or replace someone moving on.

To its specific needs, and the circumstances around the prospective hire. Not all recruitment is equal.

Your need to hire may have strategic implications or be operationally critical. You may have been able to plan for this eventuality, or it may have come as a surprise. It may be for a well-established and easily recognisable role such as a Head of Finance, or you might be starting something completely new and innovative in your business.

One Talent Acquisition approach is not intrinsically better than another. You wouldn’t bake bread in a furnace or fill a bucket of water using a teaspoon. Similarly, you should select a Talent Acquisition approach that best meets the needs of your business and the role you need to fill rather than trying to force-fit an approach simply because it is what you have always used before and it has been ‘good enough’.

It is about the inadvertent messaging about your business that you deliver to the market and the types of people you would ideally like to bring into your business. The approach you choose may even tell a story about the relationships between people, strategy, operations, efficacy, aspirations, and frustrations in your business at the time of hiring.

Selecting the most appropriate Talent Acquisition service for your business means you have the best prospect of hiring success. Each type of Talent Acquisition service opens up a different network of potential candidates, as described below. In a South African context, you also need to consider the additional complexities created by macroeconomic and political realities, BEE obligations, business confidence levels, skills shortages, and more.

Executive Search

Executive Search services are best suited to strategic, executive-level roles where the value proposition of the opportunity is complex, your business may be facing some particular strategic challenges, and discretion is vital. Your executive search specialist is responsible for introducing an opportunity to a specifically identified and targeted prospective candidate for the role and guiding them through the fundamentals of that opportunity. Seldom is a targeted candidate approached by an Executive Search professional actively considering changing jobs. This means that a clear value proposition that resonates with the candidate must be presented, opening the door to more detailed and nuanced discussions around the opportunity, followed by personal interactions with you, the client. A well-researched and often tailor-made process, Executive Search services are designed to give you comfort that the best person in the market rather than just the best person on the market will be joining your team.

Specialist Recruitment Services

Specialist Recruitment, also called contingency recruitment, is a familiar approach to Talent Acquisition for most businesses looking to fill traditional, well-understood roles. Recruitment services are best used when your business needs to fill an operationally important role quickly. Specialist recruiters who understand your business will find the right person for your company using job advertisements to alert prospective candidates to opportunities in their field. You will be presented with a range of viable candidates. Still depending on your specific skill and experience requirements, you may need to compromise on expectations should a ‘perfect’ candidate not see the advertisement and apply for the role.

Managed Recruitment Services

Managed Recruitment Services represent a new future for Talent Acquisition. Born out of the concept of recruitment process outsourcing – which, simplistically, took the burden of recruitment off the shoulders of business leaders, allowing them to focus on delivering practical professional value in the workplace – the managed recruitment services offering moves beyond simply performing a recruitment function in an efficient and cost-effective way. Managed recruitment services combine the short-term benefits of predictable, operationally slick recruitment processes and commercially attractive terms with the advantages of a dedicated and entrenched professional service-based partnership based on relational credibility and trust. Your Managed Recruitment Services partner will support your in-house Talent team beyond mere hiring, supporting your company’s leadership team in decision-making around talent trends, opportunities, and changes, while also ensuring a consistent standard of recruitment services is delivered company-wide.

Contracting Services

Contractors serve functionally specific and operationally critical roles in businesses. In a professional environment, this typically means bringing very niche skills to the table for a relatively short period in order to ensure the delivery of quality once-off projects on time and on budget. Change management and implementation projects, in particular, require specialist skills, but these skills are unlikely to be permanently employed in any but the largest of global organisations. A talent professional who specialises in Contractor recruitment will instantly grasp the exact nature of the skill or capacity gap you are looking to fill and is able to ensure that that gap is filled as a matter of extreme urgency.

Talent Acquisition does not begin and end with hiring people with particular skills for your business. The reputation your business has in the market matters. The things that your employees – past and present – say about their experiences working in your business matter. The way your business shows up in the community matters. The commitment you make to your employees’ professional development in exchange for them adding value to your business matters. Salaries matter. It is time to think strategically, contextually, and systematically about talent and to decide, based on your specific circumstances, what Talent Acquisition approach will work best for you and your business needs now, and into the future.