If your tactics, techniques, and technologies don’t support your talent strategy, you won’t be seeing or hiring too many good people.

But if you don’t even have a talent strategy, it’s game over before you even start.

You’ll make unnecessary hiring mistakes.

You’ll hire people who just don’t fit, who aren’t too motivated, who aren’t satisfied, and who underperform.

You’ll have too much turnover and make too many excuses.

It turns out you can’t push on a rope, no matter how humble, hungry, and smart you are.

On the other hand, even if you have a noble and worthy talent strategy, it won’t work if your hiring and recruiting tactics don’t support it. In this case, you’ll just continue to hire people like you’ve always hired basically accepting the fact that your quality of hire and diversity programs have plateaued.

I learned long ago that for a company to successfully implement its strategy, its tactics, tools, technologies, and techniques must be in total alignment. And when they’re not, performance suffers.

A good strategy without the proper execution is doomed to failure.

As important, great tactics, techniques, and technologies won’t overcome the lack of alignment. This short video I did with LinkedIn about ten years ago summarizes this concept in an old-fashion way. But despite the grainy look and lack of any special FX, the point is true – strategy drives tactics; it’s not the other way around! And if your tactics don’t support the strategy, you won’t be seeing and hiring many good people.

Here’s a list of critical tactics that support a talent strategy designed to raise the talent bar with more diverse and high-potential talent. By conducting a strategy vs. tactics gap analysis, you’ll be able to quickly determine how your company stands on these measures. One way is to review each of the factors and make some yes/no or strongly agree or not judgment. Then bundle the negatives together to create an action program to improve quality of hire, increase job satisfaction and performance and reduce churn.

Core Hiring Tactics Designed to Support a Raising the Bar Talent Strategy 

  1. If there is a scarcity of great talent, you need to ensure you implement an attract-the-best hiring strategy rather than one designed to weed out the weak.
  2. Start by comparing your current hiring processes to how the top 25% find and change jobs. This big survey describes the importance of networking as critical and job postings as insignificant.
  3. Build a network of nodes to get outstanding referrals, not a pipeline of candidates.
  4. Rebuild, redesign, or replace your ATS to ensure it emphasizes a high-touch nurturing and networking process vs. being great at managing the data of lots of people who won’t get hired.
  5. Track the feedback metrics that matter. For example, your process is flawed if you need to see more than 2-3 candidates to find one great finalist.
  6. Predict Quality of Hire. If your predictions are more than 25% off, change how you interview to eliminate bias and increase objectivity.
  7. Measure hiring success on the 1st year anniversary date, not the start date.
  8. Only source semi-finalists. You don’t have enough time to talk to anyone who isn’t performance qualified AND would see the job as a career move or give you a great referral to a semi-finalist.
  9. Offer high-impact career moves, not generic lateral transfers.
  10. Hire slow. Fire fast. Sell the career discussion, not the job.
  11. Put duct tape over the apply button.
  12. Tell stories rather than list skills in your job postings.
  13. Brand the job, not the company.
  14. Use AI (ChatGPT) to enhance all of the above.

The alignment of a company’s tactics with its business strategy is of paramount importance for the successful execution of strategic goals. This is especially true when it comes to hiring, but it’s a link that’s often overlooked, unseen, or ignored. But it’s this alignment that ensures that every action taken, every resource utilized, and every decision made at the tactical level directly contributes to the overriding strategic objective of improving the quality of every person hired. Misalignment can lead to disjointed efforts, wasted resources, and, ultimately, failure to achieve the company’s strategic talent goals. While strategy sets the direction, it’s the tactics – the on-the-ground, everyday actions – that get you there.