Power your Talent Acquisition to Deliver and Scale

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Did you know a bad hire is the second reason for about 70% of start-ups to either succeed or succumb? The first reason? Financial issues.

A start-up, by its essence, needs faster growth to sustain and succeed. The talent that comes onboard during its initial stages of growth is key to shaping the company’s future success. Talent acquisition can help start-ups realize the objective of making the right hires and building wonder-teams.

Talent acquisition is an in-depth methodology to select and nurture the best talents in the industry. The goal is not to fill in company vacancies. Talent acquisition goes beyond to employ a well-defined process to identify, select and engage candidates for the long-term.

Talent Acquisition VS Recruiting

Talent acquisition differs from recruiting in its need for a deeper process that spans candidate search through final onboarding. Candidates are assessed on multiple and comprehensive parameters. A talent acquisition specialist hires candidates with skillsets that fit the company in the short-term and competencies that can be honed for future growth.

Given the width and depth of talent acquisition, a separate team is often appointed for the process. This team works in collaboration with recruiting managers and HR (Human Resources) team. 

Talent acquisition is one of the best recruitment strategies for startups. Businesses can efficiently overcome challenges inherent to start-up hiring through talent acquisition. 

What are the challenge start-ups face in scaling talent acquisition as they aim for lightening growth on stretched budgets? 

Scaling Talent Acquisition Strategy: Challenges faced by Start-ups

Hiring for start-ups is different when compared to hiring for a company that is already established. The reasons are multiple.

Start-ups are high-risk high-reward entities. Start-ups face a risk rate of over 70% from factors such as fund termination and failure.

The work ambience is high-stress too. Executives face challenges way beyond the standard deadline commitments and 

work pressure. From achieving funding to handling investors and managing teams, executives have their hands more than full.

The work pressure is high on every single employee in a start-up. He/ she is entrusted with the ownership of critical tasks and key decision-making every single day. This is complex compared to the work environment of an established company with thousands of employees to share the burden.

Rapid business restructuring is another key start-up aspect that poses hiring challenges. Start-ups need to be rapid in responding to evolving market changes and customer needs. Such rapid response may not always be required for established companies.

This structural setting and work ambience inherent to a start-up gives rise to several hiring challenges. Here are some insights:

Swelling Hire Volume

As a start-up starts attracting more projects on a large-scale, the need to deliver results amplifies. This exponential growth demands aggressive and quality hiring. And, if hiring involves specialized skills and a global hunt, the challenge gets more complex.

Building a recruiting strategy demands expertise. Most start-ups suffer from a lack of such expertise. Low finances and lack of a dedicated hiring team increase hiring woes. Start-ups, as a result, find themselves struggling with accelerating volume of hires.

Absence of Employer Branding 

86% of candidates examine a company’s ratings and reviews before applying for a job. A solid employer brand reputation can reduce the expense on a hire by as much as 50%. A stellar brand also attracts 50% high-quality talents.

With 75% candidates seeking better employer brand management, companies with active brand management have higher chances of attracting quality talent. A company with a bad reputation is less likely to attract talents.

A start-up needs intense brand management for attracting talents. Without a robust employer branding, attracting, let alone scaling, talents, becomes an unsurmountable challenge.

A Slow and Unstructured Hiring Process

Without a clear structure, bias, inefficiencies and errors, envelope hiring process. In an unstructured process, there is no understanding about the hiring purpose, managing hiring volume, and engaging candidates all through. There are no concrete quality standards or hiring timeframes, which can lead to delays and poor hires.

The result – bad hires, or worse, loss of the right talents.

An inability to scale faster leads to unpleasant realities, including unfilled positions, and increase in open requisitions. These outcomes increase the risk of start-up failure enormously even before you are fully launched. 

A well-developed talent acquisition strategy empowers you with the expertise needed to overcome these start-up hiring challenges.

But, how do you build a powerful talent acquisition strategy that helps you meet your hiring needs as well as scale hiring?

How Start-Ups can Build a Competitive Talent Acquisition Strategy?

The need of the “scaling” hour for start-ups is to ensure a talent acquisition process that does not leave any gaps from start to finish. The process must be efficient at attracting high-quality candidates, screening them and bringing them onboard. The candidate experience must be genuine and delightful all through.

Such a process must not be complex either for it can degrade candidate and recruiter experience.

Scaling talent acquisition demands a strategy that increases hiring speed, delivers a structured hiring process, and simplifies recruitment.

Incorporate these 6 Elements of Success

A successful talent acquisition process consists of the following 6 steps:

Identifying Talents

Recruiting talents starts with the key step of identifying top talents. Success lies in widening your sourcing channels and engaging candidates through these channels.

You can widen your sourcing pool with a range of channels. From traditional employee referrals and peer networking to online job boards and social media, there are numerous channels to leverage. Past candidates can turn out to be best-fits for a position, leading to candidate rediscovery. (These are some top sourcing channels you may want to start with.)

Effective talent acquisition is not a one-time event. It does not start when a vacancy comes up or end with hiring for the vacancy. Talent acquisition is an ongoing process that hires top talents when needed while nurturing potential talents for future enrolments.

Attracting Talents

Attracting the best talents is no more about salary alone. The vision behind your start-up, respect for employees and the team atmosphere, play a crucial role in candidate decision-making.

With 52% jobseekers assessing a brand through social media and company websites, a well-developed employer branding is indispensable to attracting talents.

Candidate Screening

Once you have sourced and filtered preliminary candidates, screening for the final candidates forms the next step. 

Screenings can take the form of group interviews, phase-based interviews, and even virtual interviews. AI-based screening is becoming a preferred methodology in talent acquisition.

Referral Investigation

Talent acquisition is an in-depth process, demanding a thorough attention to details, which is why referrals form an individual sub-process.

A talent acquisition team examines candidate references. The team gets in touch with the referred individuals, including former colleagues and managers. The details of a candidate are also cross-checked with the current employer. The team may also conduct a background check as part of the screening.

Candidate Finalization

This is a crucial process key to building the A-team you can rely on, in the present and the future. Collective inputs from talent acquisition specialists, hiring managers and the HR team, are used to make the final decision.


A talent acquisition process does not end with candidate finalization and hiring. It extends to onboarding, a segment crucial to creating a lasting impression on candidates and nurturing a relationship with them.

Different elements of onboarding make the process thoughtful and personalized for candidates. From welcome messages to team communications, every aspect makes high impact and determines the candidate’s longevity with your company. 

An efficient onboarding can help improve candidate engagement and their loyalty toward your brand. 

Automation in Human Resources: The Fast-Emerging Trend Predicted to Stay

Automation in recruitment is not a novel concept. However modern advanced systems in this domain are redefining hiring. 

The high impact realized is making automation more visible and a sought-after talent acquisition tool.

72% of employers say that automation will penetrate into various aspects of talent acquisition within 10 years.

How does automation benefit talent acquisition? Well, Automation simplifies the 6 fundamentals of talent acquisition explained above. It empowers you with resources and capability needed to build a comprehensive yet simpler talent acquisition process. 

Benefits of Hiring Automation for Start-Ups

·      Hiring is faster as most manual or repetitive tasks such as emails, interview scheduling, screening and more, are automated. 

Did you know that 14 hours are lost weekly by HR departments on tasks that can be automated?

Speed and timing are crucial for the right hire. You are more likely to lose top candidates to technologically-developed competitors with a faster and more engaging hiring process.

·      Every stage of talent acquisition becomes more efficient, transparent and faster, with recruitment automation.

An automated solution helps you locate, engage, and attract talents, and cultivate relationships with them. Capabilities also extend to job offer and onboarding phases as well as nurturing potential candidates for future employment.

With its comprehensive features, automation offers an end-to-end solution for 

Short-term recruitment and long-term talent acquisition.

·      Comprehensive recruitment automation solutions such as X0PA go beyond automating existing hiring process. They enhance the quality of existing processes with data-driven insights. 

X0PA, for example, is a powerful tool that employs AI-based solutions for all your hiring needs. The AI Recruiter widens your talent pool while making it easy to locate quality talents with AI- and ML- (Machine Learning) algorithms.

With concepts such as AI, ML and NLP, candidate screening is more evolved, smarter and efficient. Imagine being able to screen candidates on parameters such as their longevity and performance in your company? Hoppers and non-performers can be eliminated at the initial stages, which saves you substantial costs on bad hires.

Features such as X0PA Skill Taxonomy ensure that your candidate screening is skill-based, not keyword-based. So, you do not lose the right candidates.

With Work Flow automations, manual tasks and consequent errors and inaccuracies are eliminated, making your hiring faster and efficient. Cost- and time-consuming hiring challenges such as bulk hiring and simultaneous multiple interviews are easily overcome.

From sourcing to onboarding and further candidate engagement, there are innumerable opportunities for improving employer branding and candidate experience.

With automation and AI-screening, you can prevent unconscious bias and achieve maximum objectivity in talent acquisition.

·      Automation powered by data-driven insights delivers transparency into talent acquisition and hiring. It becomes easier to identify areas that need improvement, which can then be quickly addressed.

You can, for example, address skill gaps, workforce allocations, candidate assessments, engagement and rediscovery.

·      Automation with data-driven analytics improves

o  Quality of hire

o  Cost of hire, and

o  Time to hire

Tips to Improve your Talent Acquisition Efficiency 

Recruitment automation is a great tool to improve and scale your talent acquisition. A focus on the following aspects helps you leverage automation and data more efficiently.

Jazz up your Employer Branding

A hiring plan for startup must start with an excellent employer branding strategy. It is easier to attract talents when you 

have an attractive brand to showcase. As a start-up, you can invest in brand-building strategies using your company websites and social media platforms.

Candidates trust employees more than the company to provide authentic information about the working environment. It helps to post videos about employee experiences with your company.

Upscale Recruitment with a DEI Strategy at the Outset

As a start-up, you own a unique advantage. You can infuse the concept of DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) into your business core early. A talent acquisition that treats DEI as an important parameter reaps rewards in the form of greater success.

Not convinced? Consider this statistic: teams that are racially diverse deliver 35% better results that teams that are not.

As candidates get the feel of a company during recruitment, making your talent acquisition DEI-based is critical. A wider talent pool, blind screening and data-driven selection increase the chances of objective and DEI-friendly decision-making.

A DEI strategy leads to better candidate experiences, which in turn is key to enhancing employer branding. Improve recruitment strategies with a well-planned DEI process.

Revise your Criteria for Hiring

If you are hiring only for potential, then revise the criteria to include competence. A fresh business graduate may show potential for success, but may be unable to deliver as an experienced analyst.

Potential is great. But, when you are growing hyper-fast, teams that have the potential but need mentoring, drag you back. You benefit better by hiring a team that can make critical decisions on its own when things go awry.

Screen candidates with a proven ability to be adaptable, proactive in identifying problems and finding solutions, and open to feedback. 

Keep your Employees Close, your Prospective Candidates Closer

If you have got your dream candidate, then great. But the best recruitment strategy is to not lose the interesting candidates you may have come across, in the process.

Build a talent pipeline and nurture these prospective candidates. When an opening comes up, be sure to inform them. You may have another dream candidate in this talent pool!


Experts believe that right hiring at the outset itself can help start-ups succeed. Investing in a talent acquisition process helps you find the right candidate faster at a lesser cost. Power your talent acquisition with robust automation and data-driven technology for the best results.

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