Shifting strategies in talent acquisition - Business Works
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Shifting strategies in talent acquisition

by Seb O'Connell, Managing Director, Europe and APAC, Cielo Talent is no longer just an HR priority. It is a strategic business imperative that involves stakeholders from the senior leadership team, HR, business and procurement, each of whom has unique viewpoints around talent. While over 71% of these stakeholders agree that they should be hiring for the future, they disagree with their organisations' approach. These different perspectives can either provide tremendous opportunity for improvement and growth or present a roadblock for progress. The challenge is getting everyone to acknowledge their differing viewpoints and expectations and work together on a long-term, unified approach, says Seb O'Connell, MD of Cielo in Europe.

Our global survey of over 1000 HR, Business and Procurement professionals has revealed that the competition for talent is causing major shifts in corporate strategy, as well as significant disagreements among business functions regarding their companies' approaches to finding, recruiting, interviewing, and hiring new employees. The report combines the views of the Board, business leaders and talent acquisition leaders on their talent teams' performance across 16 strategic and core dimensions.

Nearly 70% of business leaders surveyed worldwide believe the existing talent pool is shrinking, while the competition for talent is increasing and 54% say that their company has more open positions than ever before. Although leaders in all of the business functions surveyed agree that retaining talent is a core business driver, they disagree on talent acquisition priorities, effectiveness, metrics for success and the role of technology and outsourced services to help them compete for talent. The research showed that only 10% prioritised implementing technology to achieve their strategic goals. With big data and artificial intelligence having advanced rapidly over the past several years, it's therefore surprising, when faced with an automated future, that technology is struggling to move further up the agenda as a top priority for businesses.

increasing pressure to align talent acquisition and retention with business goals

Over 70% of Board-level leaders now say they want to play a role in talent acquisition decisions, a clear indication of the increasing pressure to align talent acquisition and retention with business goals. There is a tremendous opportunity to improve outcomes through better collaboration and communication across the enterprise and taking the time to implement technology into talent acquisition programmes will achieve this at a much quicker pace.

Our study also revealed that nearly 30% of companies are now hiring contingent labour across all job levels, including 24% of senior roles, 28% at manager-level roles, 32% individual contributors and 41% of entry-level talent. This contingent labour includes temporary employees, independent contractors, consultants, interim executives and gig workers.

There appears to be a rapidly-growing trend as 65% of companies we surveyed said they expect flexible workers, contingent workers and project-based workers will take over a significant amount of the work currently being done by full-time employees. We're seeing more and more companies embrace a 'total talent' approach that incorporates the recruiting, hiring and retaining functions of all their employees into a single strategy. This shift introduces important challenges, specifically around who owns that single strategy for the organisation.

In the latest survey, the gap of how business leaders and HR perceive talent acquisition has narrowed as they are more aligned in priorities, effectiveness, metrics and technology. This is good news, as it is the highest-performing talent acquisition functions that tend to partner with the business to turn talent into a driver for organisational success.

Diversity and inclusion is a top priority, but most companies are still immature in their efforts. Companies can improve diversity and inclusion through all aspects of the candidate journey - from creating unbiased job descriptions to employer branding to interview management - yet, too often, they do'nt know where to start.

Stakeholders identified candidate experience as one of the most important metrics for success, yet most companies fall short when communicating with candidates. Companies are often not providing the status to candidates during the application process, not following up during the hiring process, or relying solely on e-mail as a form of communication. Only 1% of candidates surveyed indicated that they received a text from a recruiter during the hiring process and only 50% of candidates said that they heard back from a company 'sometimes'.

Total talent acquisition is a consistent and comprehensive approach to recruiting and hiring both full-time and contingent labour, including temporary staff and independent contractors. In a rapid shift in business strategy, the study shows that 90% of companies view total talent acquisition as a top priority. This is in stark contrast to our 2015 study, in which total talent acquisition was merely a future goal that companies were not yet prioritising.

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