Find out how data, agility, and visibility can make a big difference in today’s market.
By Debbie Bolla
The current talent landscape is like no other. Talent acquisition (TA) leaders are facing a confluence of issues—economic uncertainty, constant technological changes, and a relentless competition for workers—that is making attracting and recruiting talent more difficult than ever before.
Organizations must consider that inflation has been increasing 6% year over year, putting financial strain on employees and the bottom line alike. New technologies are popping up every day with AI, machine learning, and ChatGPT dominating the marketplace. While this brings innovation to the workplace, it is also disrupting the skills needed to succeed. These skills gaps are causing competition for highly skilled workers to become even greater.
New strategies are needed to overcome these challenges and to remain ahead in the new world of work. “We are in a uniquely volatile time in the market for talent. Supply and demand, costs, skills, and business priorities change extremely quickly,” says Sevenstep President Amy Bush. “Employers can struggle to secure workers if they rely on outdated resources and strategies. We see real successes too, as our clients apply market leading tactics and lean on advances in analytics to drive smarter decisions.”
Sevenstep’s recent whitepaper, Thriving in an Extreme Workforce Landscape: Trends Reshaping the Art and Science of Talent, offers a blueprint for introducing innovation into TA processes in order to navigate the challenges of today.
The first recommendation is to conduct an assessment of the current state of processes and look at how they perform in such a highly complex environment. This will help shed light on where improvements need to be made. For example, an assessment can show TA capabilities related to intelligence, flexibility, and agility. Understanding those levels will help to determine how capable an organization is at being proactive instead of reactive—a key factor in today’s highly competitive talent market.
It cannot be overstated how important data is to decision-making when it comes to TA success. Highly sophisticated tech platforms have the ability to apply predictive analytics around several metrics, including the types of skills in demand, competitive pay rates, worker supply, future resource needs, and TA process performance. However, research shows that organizations are lagging behind. In fact, more than two-thirds (67%) of TA and HR professionals are not providing hiring managers with the right data to make decisions, and only 32% of senior leaders are confident in the data they have available to make decisions.
Clearly, in today’s market, that needs to change. An advanced data analysis capability can help HR navigate the frequently changing conditions of the talent landscape and even get ahead of them with AI-driven predictive analytics. By connecting data points, organizations will have access to pressing trends and forecast outcomes.
Sevenstep’s report says that TA leaders should expect their tech platform to offer easy aggregation of data into a single view, flexible analysis, and comprehensive reporting. By having a clear understanding of what AI-driven workforce intelligence systems have to offer, TA leaders can better prioritize technology investment, set expectations, and identify needs for improving their talent functions.
From layoffs to talent shortages, TA leaders understand better than anyone in the business that needs can change in a blink of an eye. That’s why a flexible TA function can make a remarkable difference in the uncertain business conditions of late. Sevenstep’s report identifies these factors as enablers of agility:
- visibility into the talent supply;
- understanding of recruiting processes;
- a deep bench of trained recruiters;
- access to resources; and
- speed of deployment for those resources.
With these capabilities at the forefront, TA teams will find that they will not only scale up to meet volume demands, but will also have access to talent pools of candidates with specific skills, expertise, and levels of experience.
Thinking Total Talent
Today’s gig and extended workforce offers a bevy of opportunities for organizations to fill difficult positions quickly and efficiently. In fact, these non-traditional workers represent a large portion of available talent. A 2022 McKinsey report found that 36% of employed workers in the U.S. workforce describe themselves as independent workers, up from 27% in 2016. An agile way to manage full-time employees alongside contingent workers is through a total talent approach, enabled by technology.
A key benefit of a total talent approach is visibility across all talent sources. This is driven by access to data. Sevenstep’s report points to several sources of data, including:
- vendor management systems (VMS) for tracking contingent workforce suppliers and their talent;
- applicant tracking systems (ATS) used in recruiting for permanent hires;
- internal HRIS systems;
- social media sources;
- recruitment marketing platforms; and
- internal and external talent pools and communities.
Visibility into all talent sources allows TA teams access to many avenues of workers to hit business goals. Sevenstep’s report finds that a solutions provider with advanced RPO, MSP, and technology capabilities can facilitate hiring while tracking fulfillment timing, costs, and quality; pinpointing strengths and issues; delivering a consistent candidate and worker experience; and providing faster, cost-effective results for HR.