Companies are shifting their talent acquisition strategies to succeedÂ in a candidate-driven market.
By Marissa Geist
In a stark reminder of how challenging todayâs talentÂ shortages have become, 54 percent of business leadersÂ in Cieloâs recent Talent Acquisition 360 study said theirÂ companies have more open positions than ever before.Â Nearly 70 percent of stakeholders said they believe theÂ existing talent pool is shrinking while the competitionÂ for talent is increasing. This battle of supply andÂ demand is causing C-Suite leaders to include talentÂ acquisition and retention as a critical component ofÂ their overall business strategies to ensure organizationalÂ performance is not hampered by talent gaps.
Five other key talents trends were also identified in theÂ research, including:
1. Contingent workers are taking over full-timeÂ roles. Contingent laborâincluding temporary staff,Â consultants, independent contractors, interimÂ executives, and gig workersâis a growing portion ofÂ the workforce at every level. Nearly 30 percent of theÂ 1,100 stakeholders surveyed are now hiring contingentÂ workers across all job levels of the organization.
This includes an average of 24 percent of seniorÂ leadership roles, 28 percent of manager-level roles, 32Â percent of individual contributors, and 41 percent ofÂ entry-level talent. For example, a company may haveÂ consultants handling outsourced management-levelÂ projects, gig workers driving trucks, temporary staffÂ filling roles throughout the office and factory, and aÂ few interim executives overseeing key leadership rolesÂ while the company is recruiting for replacements.
Even more, 65 percent of business leaders surveyed saidÂ this trend toward a greater proportion of contingentÂ workers will grow in the future, as they expect tempÂ labor to take over a significant amount of the workÂ currently being done by full-time employees. This mayÂ reflect, in part, workersâ desires to have more flexibleÂ work options in combination with employersâ needsÂ to fill roles temporarily due to the difficulty of findingÂ qualified full-time staff.
This candidate market is prompting change on a largeÂ scale, challenging the way companies think of engagingÂ talent outside of full-time roles as many employers areÂ faced with the reality that some of their top talent mayÂ never be direct employees.
2. Total talent acquisition approaches will rise. BecauseÂ of the reliance on contingent staff for nearly one-thirdÂ of the organizationâs talent resources, total talentÂ acquisitionâa consistent and comprehensive approachÂ to both full-time and contingent talent acquisitionâhas emerged as the next big thing business leaders areÂ targeting. More than 90 percent of all surveyed leadersÂ view total talent acquisition as a top priority, especiallyÂ those in the healthcare, retail, consumer goods, andÂ automotive industries. In the United States, 100 percentÂ of survey respondents said total talent acquisition is aÂ top priority. This is in stark contrast to Cieloâs 2015 study,Â in which a total talent approach was merely a futureÂ goal.
Although all stakeholders agree that total talentÂ acquisition is a top priority, 68 percent of HR leadersÂ believe it is their responsibility while 65 percent ofÂ procurement leaders think it is a role they own. OnlyÂ a quarter of HR and procurement leaders believe thatÂ total talent acquisition is a shared responsibility.
Companies recognize the need for a more consistentÂ approach to how they attract and recruit both full-timeÂ employees and contingent staff. For instance, 66 percentÂ of survey respondents said they are using differentÂ providers to recruit each group. A total talent approachÂ would provide a more complete view of the workforceÂ to help make better decisions for the future.
In that vein, 55 percent of respondents said they plan toÂ invest in an outsourced talent acquisition partner in theÂ next year.
3. More organizations will leverage recruitment processÂ outsourcing (RPO). Forty percent of all stakeholdersÂ surveyed are already using an RPO partner and anotherÂ 23 percent of companies are planning to hire one inÂ the next year. This increase in intended RPO utilizationÂ is unsurprising given the increased severity of talentÂ shortages and the focus shifting to total talentÂ acquisition.
The survey found that top-performing companies,Â defined as those retaining 80 percent of their topÂ talent and having 80 percent of employees meetingÂ their performance goals, are twice as likely to beÂ outsourcing the recruitment process. These highÂ performers also report significantly higher satisfactionÂ with the efficiency of the talent acquisition process, theÂ candidate experience, and the scalability of their talentÂ acquisition program.
RPO is more prevalent in the healthcare, retail, andÂ consumer goods industries, and is used by 50 percent ofÂ companies with more than 10,000 employees, accordingÂ to the study.
4. Now is the time to align talent strategy with businessÂ strategy. More than 70 percent of C-Suite leaders reportÂ they want to play a role in talent acquisition decisions, aÂ clear indication of the increasing pressure to align talentÂ acquisition and retention with business objectives.Â However, the study showed a clear lack of consistency inÂ how to accomplish this alignment.
Leaders in all of the business roles and functionsÂ surveyedâC-Suite, HR, procurement, and businessÂ operationsâagree that talent is a core business driver,Â but they disagree on talent acquisition priorities,Â effectiveness, and metrics for success. While HR andÂ business leaders are now much more aligned than inÂ Cieloâs 2015 study, there is still a need for improvementÂ across the organization.
For example, procurement leaders rated hiring managerÂ satisfaction as their top success metric, while HR,Â business operations, and the C-Suite rated qualityÂ of hire as the most important metric. And whileÂ all stakeholders are generally optimistic about theÂ effectiveness of their organizationâs talent acquisitionÂ efforts, the C-Suite was two times more likely thanÂ business leaders to think their talent acquisitionÂ program is highly effective.
5. The use of technology and data have improved, butÂ thereâs room for more. In the 2015 study, companies wereÂ challenged with technology implementation across theÂ organization, but today only 10 percent of companiesÂ identified new technology implementation as aÂ priority, often relying on partners for this role. Instead,Â stakeholders are more focused on finding technologyÂ that will provide a positive candidate experience. BasicÂ uses of technology such as background screening andÂ assessments are viewed as the most effective for theÂ organization.
As companies become more comfortable with dataÂ and its importance in talent acquisition, analytics areÂ increasing in relevance. Stakeholders were nearly threeÂ times more likely to praise the use of data to diagnoseÂ problems today than in 2015.
The study revealed a stunning gap in the effectivenessÂ of candidate-facing technology and processes, withÂ nearly half of the 200 active job seekers surveyed statingÂ that they only hear from employers âsometimesâ afterÂ they submit an application. Only 1 percent of candidatesÂ have communicated with a recruiter through text,Â revealing an over-reliance by organizations on emailÂ as their primary form of communication. ConsideringÂ that 33 percent of candidates said they are applyingÂ for jobs using mobile devices, a shift toward candidateÂ experience technologies that incorporate text, video,Â and other modern forms of communications wouldÂ likely increase effectiveness.
Opportunities to improve talent acquisition begin withÂ better collaboration and communication across theÂ enterprise to guide alignment with business prioritiesÂ and ensure a single, consistent strategy. A consistentÂ approach for attracting, recruiting, hiring, and retainingÂ all types of talentâfrom contractors to permanentÂ employeesâwill also be key to maintaining workforceÂ productivity as a candidateâs market continues to thrive.Â Organizations also need to improve communicationÂ and engagement with candidates throughout theÂ talent acquisition process or risk losing them to theirÂ competitors.
Marissa Geist is executive vice president and managing director of theÂ Americas for Cielo.