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Talent Acquisition – Current Trends

by Paddy Collins on February 1st, 2012

Talent Acquisition has come a long way since Lord Kitchener's days

Recent research* by Bersin & Associates conducted in 2011 in the US and the UK has some very interesting findings:
1. The Cost of Recruiting – UK companies spend more than ₤5,300 per new hire, over twice the amount spent by US firms.
2. The Agency Model – the once-entrenched agency model in the UK is starting to decline mirroring the US where companies use agencies more selectively – particularly for senior level and hard-to-fill positions. More progressive companies are turning to professional networks, social media and candidate relationship models (CRM) as sourcing alternatives.
3. The Changing Role of In-house Recruiters – in-house recruiters need to act as true consultants to hiring managers. They will also need to understand trends in the labour market, use various sourcing tools to build talent pipelines, and be versed in engaging and converting high-quality candidates.
4. Job Boards – Not Dead but Dying – in the past job boards have been very successful in attracting “active” candidates ie those looking for jobs. Progressive organizations are reducing their spend on Job Boards in favour of new tools that source both active and “passive” candidates. These tools include professional networking sites, search engine marketing and CRM technology.
5. Internal Mobility – approximately one in every five UK and US open job requisition is filled by an internal candidate.
Recognising the importance of retaining top talent, progressive companies are creating and promoting internal mobility programmes – not only to fill vacancies but also to bolster employee engagement and generate fresh thinking.
6. Employer Branding – irrespective of economic circumstances, employer branding can convey a positive identity to potential and existing employees – reinforcing the image of the organization as a great place to work and helping the engagement process internally and externally.
7. Measuring the Quality of Hire – most firms are at least trying to evaluate new-hire quality by measuring metrics such as new-hire turnover, new-hire performance, and the satisfaction of both the candidate and the manager. The most prevalent means of measuring quality is through a 90-day new-hire assessment, used by nearly one half of all UK companies.
But while many companies talk about quality of hire, few companies have a comprehensive and systematic measurement approach. Even companies that do collect some kind of data often fail to properly distill the metrics and make changes necessary for sustained improvement.
* Source: Bersin & Associates; UK Talent Acquisition Factbook 2011
(to request a free complimentary copy, please use the comment box below)
The Irish Context
1. The Burden of Process – my observation is that companies in Ireland are being strangled by unwieldly recruitment processes – too many people are involved in every stage from writing the job description, testing, screening, interviewing and also sourcing – too many external intermediaries are involved and only at arms length.
2. Decision Making – the old adage “too many cooks spoil the broth” certainly pertains. Perhaps this reflects the growing interest in collaborative management resulting in candidates needing to meet and satisfy not only the hiring manager and internal recruiter but also peers and other stakeholders.
3. Using the Consultant – a key problem is not making sufficient use of the huge expertise of the consultant and involving them fully in the process.
PS. To review some related case studies, please click:
1. Talent Management
2. Head-hunting
3. Onboarding
PPS. For some useful tips on how to best navigate the various recruitment stages, please click on the appropriate link here:
1. interview preparation
2. panel interviews
3. assessment centres

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