The future of talent acquisition

updates + insights » The future of talent acquisition

Changes in government legislation, the ongoing future of work debate and the evolution of technology within the recruitment space are factors that have traditionally shaped the way businesses have sourced new talent. In a talent scarce market, creativity was key, with businesses treating potential employees as they would customers. With our world turned upside down in recent months, what will the new hiring landscape look like post-COVID?

In a nutshell, talent acquisition is the organisational task of finding the right person for a role and involves HR functions like sourcing, attracting, interviewing, hiring and onboarding employees. Acquisition extends beyond simply recruitment; in that it is part of an overall business and HR strategy that factors in an organisation’s long-term goals and acknowledges that people (or talent) can play a huge role in a company’s future success.

While there is so much uncertainly about what the new normal will look like, there are some key themes emerging that will likely impact your talent strategy going forward.

The role specification

Often, position descriptions and role specifications become a wish list of skills and competencies that do not accurately reflect the role you need filled. However, before you can hire the right person, you need to be clear on what the business need is – and this starts with a clear, concise, and accurate job description. That means being able to articulate what the role actually is and why it is required, which gives you a better picture on who might fit the role from a skills and attributes perspective. Creating a job description that speaks directly to the role means you will prioritise competencies and behaviours that truly matter.

Sourcing talent

Uncovering talent, whether they are active or passive job seekers, is an art. When candidates are hard to find, you need to think creatively to find hidden talent. This is typically one of the key reasons that a business partners with an external recruitment consultancy, which provides the employer access to the recruiter’s professional connections and networks as well as their digital search platforms. Recruiters are constantly building and managing talent pipelines, it is a key part of their job, so when a client need arises, they can quickly identify and attract the next quality hire. In such an unpredictable market, now more than ever, it will be critical to have your finger on the pulse of the talent market. Yes, there will be candidates entering the market due to downsizing/restructures as well as natural attrition, but in times of significant change and uncertainly, people are more likely to stick to the status quo in terms of their employment, rather than seek new opportunities. Creating that pipeline of potential hires is going to present a significant challenge going forward.   

Talent attraction and retention

What motivates candidates to join, stay or leave a role is at the core of your employee value proposition. With so many incentives or “office perks” offered to staff it has really raised the bar in terms of what employees expect – quite often these perks become the norm and do not really separate you as an employer. In such an unpredictable global economic environment, what truly motivates employees will likely change. Aspects like trust in a company, role security and safety may be more highly valued than rewards, social purpose and competitive pay. Work flexibility and remote working will become the norm, because we have proven that it works. The desire for meaningful work will likely remain but what importance will candidates place on a convenient and modern office location? What matters most to employees – current and prospective – will require a rethink of your employer brand.   

Think differently

In an unpredictable market, you need to find talent where you normally would not. There will be an array of talent in the market that at first glance might not be an obvious choice for a role, however with a bit of consideration you’ll realise that they have the transferable skills and attributes to be successful in your business – in fact, their varied background may actually give your business a new edge. These “new” candidates entering the job market unexpectedly, who may be looking for a career pivot, can potentially be secured at a slightly lower market rate due to their lack of experience in the field. For businesses that rely on overseas candidates, whether that’s for highly technical, specialist roles or migrant workers on temporary work visas, the restrictions on international travel and likely changes to visa schemes to promote local employment, will also require a rethink of how you source talent.

Your organisation’s ability to remain competitive and execute its broader business strategy is inextricably linked to your human potential – from your organisational structure through to role descriptions and identifying and securing the right talent to meet the complex goals of your business. Connecting the right talent for your business today and into the future, will require a rethink of your approach to talent acquisition.

The Decipher Team     

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