“No matter what we do, we just can’t seem to keep our heads above water for more than a moment when it comes to critical hires,” says the head of recruiting at one professional services firm. Welcome to talent acquisition in the digital age.
Business models are changing quickly, creating volatility in recruiting volume as companies’ needs change. Roles themselves are rapidly evolving, leaving even business leaders unsure who to hire today, let alone tomorrow. Human resources (HR) leaders are struggling to keep pace with shifting skill needs. At the same time, demand for talent is converging on critical roles, so when needed talent is identified, it takes longer and costs more to secure it.
Given all these challenges, recruiting organizations that fail to adapt will find it harder and harder to acquire the talent their business needs to pursue digital ambitions and critical growth initiatives.
“If recruiting organizations want to cut hiring costs and time to fill and improve recruiter productivity — while proactively meeting the evolving needs of the business — they can’t stick to the same old service models,” says Lauren Smith, Vice President and Team Manager at Gartner. “Being responsive to the business is great, but it’s not enough. Recruiting organizations have to offer guidance to the business, and be highly attuned to the changing needs of both the business and industry.”
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To lead talent acquisition, you have to be agile
Even if your recruitment organization has become best in class at delivering a hiring service to the business, your approach likely still isn’t responsive enough. More effective is an agile recruiting operating model, characterized by:
- Shift away from fixed planning and resourcing. Regularly source bottom-up hiring projections, and adjust service or redeploy staff as needs change. Today it’s more typical to plan and allocate recruiting resources based on point-in-time, top-down forecasts from the business.
- Focus on talent trends, not current business needs. Organize recruiting staff to create enterprise value by specializing in hiring for certain tasks or talent segments. Don’t be tied only to the internal needs of the business.
- Develop more sophisticated predictive talent analytics to identify what you need, where best to find it and what it will cost. Use those insights to demonstrate to the business what it needs instead of just going to the labor market with requests from the business.