Will Talent War be over?

I walke’d into the board room to present our Annual People Strategy. Within minutes, the discussions turned towards open positions, availability of right talent, quality of hire, lead time to hire, cost of hire, effectiveness of hiring channels etc. Every HR Manager/ HR Head/Talent Acquisition Head can relate with this experience of people strategy discussions turning towards hiring most of the times. Dearth of extraordinary talent is painful to all businesses irrespective of industry, size and geography.

Recruitment and Talent Acquisition (TA) terms are used interchangeably; however two are quite different. Recruitment is short-term, quick fix, focussed on filling open positions whereas TA is long-term planning and thought-through strategy to find specialists, leaders, or future executives for the company.

Talent Acquisition process is becoming complex day by day. Today a TA professional is expected to be skilled not only in sourcing right profiles, candidate assessment, Future hiring, compliance and leveraging multiple & cost effective channels of hiring, but also in employment branding practices. Talent acquisition as a function has become closely aligned with marketing to create and communicate Employee Value Proposition rather than just filling numbers!!

Some of the trends visible in TA for next 3 years can be described by an acronym BASIC:




Interested (Candidates) and

Candidate (Experience).

With the evolution of social media and Employer-brand-focused sites like Glassdoor, the focus on building Employer Brand, showcasing the work culture & career growth will continue in the near future. For example Microsoft’s employer branding strategy starts with their Career site. Apart from posting job openings, they feature a JobsBlog and a section of the site is dedicated to ‘life at Microsoft,’ with details of the company’s values and career development opportunities. The blog features articles about what it is like to work at the company as well as profiling real employees.

Usage of Data Analytics right from tracking an application to developing true insights about future employees to analysing competitor talent pools (in order to find candidates with the right skills and potential) to examining data on whether full-time or part-time employees bring the highest return on investment is gaining huge importance.. For example, Xerox uses big data to hire new employees for its call centre using predictive analysis for attrition.

Another emerging trend is usage of Smartphone and adding new mobile tools, techniques and strategies including SMS, mobile application and tracking, social media to create a signature engagement experience with candidates. For Example GM and PepsiCo have Careers apps available for download on smartphones.

Converting passive candidates into Interested, Active Candidates will provide competitive edge to TA professionals. An employee referral program can be a great tool for recruiting passive candidates.

Creating an overall delight for Candidate will be the key differentiator. From the stage of pre-screening to explaining the job well to usage of gamification to create an experience of what life is like in an organization to getting a warm welcome on joining will go long way in retaining the talent.

So HR/TA professionals, Are you game for this Challenge??!!!!

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