Effective talent acquisition is a key priority for many businesses. It can help you prepare your organisation for the future by finding the talent you need to grow, evolve and overcome new challenges.

If your company aspires to long-term, sustainable success, a ‘good’ talent acquisition strategy might not be enough - you should be looking for something great.

In today’s tight and competitive labour market, this is certainly a challenge, but there are many tools, technologies and strategic options that can help your firm achieve its goals.

the talent acquisition challenge

Talent acquisition is one of the biggest challenges facing businesses - and particularly HR departments - at the moment. It’s a major consideration in industries that are struggling to cope with skills shortages.

Research has warned that a “global talent crisis” could cost countries around the world trillions of dollars in unrealised annual revenues by 2030. The technology, media and telecom industries alone could face a shortage of more than one million skilled employees globally by 2020.

This is an area of business where even the biggest multinationals have occasionally fallen short. Jennifer Candee, global head of talent acquisition and employer brand at Mondelez International, said this function has changed “so drastically and so quickly” that organisations have not always grown with it.

She told the Recruiter: “It’s about the three levers - cost, quality and speed - and if cost and speed are of the utmost importance, then quality goes down. They all have to be in a nice balance.”

There are many examples of multinational brands that have made a success of their talent acquisition efforts. Mastercard and Asos, for instance, have seen results through their use of employee advocacy.

Finding the most effective approach for your business could prove vital to your ongoing evolution and success in a changing labour market.

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taking talent acquisition to the next level

One of the most important considerations of all, as you seek to revitalise your talent acquisition efforts, is your employer brand. If this is strong, you have the crucial foundation you need to build a healthy talent pipeline and bring in vital skills to grow and develop as a business.

Some of the most powerful examples of how a strong brand can help you access talent can be found in the big tech sector. Google, for instance, can pretty much take its pick of the most qualified and experienced candidates thanks to the profile it has built up as an innovative employer, which gives its people the freedom they need to do their best work.

According to Randstad’s latest employer branding research, salary/benefits and work/life balance are the top reasons for people to choose an employer in 2019, followed by job security and a pleasant workplace atmosphere. If your organisation can demonstrate its commitment to these priorities, which are clearly important to workers, your brand and talent acquisition efforts will benefit.

Another concept that is becoming more important with each passing year is flexibility. Placing trust in your workforce and allowing them to do their jobs in an innovative, adaptable way reflects positively on you as an employer.

In the conclusion to its latest Future of Work report, Korn Ferry said: “The future of work doesn’t just require different skill sets, but entirely new ways of working. We will see successful organisations moving from a paternalistic approach to a more mature, flexible relationship with their people, built on mutual respect. We can also expect a more fluid labour market, with staff brought in on a per-project basis.”

key technologies

Like many areas of business, talent acquisition will be hugely influenced by the ongoing evolution of technology in the coming years.

One area of innovation that could prove particularly significant is artificial intelligence, a space that has the potential to greatly improve talent acquisition and retention, according to 96 per cent of recruiters.

AI applications - and related concepts such as machine learning and automation - can greatly enhance your potential to identify the strongest candidates and predict their success, maintain candidate engagement and optimise onboarding processes.

The Randstad Innovation Fund has backed a number of technologies that offer great potential for employers to reinvent their talent acquisition strategies.

AllyO, for example, uses customisable AI and other innovations to boost recruitment conversions and the candidate experience, while Checkster can enable better talent decisions through functions such as automated reference checking.

As the world of work continues to evolve and businesses face an increasingly diverse range of talent challenges, applications such as these could prove more important than ever to employers.

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