Data: Only 13% of Companies Are Optimized for Talent Acquisition

Data: Only 13% of Companies Are Optimized for Talent Acquisition

Emily Smykal

recruiting leadership developmentIt’s common to describe businesses today as “mature,” or sometimes the opposite. We even break down different components within a company and analyze each one’s maturity level. How well does R&D anticipate future customer desires? How quickly does Marketing respond to social media trends? This same line of thinking applies to a company’s hiring process–better described as talent acquisition maturity.

A mature talent acquisition strategy has a number of characteristics. It has moved far past the reactive state and actively embraces new technology. HR leaders in late stages of maturity fully understand their company’s goals, and anticipate needs rather than waiting to be told that one has arisen. Where a reactive recruitment strategy might involve copying and pasting job descriptions from one job board to the next, proactive, mature strategies forecast future openings, and rely on relevant data and social media outlets to identify and attract quality hires.

Competition among businesses includes competition for talent, and the most successful talent acquisition teams utilize the most proactive and optimized tools available to them. Unfortunately, the transition from reactive to proactive practices is still a long way off for many. A recent survey from DDI World found that among senior leaders across the globe, 43% described their own HR leaders as reactive.

A recent report from Bersin by Deloitte supports this disparity. In their report, High-Impact Talent Acquisition 2014, the research company conducted a survey of 297 talent acquisition leaders at American and Canadian businesses with 100 or more employees. Their results show 35% of respondents are still in the reactive stage of the maturity model, and only 13% have reached the most optimized, proactive level. In this post we’ll take a closer look at talent acquisition maturity, and how businesses can leave their reactive days behind.

Talent Maturity By the Numbers

The Talent Acquisition Maturity Model created by Bersin by Deloitte has four levels, and businesses cultivate new tactics as they progress through each level. They estimate a truly reactive talent acquisition strategy could take about two years to reach the top level, although not every company will move through the model in the same way.

Level 1: 35% of companies use Reactive Tactical Recruiting strategies

In this stage, recruiting is often unsurprising and automatic. Positions are filled as they become available, and hiring managers don’t have much of a recruiting strategy to speak of. Some may be relying on outdated technology for their candidate experience, or even using self-made tools like spreadsheets to track applicants. Recruiters in these companies are expected to get the job done with little oversight, and as a result, they expect little support from their CxOs and senior leaders.

Level 2: 29% of companies use Standardized Operational Recruiting strategies

Companies that have reached Level 2 on the maturity model have developed a better appreciation for the importance of high-impact talent acquisition. Job descriptions are more clearly defined, and employer branding is better managed. Recruiters at this level may start building talent pipelines and working more closely with their managers and senior leaders. Technology needs become more apparent at this stage, but truly integrated systems are not yet in use.

Level 3: 23% of companies use Integrated Talent Acquisition strategies

The jump from Level 2 to Level 3 requires more technology and more cross-platform tactics, combined with stronger external and internal relationships. Senior leaders support proactive changes in HR, and recruiters take a leading role in cultivating the employer brand. Social media sourcing, employee referrals and community recruiting programs are all in place. And hiring managers can utilize data to provide real-time results and define new KPIs.

Level 4: 13% of companies use (Proactive) Optimized Talent Acquisition strategies

Talent acquisition teams at Level 4 combine all of the proactive tactics they’ve been developing to forecast future needs, improve their decision-making, invest in new products, and command a more active role within the company. The recruitment of top talent is expected at this point, along with an irresistible employer brand and an engaging candidate experience.

Moving the Dial on Talent Acquisition Maturity

Reaching Level 4 on the maturity model requires more than simply buying software and blasting posts all over social media. But it isn’t meant to be an impossible goal. Talent acquisition leaders should view their progress towards maturity as a continuous improvement model. HR leaders can refine their model and become more proactive in part by focusing on what Bersin by Deloitte describes as “gateway drivers”:

  • Actively build a “seat at the table” – demonstrate a critical understanding of the company’s goals, and actively participate in the direction of the business and its workforce.
  • Predict external forces and remain agile – anticipate future needs to counteract losses in productivity and respond quickly when unexpected openings occur.
  • Improve workforce decisions through metrics – collect and analyze meaningful data to measure performance and guide talent acquisition strategies.
  • Invest in new TA products and services – staying ahead of the curve in recruitment technologies.

Bersin by Deloitte found that, when measuring business outcomes, Level 4 talent acquisition strategies performed 30% better on average that those still at Level 1. They also performed 160% better when it came to talent acquisition performance outcomes. By continuously evaluating and improving upon recruitment strategies HR leaders will find themselves not just more proactive, but more successful, at attracting top talent and developing a leading workforce.

Interested in recruiting recruitment strategies, analytics, and the future of big data in talent acquisition? Sign up for the Data Driven Recruiter blog.

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