New Study Exposes Universal Challenges for Talent-Acquisition Leaders

By Sue Marks, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Cielo

This is part of a special advertising section featuring white papers.

We often presume that the challenges faced by talent-acquisition leaders vary by industry and geography.

Rightfully so, in some instances, but not all.

For example, Cielo recently teamed up with research groups to survey nearly 700 hiring organizations in North America, Western Europe, Asia Pacific and the Middle East. The study uncovered the perspectives HR and talent-acquisition leaders, business-unit leaders and C-level executives held regarding their organizations' talent-acquisition functions. We assumed their answers would vary based on location and industry -- but the results surprised us.

When it comes to the perceived importance and effectiveness of talent-acquisition functions, the challenges faced by talent-acquisition leaders are universal. Around the globe and throughout all industry sectors, talent leaders are encountering identical obstacles.

The good news is 89 percent of C-level leaders agree that talent is a core competitive advantage. A strong majority of C-level respondents also indicated that CEO involvement in recruiting matters will increase in the year ahead. That means talent is getting the executive support it deserves!

But other findings are not so positive. Despite strong support from C-level executives, talent acquisition teams are struggling to meet the basic expectations of business unit leaders. These stakeholders consistently rated talent acquisition's effectiveness as much lower than satisfactory across the 12 key dimensions of effective talent acquisition.

Defining the 12 Dimensions of Effective Talent Acquisition

Although specific business priorities vary from one organization to the next, Cielo identified 12 dimensions of the talent acquisition function that high-performing organizations consistently exhibit:

* Communicating employer value proposition,

* Crafting a comprehensive outreach strategy,

* Delivering great experiences for stakeholders,

* Delivering quality hires consistently,

* Demonstrating agility to meet changing demands,

* Generating insights contrasting workforce needs with the market supply of talent,

* Innovating to meet the demands of the business,

* Measurably impacting major organizational initiatives,

* Providing strategic thinking to shape business decisions,

* Sharpening recruiting acumen,

* Simplifying recruiting processes, and

* Using recruiting analytics to inform business decisions.

Each of these dimensions has a role to play in overall talent-acquisition performance, and together they drive lasting business results.

Depending on an individual's position within an organization, the importance of each dimension varies -- as do definitions of effectiveness. It is up to talent-acquisition leaders to understand each stakeholder's perspective, work to define key performance indicators and adjust their strategies accordingly to improve results.

Meeting the Core Needs of Stakeholders

"Delivering quality hires consistently" is perceived as the most important function of talent acquisition for all stakeholders. Looking at responses by role, however, tells a different story. When comparing the priorities of C-level executives to those of business-unit leaders, it becomes clear that business-unit leaders see talent acquisition's ability to provide strategic thinking and generate workforce insights as less important than demonstrating agility and innovating to meet business demands.

Over the last 25 years, the majority of talent-acquisition leaders have focused on automating processes and adopting new recruiting technologies -- calling it innovation, and losing sight of the true recruiting acumen that drives actual hiring outcomes, meaning the recruiters themselves and their ability to engage candidates. While modern technology and streamlined recruiting workflows certainly contribute to effective talent-acquisition functions, they must not take priority over delivering on what matters most: continuously improving core recruiting capabilities in order to consistently hire high-quality candidates.

Removing gaps in core competencies must become the top priority of talent-acquisition leaders for the coming year and beyond -- regardless of geography or industry.

Visit to download the full research report.

Oct 2, 2015
Copyright 2017© LRP Publications