Each year on the first Wednesday of September, Global Talent Acquisition Day is celebrated.
Talent acquisition – the process of recruiting the right talent – is something that sits firmly within HR’s remit. Whether this talent acquisition is completed under an HR directors stewardship or the recruitment process is overseen by a specialised talent acquisition practitioner, the function holds an important role for the business. A skilled workforce is an asset to the business and it helps them remain relevant in the market, competitive and commercially viable.
So, with talent acquisition playing such an important role for employers, HR Grapevine caught up with several seasoned HR professionals to find out the current lay of the land in the talent acquisition space.
James Gillard, Global Head of Talent Acquisition at Travelex explained that there is currently a big focus on the HR technology that is available, what it can do, and how it should be used. He said:
“I think a lot of companies hope tech will give them the magic to solve their problems, believing AI will work out why the problems exist and fix them."
“However, if you don’t have the right basics in place with solid processes, systems that communicate together and a team that not only truly understands what a manager is looking for in their team but also what it takes to be successful at the company as well as caring about the candidate experience, then no amount of tech will improve talent acquisition. Taking bad basics and implementing in to tech, only amplifies the problems, it doesn’t solve for them.”
It seems that evolving technology is not the only thing for employers should be considering. According to Lindsay Bridges, Senior Vice President HR UK&I, DHL Supply Chain, with UK employment rates reaching record high levels back in June, jobseekers have had more choice when it comes to choosing a company to work for. She told HR Grapevine that this poses as a big challenge for talent acquisition and employers have more to consider when striving to attract new talent.
Bridges explained: “It’s fundamental for employers to consider the needs of prospective candidates. Expectations are changing and people want to work for more than just a pay cheque. They want flexibility, clear career progression and managers that also serve as mentors. When it comes to the work-life balance we’re told we can have it all, so it’s crucial for employers to consider what jobseekers are looking for outside of the 9-5 in order to attract the top talent.
“As well as the content of a job posting, employers need to also consider the candidates' journey after they apply. The employee experience begins during recruitment so it’s vital that the process delivers a positive and efficient candidate experience for the. Technology is a real asset when hiring talent, whether it be the use of AI in APS, reaching people via social media or video interviewing, but it has to be used properly to be effective and deliver a favourable impression of the company hiring,” she concluded.
Lastly, introducing initiatives that enhance candidate and employee experience is currently key in the talent acquisition space. Sally Sourbron, Senior HR Director EMEA at ServiceNow described attracting and retaining top talent as “both an art and a science”. She added: “Many organisations are struggling to implement technologies that improve the employee experience and HR is not always recognised as a driver of digital transformation.
“The reality is that HR plays a pivotal role in creating a more personalised, predictive, and seamless employee experience where businesses can position their companies to win the best talent — driving productivity and corporate performance. We spend so much of our lives at work, so we need to make sure it’s a great experience.”