Tue, 8 Aug, 2023
Not too long ago, talent acquisition (TA) played a supporting role in business operations. However, as the world of work undergoes profound changes, the importance of TA teams in driving organisational success has become evident. Recent research from PWC has sounded the alarm, revealing that 26% of employees are seriously considering changing jobs within the next 12 months – a significant increase from 2022’s 19%. Organisations that fail to adopt strategic talent acquisition practices risk losing their best people amidst this mass migration. It’s high time for TA leaders to claim their well-deserved seat at the top table.
People: A Priority on Paper, But Not in Reality
Once viewed as a straightforward recruitment process, talent acquisition has evolved into a strategic imperative for fostering business growth. CEOs are increasingly recognizing the importance of people-related issues, moving them up from the fifth to the third-place priority in recent times, as per a Gartner survey. Despite this acknowledgment, MBA and Executive Leadership programs are lagging when it comes to adequately training leaders in this critical area. Adding to the concern, talent acquisition teams are often the first to face cutbacks during challenging times, highlighting not only a skills gap in executive leadership but also an undervaluing of the TA function.
The prevailing boom-and-bust approach to talent acquisition is unsustainable and undermines efforts to cultivate a culture that empowers employees. Elevating talent acquisition to its rightful place at the top table yields significant benefits:
1. Alignment with Senior Leadership
Collaborating closely with other senior executives, TA leaders develop people-focused plans that align with the organisation’s strategy, vision, and market realities. Creating a culture of continuous learning and development is central to this alignment. By working hand-in-hand with senior leadership, TA teams can effectively plan for hiring surges and anticipate dry spells, leading to cost efficiencies and genuine value addition.
2. Senior Leadership as a Mouthpiece
The support of top leadership is crucial for implementing TA practices that align with the company’s vision and strategy. When leaders actively endorse these initiatives to the entire workforce, positive changes gain momentum more swiftly.
3. Alignment with Hiring Managers
Effective communication and a mutual understanding of business priorities between TA teams and hiring managers are vital. This collaboration ensures optimal resource allocation and attracts the right candidates for the organisation.
4. Cross-team Collaboration
Thriving TA teams collaborate with key departments to ensure success. Partnering with marketing, for example, ensures a unified employer branding message that attracts and retains top talent. Involving the finance team ensures efficient tracking and allocation of the talent acquisition budget. Engaging with business intelligence and operations teams provides access to valuable data that enhances decision-making.
Talent Acquisition as a Strategic Business Partner
The role of talent acquisition has transcended traditional recruitment. In today’s landscape, TA leaders are actively involved throughout the employee lifecycle. Armed with an in-depth understanding of the company’s culture, values, and long-term objectives, they proactively identify and attract top-tier talent that bridges crucial skills gaps and aligns with the company’s direction. Organisations that prioritise talent acquisition will be better positioned to attract and retain the right people.
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