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Acquiring the Best Talent


The challenge of attracting talent is greater than ever - according to the latest CIPD survey [1], 75% of firms experienced difficulties trying to recruit the talent they need.  And the cost of getting it wrong is increasing:  27% [2] of firms reported that a bad hire costs more than £50,000 in a single year.


The growth of business and social media tools means that internal recruitment teams are under greater pressure to ‘do-it-themselves’.  There is an expectation from candidates that they have direct access to a prospective employer and those employers want to reduce the costs of external agencies, who may have done much of the sourcing activity historically.


The roles of internal recruitment functions are changing:  they are being required to do more sourcing and less selecting. This means that more of the responsibility for interviewing, which remains the dominant (83% 1) selection method, is moving to line-managers.  Participants in the process may find themselves uncomfortable in their new roles; lacking the skills, experience and knowledge to succeed.  The resulting tension this creates does not augur well for successful talent attraction and selection.


Identifying and attracting both active and passive candidates increasingly requires a joined-up effort.  Recruitment functions need to link with strategy, marketing, brand and communications functions.  The realisation is now that the real ‘employment brand’ is leaving work every day, talking with their friends, posting information on social media sites, tweeting, updating their LinkedIn profiles, and so on.  Most (86% 1) companies have taken action to improve their employer brand, although this has predominately been via enhancement of corporate websites (65% 1) with very limited attention (25% 1) given to measuring the impacts of such efforts.  Building this brand requires management of many interfaces and recruitment needs a stronger voice in the activities managed by other departments.


The challenge is not just one for the mid-sized and larger companies.  Smaller organisations, that may not have a separate recruitment team, can simply be overwhelmed by what they need to do to find and select the best people.  Often these companies default to recruiting people that they know and like; this may work in the short-term, but rarely is this strategy likely to deliver the growth to which most aspire.  Putting in place an appropriate attraction and selection process often becomes one of the most valuable decisions companies make, but too few of them make it at the right time.




[1] CIPD Resourcing and Talent Planning 2015 survey report


[2] CareerBuilder report, May 8th 2013, based upon findings from a global survey, conducted online by Harris Interactive© from November 1 to November 30, 2012

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