Talent acquisition has become big business. More than $240 billion are spent annually on it in the United States.
What’s behind this explosive growth?
The answers are nothing new. Unless you just woke up from a 25-year deep sleep, companies are in a war for talent thanks to globalization, exponential change, technology, skill shortages, baby boomer retirements, the millennial shift and so on.
But that’s just part of the reason for the explosive growth of talent acquisition.
Talent acquisition can make or break a company, and it’s finally getting the respect it deserves.
For too long, talent acquisition was merely a human resources task that entailed posting an ad, reviewing resumes and setting up a few interviews. At that point many organizations seem to expect the next superstar to show up magically in the palm of its hand.
Today, business plans stall and companies fold when they can’t find enough of the right people. When companies that hire seasonal workers or rely on contingent workers can’t hire enough of them fast enough, sales falter.
At the executive, technical and sales levels, talent scarcity has reached code-red levels. And to add fuel to the fire, both quit levels and vacancy duration (time-to-fill) rates are at or near all-time highs.
So, what’s ahead in 2017?
(1) EMPLOYMENT BRANDING
Organizations can no longer hide the way they treat people. Employment branding must be a high priority.
From a great first-impression to a friendly and responsive experience, employer branding will separate winners from losers.
(2) PEOPLE ANALYTICS
HR data can no longer hide in file cabinets and spreadsheets. Using every piece of personnel data – from the school attended, years of experience and unplanned absences to specific skills and personality temperament – will create predictive models for sourcing, selection, retention and performance management.
Analytics will be able to accurately forecast everything from impact of weather and commute time on productivity to who should receive a raise or change jobs for career growth.
(3) APPLICANT TRACKING SOFTWARE
An explosion of companies adopting applicant tracking software will take place next year. ATS has evolved to where it is easy to use and affordable for any size business to buy.
It can score and assess candidates and help build and manage the candidate pipeline. Since more than 90 percent of most large companies already use an ATS, most of the growth will come from the under-1,000 employee companies.
Existing users also will replace their old ATS for similar reasons: old systems have become too hard to use and too expensive to operate. Without an efficient and modern ATS, companies will attract only lower-quality candidates and end up spending a lot more money.
(4) NETWORKS OF TEAMS
Companies will begin to hire people who can slide in and out of roles on multiple teams instead of doing a single job in a specific department. This will require better assessment and understanding of what personal values and personality traits make a team tick.
There must be less focus on just inserting bodies into seats and forcing people to work together based on job titles.
Ultimately, this will require new leadership and management skill sets. In, fact everyone will need leadership skills because on one team, an individual might be just a contributor, while on the next one, he might be in charge.
Next year will be just the tip of a disruptive iceberg that will transform the way companies acquire, engage and retain talent. But it’s also an opportunity.
It won’t be long before a candidate’s video resume will be analyzed for job- and culture-fit based on facial recognition patterns, tone of speech and the words used.
Games will begin to replace pre-employment test technology to assess candidate skills, personality type and the ability to collaborate.
And artificial intelligence will play a bigger and bigger role in talent acquisition and management, too, helping to make sense out of ambiguous steps, conscious bias and repetitive administrative tasks.
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