Talent Acquisition – thinking beyond Recruitment

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Today (April 9, 2017) I completed reading “Talent Acquisition Enter the Cognitive Recruiter” section in Deloitte 2017 Human Capital Trends Report. Found it interesting as Talent Acquisition (TA) ranks as a 3rd priority (a total surprise!) and secondly it made me revisit my memories of global recruitment experience. The terms Recruitment and TA are considered to be equivalent by many individuals and organizations. However, difference does exist. Bersin by Deloitte aptly define TA as a strategic approach comprising of recruitment components (sourcing channels, screening and interviewing, assessing, and selecting) as well as other strategic and process components (workforce planning and segmentation, employment branding, candidate experience management, process expertise and compliance, integration with talent management framework, and analytics/metrics). In other words, TA is more of a gestalt approach that is proactive and dynamic. Today’s VUCA world mandates companies (irrespective of their size) to think beyond recruitment. The intention should not be limited to just opening and closing a position but it should be more proactive and holistic in nature. Companies and their leadership team need to understand importance of TA as it helps align business needs and strategic expertise with the available cross-generational workforce skills, abilities, sourcing strategies available to tap the talent, branding and campaigns to attract talent, technology as a key differentiator and strengthening the candidate-company relationship to enhance overall value proposition. It’s important to note that TA components don’t operate in vacuum. Planning and working through the components becomes challenging due to the volatile flux of different environmental (internal and external) factors like rapid technology advancements, demand to shorten hiring cycle, candidates needs and expectations, lack of adequate talent within an organization to streamline the hiring process, use of traditional sourcing channels, unstructured interviews, screening and interview process guided by interplay of different biases, inability of a company to invest in technological-driven applicant tracking systems (ATS), …. and the list continues. Implementing TA requires a company to think beyond recruitment, understand, tweak and tune TA components as per its business needs, consider the various operating forces within and outside the company, and plan on how to integrate all the TA components seamlessly into a gestalt to facilitate streamlined execution. Feel free to share your thoughts and insights on the importance of Talent Acquisition. By V Lakshmi Chirravuri