It’s Always A Good Time to Invest in Talent Acquisition Systems

April 10, 2014

HRct Gold Bricks

People often ask HRchitect, why would my company want to invest in a new talent acquisition system during debatable economic times and when we have few open requisitions to fill, low turnover and plenty of active candidates?

The simple answer is that leading companies invest in strategic initiatives during both good and bad economic cycles. During challenging economic times, while their competitors are busy freezing budgets and putting projects on hold, industry leaders continue to selectively invest in strategic new systems. During robust times, the need is more apparent.

Strategic C-Level executives understand that in order to successfully execute the company’s business plan, they need the right people, in the right positions, at the right time, independent of the current economic environment. Qualified talent must also be available at the right cost. Savvy staffing and human resource executives understand that they are responsible for delivering a continuous supply of qualified talent at the right cost. This future global talent pool will include qualified external candidates, internal candidates (i.e., employees) and a flexible contingent workforce.

In order to be recognized as a strategic member of the executive team, staffing and human resource executives also need to communicate in business terms and analyze their results using strategic metrics. These visionary executives are sponsoring projects to evaluate, select and implement new generation talent acquisition systems (or finding ways to get more out of existing systems) as the technology foundation for future success. In addition to traditional metrics like time-to-fill, cost-per-hire and revenue-per employee, metrics are evolving to become more actionable and predictive.

Many organizations now focus on quality not on quantity. For example, your sourcing analysis may tell you that most of your new hires for a certain position are coming from social talent sourcing. However, after a year on the job, the top performers with the highest performance ratings were almost all employee referrals.   This type of actionable information helps recruiters implement the most cost effective sourcing strategy. In addition, identification of your top performers and the screening and interview processes that they went through will help you to refine, as necessary, those processes to help increase your quality hires.

Companies are also looking at metrics like new hire turnover, failure rates and employee longevity as strategic measures of quality. Predictive analysis is driven by prior trending results that can be used to reduce risk in making future human capital management expenditures. For example, if turnover of employees with 5 years experience continues as expected, the company will experience succession issues within 3 years.

During a down economy, most companies focus on streamlining business processes and reducing costs.Also, from the employee’s standpoint, this economic environment tends to not only discourage job changes, but also create more pressure to perform. Employees are being asked to deliver more with fewer resources. Many employees, including top performers, will opt to stay in their current jobs until the economy shows a clear sign of recovery. If their employer has not treated them well, they will actively seek new opportunities as soon as the economic expansion is clearly underway. Leading companies invest in new systems that allow them to establish relationships with these passive candidates and build a global talent database. As the economy recovers, these companies will leverage the database to recruit the top talent and gain an advantage over their competitors.

Leading companies also recognize that internal mobility, the movement of employees from one position to another within a corporation, is an efficient and cost-effective method of talent deployment and can be a significant component of a company’s staffing and employee-retention strategy. Making job opportunities available to existing employees (i.e., internal candidates) leads to greater employee satisfaction and retention, while at the same time lowering staffing costs and filling positions more quickly.Retaining your top performers requires more than just posting jobs on the internal career site. Today’s next generation talent acquisition systems provide employees with the capability to create electronic profiles that include their skills, competencies and career aspirations. Employees can set up personal search agents and be automatically notified when their “dream job” becomes available.

We believe, whatever the current economic cycle, but especially during times of economic growth, that there will be a major shifting of talent. Leading companies that have implemented new generation talent acquisition systems will leverage the relationships they have fostered with the best candidates to gain a competitive advantage. They will also be in a better position to retain their top talent because they have identified their top performers and put in place career development initiatives to retain them. Having a talent acquisition system that meets your organizations needs and requirementscould be your first step towarddelivering a continuous supply of qualified talent at the right cost and being recognized as a strategic member of the executive team.

So now that we have you thinking about either automating your current manual processes, replacing the system you have, or simply optimizing your current system, turn to HRchitect before you do anything. HRchitect has assisted hundreds of leading companies in the evaluation, selection and implementation of talent acquisition systems (and actually human capital management systems of all types), and we stand at the ready to help you.

Matt Lafata2

Matt Lafata

HRchitect president