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Four Priorities for Talent Acquisition Leaders in 2022

Talent acquisition (TA) leaders share the ever-increasing pressures and expectations experienced by their CHRO, CDO, and other functional head colleagues—to deal with uncertainty, talent loss, and new ways of working. Add to that the urgency of making significant progress in addressing diversity, equity, and inclusion in their organizations, and driving candidate and employee experience that supports competitive advantage in attracting talent.

The sheer velocity of increasing hiring demand (compounded by the push for robust internal talent mobility and rising attrition), is a constant stressor for TA. So is the expectation in some organizations that talent acquisition can hire its way to a diverse workforce. Other urgent issues include continuously shifting priorities, and the lingering effects of the pandemic piled on to the existing pressures on TA to improve quality of hire, speed time to full productivity, decrease time to fill, and on and on. TA team engagement and burnout will continue to be challenges. So, identifying opportunities to train, engage, and grow TA team members is of vital importance.

The following priorities and predictions are excerpted from our 2022 Priorities & Predictions report, based on guidance from our Talent Acquisition Board.

1. Creating exceptional experiences

The shrinking talent pool notwithstanding, every organization must define a clear retention strategy and leverage their employee value proposition data to re-recruit their existing workforce. Along with increases in wages, astronomical sign-on bonuses and other incentives, and competition from other organizations, there is also increased expansion and encroachment into some industries on the part of companies not traditionally in a particular market—those new players are further ratcheting up competition for talent.

Talent strategies will emphasize expanding talent pools worldwide, diversity, equity, and inclusion, investing in creating exceptional candidate experiences and onboarding, and standing up global early career programs that deliver signature experiences. Redesigning key candidate-facing information in places such as the career website, on LinkedIn and Indeed, and developing compelling company profiles on global and regional job boards is another 2022 priority among TA leaders.

2. Deploying technology to streamline processes

Digital transformation and harmonized, accessible data tops the priority list of many TA leaders. It goes without saying that absent the right technology, legacy manual processes won’t scale and will hobble already slowed hiring processes. Automated vetting using AI and wider adoption of CRM usage can streamline and speed TA, but budgets can present challenges. Some organizations wrestle with tough choices in terms of where to invest resources. Should they spend on TA technology to help with the talent shortage? Or is spending on leadership development to help build new skills and capabilities to manage in this new era of work more of a priority? But it’s clear that the right technology is key to operational excellence and enabling talent acquisition to keep pace with increasing demands.

Upgrading technology to support TA’s capacity to deliver on core metrics related to volume, time, cost, and quality and increasing transparency around these metrics and data is a priority. So too is expanding the use of scorecards and continuous reporting that track each touchpoint in the talent acquisition funnel to drive better communication and sound decision-making. Finally, improving upon and introducing new ways to measure forecasted needs versus hires delivered is a metric TA leaders are especially keen on.

3. Ensuring and communicating EVP

 Candidates clearly have choices—organizations must ensure that the relevancy of their employee value proposition is a top priority. This starts with understanding what their current high-performing employees value, and what candidates want and need and making adjustments in response to this. TA leaders say the need for clear, concise, and meaningful EVP messaging along with a broad recruitment marketing campaign capability is also critical, especially because the talent narrative must evolve along with the value proposition for all employees, regardless of their work model— on-site, remote, or hybrid. This highlights the need to improve on TA-to-operations communications and speed up the communication cycle.

Storytelling plays a key role in all of this; the ability to persuasively tell candidates the story of what the organization does, what its guiding principles are, what it offers to employees, and why they should consider joining is table stakes in high-performance talent acquisition. The best EVP offerings and healthiest culture in the world won’t resonate with candidates if the message isn’t delivered in a genuine and engaging way.

4. Building capacity through simplification, speed, and development

Changing talent needs vary from market to market, which is a reason why so many organizations are taking a closer look at structure and roles and TA process simplification across the board. Talent acquisition teams need more hiring flexibility to be able to quickly respond to current and future challenges. This requires a TA strategy refresh for many organizations—one that takes into account the new reality of a post-pandemic world and the impact of the past two years on context and internal change of people strategy. Some TA functions plan to focus on development inside the organization and increased internal mobility in the form of launching or expanding existing talent marketplaces that emphasize opportunity and fair and open competition. A few also plan to refocus on diversity of candidate slates and partnering with HR to provide ongoing hiring manager training and development.

For more insights from Talent Acquisition leaders, download our 2022 Priorities & Predictions report.