Long in use in the U.K. and Europe, "total talent acquisition" is a fairly new concept in the U.S. market, but the practice is gaining momentum.
Total talent acquisition incorporates a company’s talent strategy with its overall business strategy to advance consistency in hiring every type of worker, from the traditional employee to the independent contractor. The practice guides businesses to better understand their human resource needs and incorporate a strategy to acquire the best possible talent to meet their business objectives.
A recent survey by Cielo polled more than 1,000 corporate stakeholders, and more than 90% of respondents said total talent acquisition was a top focus. HR Dive connected with Marissa Geist, executive vice president and managing director of the Americas for Cielo, to discuss the study and total talent acquisition in general.
"Total talent is a shift in mindset about a company’s workforce," she said via email. Early adopters were driven by cost, compliance or other objectives, but new players in the game are using total talent to address a new workforce not necessarily made up of full-time workers. In fact, many companies have determined that just looking at traditional employees as their workforce is insufficient, she added. The study also found that while 54% of stakeholders surveyed said their company has more open positions than ever before, 70% believe the existing talent pool is shrinking while the competition for talent is increasing.
Bridging the gaps
The goal is to ensure employers have the resources to deliver on objectives. Frequently, HR is in charge of hiring full and part-time staff, while procurement or even department heads are sourcing independent contractors or temps. These practices obscure the overall hiring needs of the company, creating a gap between expectation and performance.
"When those silos are removed and the company gains visibility to the total workforce," Geist said, "it enables them to be much more strategic in analyzing their talent requirements, as well as forecasting, planning and executing on a consistent, comprehensive talent acquisition program."
At Pontoon, the company sees total talent acquisition as a shift to a truly integrated strategy and unique global approach; all parts of an organization are focusing on global talent recruitment and development in order to support the company’s strategy.
"We’ve found that companies understand this global shift and that focusing on talents and breaking down silos is key," Matt Lauro, head of strategic products at Pontoon, told HR Dive in an email.
The bigger picture
"Total talent acquisition refers to a recruiting approach leveraged in the open talent economy," Denise Moulton, human resources & talent research leader at Bersin, Deloitte Consulting LLP. Total talent can help a business become more agile and scale to meet workforce demands in real time even as massive disruptions cause organizations to pull workers from a variety of sources, she said in an email.
"Talent acquisition teams are constantly leveraging new approaches and improving core capabilities to deliver timely workforce solutions," she added.
Talent definitely drives an organization’s agenda, Lauro continued. Managing talent holistically has a lot of benefits to an organization, especially given the tight labor markets employers are seeing across the globe. But a recent study Pontoon conducted showed that 70% of organizations believed they were either not capable or only capable to some extent of delivering future-ready talent.
Geist says Cielo has seen reduced time to hire, better stakeholder satisfaction, enhanced brand reputation and an immediate reduction of staffing agency spend when they adopted the model.
"Breaking down siloes within an organization and linking strategy globally have never been easy tasks for companies," said Lauro. But companies that are ready to make the investment and truly approach this holistically are the ones that will see the best benefits.
Moulton believes business will see improvement across a variety of categories if they implement total talent acquisition practices. "Notable outcomes such as improved cost and time to hire, efficiency of sourcing practices, streamlined recruiting, reinforced employment brand, consistent hiring manager and candidate experiences are well within reach with the total talent acquisition approach," Moulton said.
"The standard recruitment approaches of today will not keep up with the way of working tomorrow," Lauro said. The way companies hire and manage talent has changed dramatically just in the last few years. As market conditions continue to evolve, Lauro continued, organizations "need to ensure we’re constantly innovating and staying ahead of where the talent market is going."