The Talent Forecast: Hire with a Purpose

Firms may be missing an opportunity by not tying hiring to strategy, reports a new Korn Ferry survey.

It goes without saying that companies spend a lot of time looking for employees. According to one study, firms around the world interview, on average, 13 people for everyone they hire.

Yet many firms are neither tying their hiring efforts to their business strategy nor using tools to help make their hiring process streamlined and more efficient, according to a new study by Korn Ferry. Indeed, 61 percent of talent-acquisition professionals say their recruitment team is not aligned to their organization’s business objectives. Worse, 29 percent admit they don’t have a strategic workforce plan.

It’s a huge missed opportunity, says Sue Campbell, managing director for Korn Ferry Futurestep in Asia. “To successfully implement strategies such as M&A or organic growth, it’s critical for organizational and talent management leaders to step back and analyze the types of talent they need, what talent they have and how to fill the gaps.”

For each part of “The Talent Forecast,” Korn Ferry asked more than 1,100 talent-acquisition professionals around the world about the overall market for talent. Part 1 focused on how it has become more difficult to find talent over the past year. Part 2 highlights how many firms still view recruiting as a transactional activity unrelated to the firm’s business strategy (you can download Part 2 below)

The consequences of the hiring disconnect can be particularly harmful when an organization embarks on a major strategy or enters a new market. For example, the talent-acquisition team can smoothly build a strategy for identifying and recruiting candidates for an international expansion if the team finds out 18 months before the company expands abroad. If the talent-acquisition staff is informed later in the process, it will have to scramble to fill the positions.


Source: Korn Ferry Futurestep

Many hiring professionals are not fully utilizing available technology to engage and assess candidates, either. Only 28 percent of respondents report using mobile technology tools for recruitment. And even among those who use online tools, about one quarter of them don’t use the data the tools generate to inform onboarding or development strategies.

Firms aren’t averse to getting outside help; 88 percent say they work with recruitment process outsourcing partners, or RPOs, to find talent. However, relatively few organizations use other services that RPOs offer, such as employer branding, building talent communities, or creating metrics for reporting and decision making. Only 48 percent of survey respondents said they use applicant tracking systems for recruitment purposes, a surprisingly low number given that those systems are generally needed for regulatory compliance.

“RPO firms can be particularly valuable in bringing technology and innovation to bear on the recruitment process, but many organizations are using them strictly as tactical recruiting machines,” said Jan Mueller, managing director talent acquisition solutions at Korn Ferry Futurestep for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. RPOs can provide quantitative information about the target talent pool, compensation and social channel behaviors. At the same time, RPOs produce data on conversion rates, time-to-hire, qualified candidates per hire, and interviews per hire — all of which can help develop a more professional talent-acquisition process.