There’s a Bigger Role for Research in TA

There’s a Bigger Role for Research in TA

The FiRM has just published its 2015 / 2016 membership survey. As a sponsor of this annual project, at Write Research we are always intrigued to see the results, especially in-house recruitment’s predictions for the coming year, as that helps guide where our research solutions can add most value.

The value of research

I was heartened to see research named as one of the top channels for sourcing (number seven) but as our industry matures, and attitudes change, I’d hope to see this rank a lot higher next year! At present research is still largely believed to be market mapping, which is part of the solution but is also one of the reasons why I think it’s under-valued in the talent acquisition process.

It’s true that in the past, market mapping has been sold as a stand-alone solution and whilst that provides a snapshot in time, the clients that use research and mapping as part of a strategic approach find research delivers much more. Market mapping is only part of the first step in any research led project. Stage one should incorporate all desk and phone based research, using a vast range of sources to determine not only who is in the market, but also market trends and views.

Stage two is still research, but it’s not market mapping. It involves approaching and engaging with whole of market talent to give valuable insight into ‘what good looks like’, talent availability, employer brand perception, salaries and best practice amongst your competition.

Stage three should pull the research together, analyse it and deliver recommendations. Whilst mapping alone still holds some value, it is what happens to that data that delivers real, tangible business results. With this in mind, I anticipate that research as a whole will be in the top three channels for sourcing in 2016.

Supporting the in-house team

The major challenges named by recruitment professionals this year are finding the right people, competing with preferred employers, and moving from resourcing to a talent acquisition model. The last point in particular piqued my interest, especially when considered alongside the day to day workload and expectations of the TA function.

According to The FiRM’s survey, the majority of respondents are handling up to 50 jobs at any one time. I am often asked how many requisitions we believe it is possible handle and, of course, this depends on a number of factors. This may be the type of hire, seniority, experience of the team, quality of interaction with the hiring manager, sources available, the mix of role any one person is working on and the external marketplace to name a few!

In our experience businesses should track not only open requisitions, but also closed requisitions. The difference between the two is perhaps the sensible measurement to see where the ‘real’ requisitions are from the stakeholders, to identify the similarities across these roles and to use this to see where recruiters need support.

Grouping these by the sources used, the type of role, and the characteristics of the company, employer brand, industry and talent environment will help to identify areas where support for your in-house team will improve their results in other areas. By far the most important measurement should be the quality of hire that is achieved.

Controlling the message

Taking a look at sourcing, almost half of respondents (47%) are posting on six or more job boards. Based on the survey it is hard to analyse how targeted this is and therefore how efficient or effective this is.   Web based sourcing forms just one element of our desk based research. Our sourcers use a blended mix of channels relevant to the role type and project.

Where multiple job boards are used for the same type of role there will inevitably be a crossover of candidates – it is therefore essential to control the message to market and to maximise make sure the screening and selection process removes any inefficiencies this may create.

Thanks to The FiRM for a great snapshot of talent acquisition. You can download the full report from their website. Here’s to moving research up the strategic recruitment agenda in 2016![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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