What Is Talent Acquisition Telling Us?

What Is Talent Acquisition Telling Us?

The FIRM has recently released their Annual Membership Survey for 2015/2016 and, as ever, it makes for very interesting reading.

205 in-house talent acquisition heads and senior resourcers from some of the world’s leading companies completed the survey, which asked them a variety of questions around talent acquisition structure, future talent, attraction, sourcing, tech, future challenges and so on. I thought it would be interesting to pick out some of the key findings and examine what talent acquisition is telling us.

The top two talent acquisition priorities of respondents for next year are direct sourcing (51%) and building talent pools (45%). It is no surprise then, that 84% of respondents said that they use LinkedIn as one of their main candidate sourcing channels and 67% revealed that they do not outsource any part of the recruitment process and keep all procedures in-house.

That said, 61% still don’t have a separate sourcing function.

Interestingly, 56% of respondents answered ‘agency’ to the candidate sourcing channels question, which surprises me a little (though I have nothing against recruitment agencies, especially the good ones) given the strong focus on direct sourcing and keeping external spend on placement fees to a minimum (31% work with an annual budget of £250k or below); two key factors for the majority of senior talent acquisition heads that I know and work with.

By far and away the most fascinating set of statistics were these:

  • 61% will see an increase in the level of recruitment activity in 2016 (between 10% and 25%) compared to last year
  • 52% manage or work in talent acquisition teams of five people or less
  • 49% manage between 21 and 100 requisitions at any given time


Startling enough data when each one is viewed in isolation, but it’s when all three are considered as a collective that the real issue comes to the fore. What the in-house talent acquisition community is telling us here is that (a) they’ll have more work to do next year, with (b) teams that aren’t big enough to cope with (c) the number of requisitions they already have to deal with, let alone next year’s increase in both roles to fill and general activity.

If (a) is true and (c) does get worse next year, then (b) really needs to be looked at. But, in a world where budgets are likely to stay the same (at best) and Heads of Talent Acquisition or Resourcing Directors don’t have the luxury of simply adding new recruits to their team just because they need them, it’s more than likely that most talent acquisition/resourcing teams will have to work harder, smarter, quicker (and all those other nasty words that come down from the boardroom…) simply to stand still. Not great.

Interesting times ahead for the in-house talent acquisition community, it seems.



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