New Study Identifies Areas for Vast Improvement in Talent Acquisition

The Allegis Group recently released “Staying in Front: An Inside Look at the Changing Dynamics of Talent Acquisition”, the latest state of recruiting report from the global leader in talent solutions. The study is based on a worldwide survey of nearly 7,000 employers, talent acquisition professionals and job candidates and measures company satisfaction across key talent acquisition practice areas, along with investor opinion regarding major trends.

The survey found that less than 10 percent (7.7) of employers strongly agree that they are able to efficiently fill open positions, attract top-quality talent and optimize expenses through their current recruiting process. Most employers (92.3 percent) expressed low satisfaction with their recruitment method and appear to be contributing to their own talent shortages through a lack of communication with talent acquisition professionals and a variety of other shortfalls impacting the hiring and retention of quality employees.

“We know, based on our experience working with companies around the world to address their talent needs, that there is no such thing as ‘just good enough’ recruiting,” said Andy Hilger, Allegis Group presiden. “The market has become progressively more competitive in the professional and technical fields, as well as across many other skill sets. The priority must be best-in-class recruitment. We hope to help companies close some key gaps and ultimately triumph in the marketplace by sharing insights on what makes a great talent acquisition organization and pinpointing what is and isn’t succeeding.

Report Highlights

The report addresses several recruitment challenges, beginning with high demands on employers to be proficient at job definitions, sourcing, screening and onboarding. Employers also face developing trends, including advances in artificial intelligence (AI), evolving views on diversity and inclusion (D&I), and the emergence of the Millennial generation as the largest demographic in the workforce  – all of which exert pressure in several ways.

  • Mismatched expectations for “turnkey hires” driving qualified candidates away. Only 28 percent of hiring managers at companies expect a perfect match – candidates that arrive fully equipped with necessary skills and experience. Yet, 50 percent of the talent acquisition professionals they work with, and 53 percent of candidates, think full qualifications must be met. This communication disconnect is keeping hiring managers away from many candidates they would otherwise consider for employment.
  • Sourcing channels fall short of expectations. The majority of talent organizations were, on average, 67 percent less likely than “most satisfied” employers to rate a sourcing channel as “very effective.” These channels, in descending order of preference (rating of “very effective”) by those “most satisfied” employers, include: referral programs (71 percent), recruitment/staffing firms (59 percent), social media (59 percent), job boards and affiliates (53 percent), employer website (53 percent), search engine marketing and digital ads (47 percent), mobile apps (46 percent), career networking events (44 percent), employer rating sites (40 percent), email marketing (39 percent), freelance/”gig” matching platforms (20 percent), print ads and broadcast ads (17 percent).
  • Faulty screening process leaving companies behind. “Most satisfied” employers are 78 percent more likely than others to clearly communicate their top three skills requirements and have recruiters understand them. Most companies lag behind in other fundamental screening practices, including establishing culture fit characteristics, bringing non-recruiting stakeholders into the screening process and contacting references. 
  • Digital assessment tools established, evolving. Candidates, hiring managers and talent acquisition pros all agree that tests for culture fit, cognitive abilities and personality are effective. More recent developments, such as mobile matching systems and game-based assessments (both rated effective by 60 percent of hiring managers), are slightly lower on the list but expected to rise as stakeholders gain more exposure. 
  • Poor onboarding sends new hires to the exits. Of surveyed candidates, 54 percent were “somewhat” or “very likely” to leave an organization based on a poor onboarding experience. When it comes to readiness for a new hire’s first day – encompassing introductions to teammates and key stakeholders, manager meetings, and facility tours – more than 70 percent of hiring managers say they “always” cover these activities, yet only 23 to 50 percent of candidates agree. 
  • Poor hiring experience causes adverse ripple effect. When it comes to the hiring process, 56 percent of candidates are “somewhat” or “very likely” to discourage others from applying if they had a poor hiring experience. On the other hand, 81 percent say they’d encourage others if the process were a positive one.