Talent Acquisition Study Identifies Areas for Improvement

A new study from Allegis Group, a global leader in talent solutions, gauges the satisfaction of companies across key talent practice areas, and looks at stakeholder views on major trends. The key takeaway is that there is room for improvement.

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It’s worth noting that this is not a small study. Allegis Group surveyed 7,000 employers, talent acquisition professionals, and job candidates from around the world – and issues are widespread.
According to the survey, less than 10 percent (7.7 percent) of employers strongly agree that their recruitment process enables them to fill open positions quickly, attract top-quality talent, and optimize costs. With the vast majority of employers (92.3 percent) expressing less-than-optimal satisfaction with their recruitment process, many appear to be fueling their own talent shortages – a scenario worsened by a communication disconnect with talent acquisition professionals, as well as other shortfalls impacting employee hiring and retention.
“Based on our experience addressing talent needs for companies around the world, we know there is no such thing as ‘just good enough’ recruiting,” said Andy Hilger, president of Allegis Group. “The market has grown increasingly competitive across many skill sets, particularly in the professional and technical arenas. Best-in-class recruitment must be a priority. We hope sharing insights on what sets great talent acquisition organizations apart – and identifying what is and isn’t working – will help companies close some key gaps and, ultimately win in the marketplace.”

Study Highlights

The study finds 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 are, 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), and 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 are expected to increase as stakeholders gain more exposure.
  • Poor onboarding sends new hires to the exits. Among surveyed candidates, 54 percent are “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.

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