Recruiting, Talent

Strategic Talent Investment Is a Must as Economy Rebounds

If you’re looking to come out strong post-COVID-19, then you better start making more investments in your current talent, according to new research released by Randstad Sourceright.


Organizations that build an agile workforce and make strategic investments in human capital during the coronavirus crisis will be best positioned to gain market share and overtake competitors, finds Randstad Sourceright’s new Talent Trends report.

“Talent Trends, COVID-19 & the future of work,” which draws from a global survey of more than 800 human capital and C-suite leaders across 17 markets, identifies which trends will be key for companies to thrive in a post-COVID-19 world. These include:

  • The creation of an agile workforce,
  • Utilization of talent analytics,
  • Adoption of digital workflows,
  • Managing the employer brand, and
  • Investment in HR technology and reskilling programs.

“COVID-19 has had an enormous and unexpected impact on the world’s health and economy,” says Rebecca Henderson, CEO of Randstad Global Businesses, in a press release. “Perhaps the most important lesson to be learned from a business perspective is that human capital and business leaders need to expect the unexpected.”

“The only way to be able to thrive when crisis hits, and subsequently when things stabilize, is to be agile; agile in business strategy, workforce strategy, employee reskilling strategy and tech strategy,” Henderson suggests. “That mindset applies both to organizations that faced unprecedented demand during the pandemic as well as companies whose business came to a grinding halt as the economy slowed.”

More Businesses Make Post-COVID Investments

The new Talent Trends report also reveals that organizations are increasingly using data and technology to predict needs within their business and fill talent gaps quickly. Nearly half (47%) of respondents said they were spending more on predictive talent analytics, and 64% indicated they were already investing significantly or moderately in analytics capabilities. A vast majority (81%) viewed analytics as critical in their ability to acquire talent—a sentiment that has been steadily rising since 2016.

“Companies will have to prepare their workforces to adapt to unpredictable market conditions in the future,” adds Cindy Keaveney, Chief People Officer at Randstad Sourceright. “To do so will require embracing HR technologies that provide greater insight and the flexibility to deploy talent quickly based on demand and market factors.”

The report signals that companies are embracing this change. Human capital leaders were less fearful that digital transformation was moving too fast (45% compared with 60% in 2019). Technology can also aid in postpandemic recruitment, particularly in competitive sectors like health care and software development, where demand is high and talent may be scarce.

Additionally, 80% of human capital and C-suite leaders surveyed said they plan to enhance their talent experience in 2020, with 49% investing in candidate assessment tools and half buying candidate relationship management (CRM) platforms. Even before the crisis, 93% of leaders viewed a positive talent experience as crucial to attracting top talent.

2020 Talent Trends Report Highlights

Three major takeaways emerged from Randstad Sourceright’s latest report, which include:

  1. Data define the labor market. Nearly half (47%) of respondents said they were spending more on predictive talent analytics, and 6% indicated they were already investing significantly or moderately in analytics capabilities. The vast majority (81%) viewed analytics as critical to their ability to acquire talent.
  2. Candidate experience is STILL crucial. Eighty percent of human capital and C-suite leaders plan to enhance their talent experience, with 49% of those surveyed saying they are investing in candidate assessment tools, while half are buying CRM platforms.
  3. Hire for today; upskill for tomorrow. Forty-eight percent of organizations were upskilling their employees, while 38% were reskilling workers for different roles.

While the candidate-driven market is a thing of the past, the strategies employers adopted to get talent in the door still seem to be pretty relevant, even during the pandemic. After all, the pandemic didn’t close the skills gap, nor did it give employers an excuse to deliver a terrible candidate experience. However, one thing remains clear: Data tools are vital to helping you make informed decisions, and more employers are starting to wake up to this idea.