Talent Acquisition; acquiring talent has become more than just recruitment

I’ve been in recruitment for long enough to have moved through the phases of recruitment, resourcing and now talent acquisition. Essentially it’s all about getting bums on seats, filling vacancies and moving your business forward, on an evolving journey of usually growth, sometimes change. But the picture of talent has definitely changed.

My career in recruitment began in 2006. I returned from working abroad and put my sales skills to good use, recruiting social care professionals into permanent roles. Recruiters fall into two categories; agency and in-house, and my grounding was in agencies. I found I was pretty good at it and I began to climb the ladder recruiting, during six years, social housing, Engineering and health care professionals in three different agencies. I recruited throughout the recession. Wow, that got tough! And our clients had to think differently in order to stay afloat – it was our job to be agile enough to advise them and help them on that journey.

At around the time I made the move to in house resourcing for a large, global plc I think businesses really shifted their mindset when it came to recruitment, so it was an exciting time to be involved in that change. Personally, I was now working within a HR team, really understanding the short, medium and long term needs of the business and aligning our resourcing strategy with that. I also saw the impact of hiring decisions on the workforce and was very close to that reality, so it definitely served to rub off my tougher salesy edges, softening my approach and making me a better Recruiter. Professionally, we saw a shift to succession planning, talent banking and headhunting approaches. The market became candidate led and we had to be more flexible and considered in our approach. Candidates would come through a number of channels. It was no longer a case of placing an advert and sifting through the volume who applied.

This is where talent acquisition became really interesting.

We were no longer recruiting for now. We’d recruit for six to nine months down the line. We’d build relationships with talent. We’d meet people for coffee and conversations about what the organisation could offer them. We would recognise the options they had and understand that we had to offer something special. We’d look at roles that were hard to fill and the groups of society who had skills but were finding it difficult to secure employment. Two in three employers are claiming a skills shortage and there’s a real fear that this will become worse so that agility must continue.

We absolutely must continue to stand out in our approach to talent or they will go elsewhere. Just 5% of companies in 2013 were creating pools of talent and that figure has now risen to 15% demonstrating an awareness of the change. But it’s our job, as experienced talent acquisition professionals to make sure our businesses stay ahead of the curve, so that we can continue to strengthen our teams and help them achieve their objectives.

The landscape is ever changing. Plain old recruitment is a thing of the past. It will always be known more widely as recruitment but the process, by 2019, has certainly become the acquisition of top talent.

To find out how SEAO can help with your talent acquisition contact the team here.


SEAO Talent Partners – we are your in-house recruitment team

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Rachel Shayler

Rachel Shayler

Talent Acquisition Partner