“As organizations adopt new technologies, org structures, and sourcing strategies, it is imperative that the talent acquisition function also evolves. Continuous changes to the way business is done mean that the talent acquisition strategy must also adapt to find and compete for the right candidates—people who will succeed today and into the future.” – The Conference Board
The 6th Annual Talent Acquisition Conference explored strategies and innovations for attracting top talent to stay ahead of the competition. As we head into the new decade, 2020 is already being dubbed the “Decade of Disruption,” or the “Decade of Mega Disruption” depending on who you talk to, and there is little-to-no doubt that we are just beginning to scratch the surface of what’s to come. There will be both new challenges and incredible opportunities.
Talent Acquisition Trends: 2020
Everyone is valuable.
TA teams and those providing TA services – like Sevenstep’s solutions – have to continue to evolve the way we think about the role of talent in an organization. I was struck by a particular session, “Untapped Talent Pool: Refugees,” which talked about the global refugee population – now over 25 million and rising – and how they constitute an untapped pool of talent in many labor markets with smaller populations or for work not requiring a highly skilled or technical background. To be honest, I hadn’t thought about them as a source of talent before, and I wasn’t alone. The purpose of the session was to provide an overdue primer on refugees and their legal status, highlight the opportunity for companies to hire refugees into their workforce, and unpack some of the benefits that companies hiring refugees have seen. Key takeaway: Consider the potential in everyone. People aren’t a commodity. Let’s regain our sense of humanity. Shout out to Dr. Rohini Anand, SVP for Corporate Responsibility & Global Chief Diversity Officer, Sodexo, and Gideon Maltz, Executive Director, Tent Partnership for Refugees, for this important reminder.
Transformation starts with actionable to-dos – first.
I loved the honesty at this year’s conference. Attendees seemed less interested in maintaining a facade and more interested in having meaningful conversations, like “How do I actually go back and do this? How do I transform and do better?” I enjoyed the opportunity to interact with attendees at the Sevenstep booth. I fielded questions about what we do but people really demonstrated they had done their homework. Instead of asking what RPO is in general terms, people posed questions like, “I know Sevenstep offers Enterprise and Project RPO and that you recently added MSP to your service offering, but how can I apply them to a business like mine?” Or, “Do you have a use case for RPO in a small-to-mid-sized manufacturing company like mine?” These are just a handful of examples, but the tactical application of what transforming talent acquisition means in practice was really inspiring. Key takeaway: TA is serious about getting transformation right, and good leaders are starting to ask the right questions to make transformation possible in 2020.
Even at the HR Technology Conference & Expo last year, where technology was the main focus, people were still at the heart of delivery and strategy. The same can be said for the Talent Acquisition Conference. There were a lot of great HR technology vendors in attendance, including our partners at Avature who presented with L’Oreal on what it takes to deliver a world-class sourcing function. And nobody seemed to forget the importance of people, community and culture – soft factors that can sometimes easily be put on the sidelines when placed next to the bright and shiny new pieces of technology. Vendors, providers and buyers all seemed in sync about technology, and the way it compliments and enhances critical things like a company’s employer brand, and candidate and employee experience. Key takeaway: Building a cohesive strategy that accounts for all types of workers and permeates throughout a company’s culture requires people and technology.
In addition to being an Associate Sponsor, Sevenstep was fortunate to present at this year’s Talent Acquisition Conference. Executive Vice President Greg Karr outlined ways to build a business case for TA transformation by connecting the dots between talent acquisition strategies and business outcomes. ‘Transformation,’ as he explained it, is a ubiquitous term in TA for good reason; the complexity of the function demands discipline, rigor and most importantly, innovation. But by prioritizing the actions of TA, measuring successes, and executing on defined timelines, transformation in TA is possible – and the results for the business will be very real.
Hiring will continue. Fortunately, we’re evolving past the “war for talent” and “how do we get the most out of people,” but getting organizations to truly think about talent within the business differently will still take some doing. Going from ideation to transformation isn’t an overnight success story. But based on the people, the concepts and the technology from the Talent Acquisition Conference, I’m encouraged by what’s in store for TA in 2020.
Thank you to John Gillis and The Conference Board team for a great event.
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