Are companies moving towards a longer-term hiring strategy at last?


We talk a lot in our industry about the attraction, recruitment and retention of talent. Yet the pressures of productivity, often mean many companies focus more on the attraction aspect of the process, and less on retention.

Certainly, it’s something that Korn Ferry have been exploring in their third, and final, part of The Talent Forecast – a three-part report conducted in late 2016, reviewing the 2017 hiring landscape and beyond. They questioned 1,100 global talent and HR professionals on their views.

63% of EMEA respondents overwhelmingly cited ‘Time to hire’ as the top priority metric. Not something that would surprise many of us. But what is surprising, is that 42% mentioned ‘Performance up to 18months after being hired’ and 51% flagged up ‘Retention’ as being top metrics too.

What’s more, when everyone’s keen to attract the best people they can into their businesses, it’s understandable that the top issues that are keeping the hiring professionals awake at night are ‘Competition for talent’ (29%) and ‘Quality of Hire’ (26%).

But what do they see as the drivers for these talent shortages? Well, 27% see it as being related to the ‘lack of candidates that have the skills to move up the leadership pipeline’; whilst 24% think it’s to do with ‘competition from other sectors’ and 16% put it down to the ‘sophistication of skills required for sector/niche roles’.

Yet what conclusions can we draw from this? On a positive note, it really does appear that we’re seeing a shift in the strategic outlook of the hiring professional industry. Many of the results indicate they’re adopting a longer-term view that’s starting to take retention seriously. However, when you have over a quarter of the hiring professionals suggesting that they have a ‘lack of candidates that have the skills to move up the leadership pipeline’, it does make you wonder where this short-sightedness lies.

Is it with the line managers who are pressing to get vacancies filled swiftly (with 63% of hiring professionals highlighting this as the top metric, they must feel a large amount of pressure), no matter what the longer-term fall-out? Or does it lie with the hiring professionals, who should be selecting candidates who are not only capable of doing the job that’s needed of them today… but of tomorrow too?

Richard Shea, Managing Director, Search, EMEA Korn Ferry Futurestep has this to say.

“Traditionally, the job of a talent acquisition professional ended when a position was filled. But in today’s competitive marketplace, the focus has shifted to finding, hiring and retaining workers who are not only effective in their roles today, but who can also be the leaders of tomorrow.”

“Tackling the leadership pipeline shortage requires that organizations do a more effective job Talent acquisition professionals need to take a strategic view and think of talent as a business asset that should be developed in a systematic manner to provide a foundation for superior organizational performance.” 

According to Richard Shea, some organizations are implementing new reward structures to incentivize talent acquisition professionals to think longer term. “We’ve seen members of the talent acquisition team receive bonuses based on the performance of candidates they brought into the organization – particularly for sales positions and other jobs where performance can be easily quantified. While this is not a common practice, it very likely may become more popular as organizations seek to reward the recruitment of high performers.”

In response to the findings that ‘quality of hire’ and ‘competition for talent’ are the two most significant issues that keep EMEA talent acquisition professionals up at night, Richard Shea also said, “Non-stop advances in technology and rapidly changing business strategies have led to the creation of jobs that didn’t even exist a few years ago. In addition, there are demands for new skill sets in virtually every job and profession. Hiring and retaining workers who are agile and who can adapt to the fast pace of change is critical for staying ahead of the competition curve.”

No doubt, the war on talent continues to rage. And with salaries remaining relatively flat in these uncertain economic times, it would seem prudent for companies to look at how best to retain their staff. So, it’s refreshing to see that maybe, just maybe, we might be witnessing change for the good.


Wednesday, 17 May 2017

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Are companies moving towards a longer-term hiring strategy at last?