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The current economic environment means that businesses are pressed to achieve revenue growth, whilst employees are seeking flexibility and self-development. This combination means that employers need to get more creative about talent acquisition, to gain the right employees to achieve their company’s goals. There are emerging platforms and tools companies can use to adapt to the 21st century employee. Failure to adapt to these new talent practices will sub-optimise your business’ ability to attract the highest quality talent in its most critical areas.  

Traditional talent acquisition

Traditionally, talent acquisition has seen the transactional process of firm vacancies leading to the company posting the job description, candidates applying and the company selecting the most suitable employee. What follows is usually the offering of a contract to the preferred candidate, with the implicit expectation of the candidate remaining in the role for 3 to 4 years. The firm often has a linear and functionally defined career progression in mind, with the intention of retaining the employee in the long-term. Whilst the rhetoric is often heard about a company’s talent being its greatest asset, in reality this talent acquisition model is rarely optimal in practice.  

The 21st century employee

Why is traditional talent acquisition rarely optimal? Just take a look at the changing employee base. Graduates often aspire to multiple careers within their working life, oftentimes non-linear and across diverse sectors. Employees are looking to use their qualification to gain practical experience, and utilise their highly developed networks to gain insight into companies and the reality of a company’s culture. Furthermore, with a two to three year expectation within a role as well as the demand for flexible work options, companies need to adapt.  

Disruption of the recruitment industry

There is a disconnect between the traditional methods of talent acquisition and the expectations of the 21st century employee. The economics of a third party search fee, in conjunction with employer-funded development courses, no longer equates when these costs are amortised over a two to three year employee shelf life. This disruption of the employment services industry requires the companies to get creative when looking for the next job to be done.  

Addressing the gap

If the need arises in your company for talent to be acquired, it is important that you take a look at some of these innovative new methods and tools that help you make the most of employees:

  • An emerging trend within the workplace is the use of freelancers, and this isn’t just coincidental. The benefits of freelance employment grants benefits to both the company and the employee. For businesses, freelancing offers affordability and a fresh approach to previous business operations. On the other hand, the freelancer is given flexibility and freedom to work on many different projects at once, and which are often of varying interests. Expert360 allows companies to hire and easily manage freelancers through an online platform of experienced business professionals.
  • LinkedIn’s global platform has turned the global talent market into a utility. This provides a unique resource to employers and employees, and will start to challenge ERP-style talent mapping systems.
  • Many organisations have created communities of interest around potential future talent. This creates a greater understanding for future employees and a pipeline of talent for employers, whilst being a less transactional approach to talent acquisition. It furthermore allows companies to engage future employees before they search for jobs, such as whilst they are at school or in tertiary education. LiveHire is an example of a platform to enable these communities.
  • Regimented succession planning and market mapping reduces risk and cost. It can also clearly identifying capability gaps and external talent to cover this.
  • There are an emergence of tools allowing employees to take personal responsibility for their career management, such as Fuel50. Furthermore, many employees pursue career development and training through self-funding, such as through salary packaging. This helps to improve both the business’ economic model, as well as allowing the employees to control their own development.
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