Leathwaite recently undertook a global survey of Talent Acquisition leaders within corporate & in-house recruiting with the aim of better understanding the needs, frustrations and challenges faced by the group responsible for ensuring their organizations are attracting their most valuable asset: talent.

The results of our survey speak of a function in a period of transition, and a market that has not yet coalesced around a single operating model for the digital age.

Download the report here:

Online Paper extract:

Executive Summary – 

The majority of respondents feel the large tech giants have a competitive advantage, and that apart from LinkedIn, the market hasn’t yet provided them with the game-changing technology tools to be more strategic and insightful when making hiring decisions or streamlining the transactional side of recruiting. Deep diving into the data, we can reveal our survey produced four key findings:

  • Firstly, talent acquisition leaders are feeling stretched – budgets are down, hiring volumes are up and they are under pressure with regards to attracting diverse and specialist skillsets.
  • Secondly, professionals working in talent acquisition are struggling to comprehensively leverage digital and data-enabled processes in a field they feel is built on interpersonal relationships.
  • Thirdly, recruiters feel that the factors most significantly influencing their firm’s ability to attract talent are outside of their immediate control – brand, culture and visibility.
  • Finally, the short-term challenges faced by recruiters to source diverse and specialist talent may be superseding their ability to align new talent to other longer term corporate goals related to enterprise culture.

In the current climate, all corporate leadership roles are about balance – balancing cost management with expanding deliverables, building commercial teams while maintaining a focus on process and reconciling the benefits of a human touch with the efficiency of automation. While recruiters have been instrumental in ensuring their companies have the right talent in place to navigate these changes at an enterprise level, our survey reveals that recruiters are not immune from the same challenges they are helping their organizations to solve.

It is important to note that nearly 40% of respondents feel that when it comes to balance, their functions are doing excellent work. Recruiters are often inherently competitive people -competing to find the best talent, fill the most jobs and best serve their businesses. So while the findings from this survey do clearly suggest there is work to be done, this is perhaps just a symptom of great people striving to do even better.

Conclusion – 

It is clear from the responses in this survey that recruiting leaders feel technology, and the data it helps manage & analyze, will be the foundation on which the future of corporate recruiting is built.

However, respondents have also been clear that this is a people business and digital tools will only be truly effective when they can enhance the human aspects of their work, not replace them. We hope that this information has proved both interesting and useful, and that in some instances a challenge shared will become a challenge halved.

We intend to use these findings to create content and forums to explore the key areas further and help facilitate the ongoing development of talent acquisition. We look forward to working in partnership with the recruiting community as this sector continues to evolve.

Author information:

The paper was researched and authored by Leathwaite Director, Tom Pemberton and Leathwaite Managing Partner, Andrew Wallace.

Leathwaite is an Executive Search and Human Capital Specialist Firm, offering a range of C-Suite retained search, talent and leadership services with offices in London, New York, Hong Kong and Zurich.

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