Is No the Right Answer to Increasing Business Demands on Talent Acquisition?

By Rachel Harris, Head of Marketing EMEA & APAC

I recently read a blog from Ken Brotherston. It’s a strong and passionate argument concerning the pressure and level of strain that HR and talent acquisition (TA) leaders are currently facing. He argues that talent leaders are stretched to the breaking point and suggests they start saying ‘no’ to the demands of the business if they don’t see more investment.

The pandemic resulted in many business challenges, and yet, across the board, we know that the need for solutions appear in the HR inbox—re-skilling, upskilling and internal mobility for employee retention; creating remote-first flexible working models and onboarding strategies; assessing and deploying an technology solutions and driving better DE&I results—all whilst hiring against the most acute talent shortages any of us have ever seen.

Over the past two years, HR and TA leaders have made huge efforts to do what they could to support employees and candidates with limited resources in a turbulent business environment. As we move into a post-pandemic reality, it’s time for TA to create proactive strategies rather than continuing to take reactive measures. As Brotherston states, “continuing to operate at a ‘code red’ level…is simply not sustainable”.

Can HR and TA Leaders Afford to Say No?

It is an exceptional time, but I’d argue that saying ‘no’ or ‘not right now’ isn’t feasible. When competitors are storming ahead with changes—when they are hiring the best talent—saying no to what must be done is a slippery slope. The answer must be, ‘yes, of course—with this much extra resource’.  

TA leaders must demand more investment from the business to augment their ability to hire if they want to remain competitive in this candidate-led market.

Making the Business Case for More Talent Acquisition Investment

Making a profound business case for investment in talent solutions is an art in persuasion, and those with this skill are likely to find the current environment much easier to navigate.

But you don’t need to be Dale Carnegie to gain traction within your organisation. Here are three steps to building your business case.

  1. Gain Buy-in by Engaging Internal Stakeholders
    Recruiting impacts your entire organisation. The C-suite, procurement and hiring managers will all have different pain points and points of view on how your talent acquisition efforts are meeting expectation or falling short. By understanding each stakeholder’s current challenges and desired future outcomes, you can address these issues through your business case.
  2. Assess Your Current Recruitment Landscape
    You must know where you’re starting in order to improve it. Get to the bottom of your current in-house recruitment teams, third-party agencies, attraction channels, costs, recruitment process, performance metrics, etc. With this in mind, you’ll gain a better understanding of your gaps and the opportunities that investing in a talent solution can create.
  3. Show the ROI of Investment
    How you go about putting your business case on paper will depend on your organization requirements. It should contain a description of the investment options you’re putting forward, the benefits and drawbacks for each, associate costs, risks and opportunities as well as any assumptions you’ve made whilst preparing you document.

Want more information about how to secure investment for TA? Check out our guide to Building a Business Case for RPO (includes a free template!).

Post by Rachel Harris