A survey of 400 talent leaders in seven European countries has highlighted 42 percent of talent leaders think the shortage of specific skills is the biggest challenge facing their talent acquisition strategy, which is affecting productivity and profit.

29 percent of talent leaders believe that the retention of new starters is their biggest challenge impacting productivity, while 27 percent believe it is the changing political landscape and new legislation.

The report by Cielo, the world’s leading strategic Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) partner, categorised respondents as High, Medium, or Low Impact based on the effectiveness of their talent acquisition functions across 12 dimensions.

High Impact talent acquisition functions had articulated strategies that shape business decisions. Low Impact were characterised by having immature talent acquisition processes and ineffective measurement.

31 percent of companies with High Impact functions report operating at maximum productivity, compared with only four percent of companies with Low Impact functions.

The report also linked an organisation’s talent acquisition effectiveness to profit. 68 percent of companies with High Impact talent acquisition functions report an increase in profits last year compared with only 31 percent of companies with Low Impact functions.

When questioned on the implementation of specific recruitment tactics, talent leaders highlighted their weakest areas were video interviewing (40 percent), telephone interviewing (33 percent), and keeping candidates warm between selection and start date (30 percent).

Meanwhile, 37 percent of respondents who work with an RPO provider to support their talent acquisition process have a more significant impact on business outcomes than exclusively in-house teams.

RPO partnerships outperformed at: innovating to meet the demands of the business; delivering quality hires consistently; and demonstrating agility to meet changing demands.

Seb O’Connell, Cielo’s Managing Director of Europe and APAC, commented: “Whilst it is understood that Talent Acquisition is not the only influence on the profitability of an organisation, the difference in profitability between the Low Impact and the High Impact functions is so significant that it has to be considered as a core contributing element. The research proves organisations that appropriately invest in their talent acquisition function see the most value.”

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