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| 5 minutes read

The 6 'Bs' of holistic talent acquisition

We need to talk about talent. How organizations find, engage, develop, and manage it. 

In many organizations, Talent Management and Talent Acquisition are two distinctly separate practices. They follow different, often unconnected, workflows executed by separated and disconnected teams. Internal mobility often finds itself situated awkwardly between the two, and in a macro economic environment where careers and skills are more fluid than ever, that simply doesn’t make sense. The historic organizational distinction between how you acquire ‘new’ talent from the external market and how you manage ‘existing’ talent from your internal market is no longer valid. Organizations are left wondering how to think more holistically about talent and skills. 

The answer is simple.

Organizations need to think about talent in a more integrated way, recognizing that Talent Acquisition and Talent Management are both simply a means to the same end – ensuring you have the right skills available, in the right place, at the right time to drive business growth and innovation. Whether talent – or a skillset – is acquired externally or managed via your internal pool, it should just be a question of availability, and ease of access to that talent or cost to acquire. Thinking about talent in an integral way offers greater opportunity for strategic problem-solving across the entire organization, better utilizes finite resources and delivers a significantly enhanced candidate-employee experience for both internal and external talent.

For Talent Acquisition leaders, it offers an opportunity to partner with business leaders in a more consultative and strategic way. Approaching the talent equation with a holistic lens allows TA to engage with a hiring manager armed with a range of fulfilment channels. TA becomes a single source that allows them to consider external talent, development of their own talent, pipelines of purpose-built talent, and internal talent that may already exist inside the organization whilst driving their diversity agendas. This all-encompassing engagement with the business also critically removes the wastage and cost from siloed teams taking siloed approaches.

So, how can you take the first steps in moving towards a more holistic talent model that is focused on skills? 

The first critical step is to consider how you deliver your organization’s talent strategy via optimized fulfilment channels, and to ensure that you have the right blend of strategic and operational skills within your TA team to implement critical foundational building blocks required to transition.  

AMS Advisory partner with TA Leaders to assess readiness and design and implement these foundations for holistic talent acquisition and management strategies. This includes data management and reporting enhancements; designing agile and flexible operating models; purchasing and optimizing the right technology to drive data, insight and user experiences; and developing in-house TA Teams to ensure they have the right consultative skills to deliver more strategically for their stakeholders. 

Once you have these building-blocks in place, it becomes a matter of making the most effective fulfilment decision based on available skills. 

What fulfilment methods exist?

Buy. Build. Borrow. Boomerang. Bounce. Bot. 

Buy: Simply put, buying the skills you need from the external market. Often the single largest cost for the TA leader, but also the single greatest (and fastest) way to impact skills and diverse representation by bringing under-represented talent into the organization. 

AMS partner with organizations to optimize ROI in this fulfilment category.  How? By designing target operating models which might include full or partial outsourcing; designing and implementing enhanced direct sourcing capabilities to reduce costly agency reliance; reducing attraction spend through optimized channel strategies, removing wastage and associated cost; and driving efficiency and ROI by ensuring technology and processes are user centric with the right blend of automation and human touch.

Build: Can’t find the talent you need consistently or sustainably? Build your own! There is simply more demand than supply of talent, particularly in areas like technology and digital. While you will want to improve capability to access scarce and niche talent in the market, considering how to create and develop your own pipeline of talent from scratch is a critical strategic component. 

Developing ‘Grow your own’ programs to help increase the supply of talent at a more junior level, reduces the pressure of TA to find talent that simply doesn’t exist! 

Through AMS Talent Lab, we support organizations to find, train and deploy newly created talent to fill skills gaps in areas such as digital, commercial, risk and green skills. Creating your own talent not only helps control costs but it’s also a very effective way to bring more diverse talent into your organization. 

Borrow: Supplementing urgent requirements or specific spikes with contractors, consultants or contingent talent is nothing new, but considering how to ‘borrow’ to scale your TA function without increasing expensive fixed cost needs to be a ‘designed’ part of your operating model, not a reactive and expensive by-product of poor demand planning. Supporting the expansion of a new location or product or augmenting the TA team at specific times of the year, lends itself to ‘borrowing’ talent. 

AMS supports TA leaders to create agility by designing bespoke solutions through a range of outsourcing and consulting solutions, ensuring outcomes are delivered on time and on budget.

Boomerang: When talent leaves your organization, it need not be forever! Embrace your employees’ desire for new experiences and focus on keeping your former employees and alumni ‘warm’ so you are their first choice in the future is a great way to reduce reliance on ‘new’ external hires.  Re-hiring alumni also means you know who and what you’re hiring, and speed to competency is high, reducing the risk of a new hire and reducing those unproductive early months (and therefore cost) of a new hire. 

Bounce: Enabling your most prized internal talent to move around your organization and have varied multi-job careers is essential to talent development and retention. Designing policies and processes, underpinned by technology to provide data and visibility of opportunities and skills for both the employer and employee allows internal skills marketplaces and effective talent management to flourish whilst reducing the pressure and cost on ‘buying’ external talent. 

Bot: Finally, people will remain critical to how you deliver Talent Acquisition. Recruiter-less recruiting is not the future! In fact, great people, storytellers, and relationship-builders will become more important than ever as automation and artificial intelligence augment how TA services are delivered.  Getting the right blend between bots and bodies with these desirable soft skills is however critical to managing cost, delivering user centric experiences, and ensuring that you can scale at pace. 

As Spring rolls around and the reality of 2024 takes hold one thing is for certain – market volatility is the only certainty. How we find, engage, develop and manage talent needs to adapt.  Advancement to a holistic ‘Talent’ model is an essential evolution to ensure you are delivering your organization’s talent strategy.  Unsure where to start or how to move forward without increasing cost? AMS Advisory can help. Click here to contact us