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How to Optimise Talent Sourcing in Complex Digital Settings

December 2 2022 - Streamlining the process of securing the best talent is complex but absolutely achievable with technology help, explains HR and procurement specialist Arnab Banerjee

For many businesses, talent acquisition has become an existential challenge. Between the deep blue sea of The Great Resignation and the rocks of ‘quiet quitting', where employees do the minimum, it’s a confusing time for knowing how much you can rely on your workforce. At the same time, inflation is driving up salary and hiring costs, and increasing the prospect of employees looking around for better offers. As we enter a recession with historically high levels of employment, the old recruitment and retention bets are off for good.

To ensure they have instant access to the best talent on the market, HR leaders are partnering with forward-thinking procurement teams to build new technology-driven sourcing processes that will give them better visibility of the talent acquisition provider ecosystem to identify the best agencies to engage with, based on their specific needs and the performance in those areas and markets.

With the latest digital sourcing platforms available, manual and time-consuming operating processes become digital and intelligent, with AI-powered recruitment delivering the real-time data and insights that drive better and faster outcomes. In fact, it’s becoming increasingly clear that using AI that moves at the speed of business in combination with modern agile sourcing platforms can transform the way global companies connect with the best suppliers across every service category - including and especially talent attraction.

Repeatable talent acquisition efficiency

In today’s urgent macroeconomic context, reducing operational cost is top priority. Effective talent acquisition support is a vital foundation for reducing both your ‘time to hire’ and ‘cost to hire’ metrics. It will also enable your business to get vitally-needed new human resources operational quicker, increasing your overall time to achieving productivity and reaping HR value.

Just one example of what needs to change around HR sourcing: creating an RFP for an agency from scratch every time and building a panel of recruiters for a specific region every time there’s a vacancy introduces endless latency into your recruiting system. At the same time, the HR vendor landscape is ever-changing, with many options out in the marketplace that can help companies attract talent, from candidate relationship software to employee engagement solutions and the associated consulting support. That can get complex, and quickly, so you need to have a way of harnessing that in ways that cost you the least time and trouble.

The good news around all these challenges is that it’s possible to create a reusable model that streamlines both your sourcing and contracting processes while also gaining the flexibility to respond to changing metrics and business needs.

At the same time, finessing processes to deliver the right level of service at the right price is a force-multiplier for operating efficiencies and delivers more than cost savings. Collaborating with Procurement means you, as HR leader, can scope even the most complex requirements much quicker (in some cases, in less than an hour).

As a result, you can be instantly matched to highly vetted, potentially diverse suppliers with a credible track record of successful delivery of similar pieces of work for global enterprises. The shortlisted suppliers respond to the RFP in the platform, and not to your team directly, making it easy to analyse complex proposal details, and enable the like-for-like comparisons that lead to quick, transparent award decisions. For example, a global CPG leader renegotiated its panel of executive search agencies across all key geographies and for all functional roles. Using innovative, intelligent sourcing technology meant it was able to assess the capabilities of its existing panel, plus review alternative providers suggested by the sourcing software so as to form an optimal panel. Additionally, it was able to readily compare commercial terms ahead of shortlisting and renegotiation.

A more cost effective and efficient approach

A global technology services company also used an AI-based HR sourcing platform to gather responses from a chosen set of recruiting agencies. Here, the modern sourcing software pre-qualified what it got back based on geography/function/seniority and important customer-defined parameters like DEI credentials, capability and interest obtaining indicative pricing.

As a result, this organisation got a consistent briefing approach for repeat needs, as well as full compliance with existing hiring terms through an abbreviated sourcing process. It also achieved the ability to review its entire recruiter agency ecosystem to rapidly identify consolidation and optimization opportunities across a defined set of requirements, based on accurate details of agency performance.

A final example is a multinational financial services company, which used a modern sourcing platform to source providers who helped redesign its pre-employment background check processes. This move eventually led to even more efficiency, as it led to full outsourcing of this service as soon as it became clear to internal stakeholders that it would be a more cost effective and efficient approach, given early supplier responses.

The verdict has to be that streamlining recruitment processes by investing in modern sourcing platforms for talent acquisition partnering makes huge business sense.

As we continue into very uncertain economic times, it’ll be so much easier for you and your team to negotiate seamlessly with multiple suppliers, and properly and objectively evaluate performance. And best of all, it will free up your HR and procurement teams to focus on strategic tasks, and fostering the innovation you need to get through the next few months, or years, of global business uncertainty.

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Arnab Banerjee is Director HR Services at Globality, the sourcing platform that maximizes outcomes from companies’ indirect spend.



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