Articles 4 min read

Rebound response: How talent acquisition can radiate success

The state of the global economy is up in the air. Navigating external factors such as marketing challenges, uncertainty and a potential recession results in business leaders seeking out abundant opportunities through talent acquisition to strengthen their company for a brighter tomorrow.​ Annapurna recently partnered with Cielo for a fascinating roundtable around how talent acquisition can radiate success, hosted by Andy Curlewis (Managing Director, Consulting at Cielo) and James Ballard (Co-Founder at Annapurna). The session brought together leading people advocates across industry, where they explored:

Is data a tool or a cost?

Leveraging data and analytics can significantly enhance talent acquisition outcomes and ultimately, organisational success. Matt Jones, Chief Product Officer at Cielo, opened the conversation by discussing the importance of using data to identify trends, patterns, and insights to inform recruitment strategies. By analysing recruitment metrics such as time to hire, cost per hire, and quality of hire, organisations can optimise their talent acquisition processes and make data-driven decisions. This data-driven approach enables companies to identify bottlenecks, improve efficiency, and continually refine their recruitment strategies to ensure long-term success. 

Organisations should be looking at what our lens is now regarding data:

  • Are we looking for short-term wins?
  • Are we focused on a truly embedded long-term strategy?
  • What do we have at our disposal?

The group brought to light the concept of ‘analysis paralysis’: so much data within an organisation and they don’t know what to do with it. The solution is most definitely not a ‘one size fits all’ approach, however, organisations can look at what their end goal is and their 1, 2 and 5-year plan and work backwards to see which data can be most impactful. Just because there is data available, doesn’t mean it must get used.

Flex your innovation muscle

A lot has been discussed around the role of innovation in recent years as we migrate from solely office-based work to a remote/hybrid approach. The loss of the ‘water cooler’ moment and the reduction in employees learning by osmosis has resulted in innovation taking a side step. 

HR needs to think about how to instil a culture of innovation within its department and roll it out across the organisation. 

Employees don’t want to work how they did before. If we are starting to mandate the return to the office, how can we continue to motivate them? The younger generation wants flexibility so what are the impending consequences? The impact of the pandemic has changed TA for good with the evolution of the way we work. What does the future look like for our customers? What should we offer them as part of their customer experience?

It is our job as HR to innovate internally and digitalise our internal processes. As a knock-on effect, this will filter through to the external experience for our customers. Everyone is looking for the same skills now for their organisations but what can we offer as innovative rewards/benefits if your salary bandings are level or below market average? We can start to be more flexible with our working-from-anywhere policy, allow employees to have access to sabbaticals, create an employee-owned employee experience and much more.

HR should be at the forefront of technology. 

Organisations used to be valued solely by their value on the stock market, but now their value is determined by their brand, leadership, culture and much more. This is now the currency of an organisation and HR should be the gatekeepers for how we influence this and improve it through the facilitation of technology. What are we doing as HR to create seamless employee journeys facilitated by technology?

In many organisations, TA sits within one budget, Talent Engagement has its own budget, and Onboarding Employer Branding sits elsewhere. In these circumstances, does Employer Branding, for example, know about skills-based hiring or AI-based hiring and do they explain it externally? If we asked our teams does AI excite or makes them nervous, what would be the answer? There will always be concerns around the legality, accuracy and bias of AI until there are parameters in place governmentally. HR should be educating our employees to ensure AI doesn’t before a way for people to feel excluded from company operations.

The success of talent acquisition lies in its alignment with organisational goals and objectives. To drive success, companies need to develop a comprehensive talent acquisition strategy that is closely tied to their overall business strategy. This strategy should consider the specific skills, competencies, and cultural fit required for each role. By aligning talent acquisition practices with organizational goals, companies can attract and hire individuals who are not only qualified but also have the potential to contribute significantly to the organization’s success.

The conversation moved on to the role of redeploying talent around the organisation and how HR can be the instigators for innovating the way that employees look, find and apply for internal roles. HR should as themselves:

  • How can we redeploy talent around the organisation and use reskilling as a means of replacing redundancy?
  • How can we help to understand the TA landscape?
  • If a business grows, how can we reskill and upskill at scale?

It is always difficult to strategise when you don’t know what is coming but it’s vital to have a blend of reactive and proactive behaviours. Recently, an array of long-term macro trends have all collided at the same time, which has had significant impacts on the way organisations are being run and the way we succeed.

Where should we be focusing our time over the next 12 months? Over the past year, there was a lot of focus on wellbeing, DEI and the softer side of HR but as we reach the end of the pandemic, or so we are to be believed, will there be a squeeze on value add activities? The tightness on the delivery focus has begun to creep in and the social responsibility work that we have built up is looking to be under pressure to be put to one side.

We must focus on our values rather than let them fall by the wayside just for delivery. Our role as HR has never been more prevalent and we must ensure we are telling our story and the reason why we are doing it. PR for HR is our drive to thrive.

About Cielo

Cielo is the world’s leading Talent Acquisition Partner. We deliver a better talent experience for everyone through Recruitment Process Outsourcing, Executive Search, Contingent Workforce Solutions and Consulting services. With our fresh approach – we design and build comprehensive, proven solutions inspired by technology to find and keep the unique talent that elevates our clients above the competition. Learn more at

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