Expert Insights: How Employers Can Succeed in Today's Hiring Landscape

by Lamees Abourahma

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Now more than ever, is the time to adjust your talent acquisition (TA) strategy. But what specific changes can employers make to help them succeed in today's hiring landscape? What insights can front-line talent leaders give employers about adapting their TA strategy for success in an erratic global talent market? 

I had the honor of moderating RPOA’s first Expert Panel discussion for 2023, where global talent leaders Rob Navarette of WTW, Trent Cotton of Hatchworks, Kelly Burlage of Lineage Logistics, and workforce analyst Zach Chertok of IDC provided valuable insights into how this year’s talent market volatility and hiring uncertainty affect strategy, what employers can do to navigate today's talent landscape, and why employers love recruitment process outsourcing (RPO). 

Because this discussion was so informative, we decided to share highlights of the conversation in a blog post series. In this second blog post of the series, we cover how the changes in market dynamics affected front-line talent leaders' TA strategy and how their experience can help employers adapt their strategy and succeed. If you hire talent globally, this post will be helpful to you.

When I asked how the changes in market dynamics affected your talent acquisition strategy, talent leaders Navarrete, Burlage, and Cotton gave the following responses. 

Navarrete: Acquiring Talent in Offshore Locations Using Genuine Communication

Navarrete, Global Talent Acquisition and Transformation Leader at WTW highlighted that changes in labor costs in North America have caused WTW to expand into its offshore locations to look for talent it would typically find in North America. "You could potentially hire three or four resources for the cost of one resource in North America," he said. 

But, he said that his company isn't the only firm hiring in offshore locations; it's a competitive global talent market. In markets like Europe and Asia, tech professionals typically receive multiple job offers, and WTW has more extended notice periods, which presents a greater risk of them not starting the position.

When recruiting in these offshore locations, mitigating the risk of candidates not starting the position can take time. However, in these locations, Navarrete said that WTW uses a warm or hot candidate experience to keep candidates engaged. This candidate experience tactic asks hiring managers to show authenticity when communicating with potential candidates. He emphasized that genuine communication between the hiring manager and candidate ensures the candidate understands that at WTW, they'll be appreciated and respected as professionals. It's a place they can build a solid career. As a result, WTW hires the right people for the right work in the right place. And the hired candidates have a clear career path where they can grow professionally. 

Burlage: Innovate, Adapt, and Align Talent Acquisition Strategy With The Mission and Values of The Organization

Burlage, vice president of global talent acquisition at Lineage Logistics, said that she had seen a shift towards individuals seeking meaningful work that aligns with the organization's mission and values. And she added that for organizations to remain relevant and succeed, they must innovate and adapt their talent acquisition (TA) strategy according to the shifts in the talent landscape. 

Burlage shared that adaptation, innovation, building a high-performing team, and winning the hearts and minds of people make up the foundational layer for an effective TA strategy. She noted that an effective recruiting team plays a crucial role in getting people excited about the organization, and failure to do so may lead to turnover and retention issues. 

Not filling talent gaps can also lead to retention issues and hurt profitability. Burlage strongly recommended building a plan within the TA strategy to fill talent gaps so that organizations can meet their people where they are. She added that doing so allows organizations to remain profitable and relevant. 

Cotton: Lead With Brand, Core Values, and Corporate Culture

For Cotton, as vice president of talent and culture at Hatchworks, their TA strategy is leading with brand, core values, and corporate culture. Cotton noted that they are going with this strategy because of the challenges in the Latin American (LATAM) markets due to layoffs, currency fluctuations, and candidate apprehension affecting compensation. Cotton highlighted that layoffs are affecting Hatchworks' efforts in Latin America, increasing prices as resource demand remains high. He added that his firm is facing challenges with compensation due to fluctuating currencies in USD and LATAM markets. Candidates in Latin America are also becoming apprehensive due to observing the US market, affecting their willingness to move to different projects or employers.

Therefore, Cotton said that Hatchworks' strategy for candidates its targeting includes leading with brand, core values, and corporate culture. He noted that the company is doubling down on branding at the corporate and delivery levels. He has advised the recruiting team to focus on quality rather than quantity. He emphasized that in an uncertain market like we are in right now, it's not a good strategy to fill a role merely to reach a headcount goal. 

After the panelists shared how the changes in the global talent market this year have affected their talent acquisition strategy, I asked them to provide advice to other talent leaders. Here is a summary of their advice.

Burlage: Persevere Through Innovation

Burlage said that along with keeping an eye on market trends, they need to innovate for organizations to succeed in this market. She emphasized the need to innovate in the talent landscape, recruitment methods, training, networking, and leadership. She stressed that an inspiring leadership style is needed to motivate employees. Burlage recommended that companies highlight job security, career growth, and compensation to attract talent. And finally, she advised using all of these factors as an employee value proposition (EVP) when describing the organization. 

Navarrete: Resiliency and Adaptability 

Navarrete said that due to external factors affecting predictive modeling outcomes, resiliency is crucial in the recruitment function. External factors in recent years have significantly impacted predictive modeling. He said that data-driven approaches require adaptability due to unexpected outcomes.

Cotton: Use Reliable Data, Self-Educate, and Support the Recruiting Team

Cotton suggested that companies should look at data but not panic because he acknowledged the presence of misleading data. He encouraged the audience to find its data and not rely on the news headlines. He emphasized that organizations should consider the recruiting team's stress levels during these difficult times. He also highlighted the importance of investing in and re-skilling team members. And prepare for upcoming market changes together as a team. 

Zertok: Gather Data and Embrace Risk

Zertok, a workforce analyst with IDC, highlighted the genuine need to gather data from multiple sources and analyze it with Excel to uncover the underlying story of the labor market. He also emphasized embracing risk in the flow of change for organizational growth and employee well-being.  Be strategic, take chances, and follow your gut; speak up and ask questions. "That's how you're going to find the answers you need. And that's how you're going to move ahead with new strategies," he said. 

As the global talent market continues to evolve, organizations need to remain agile and continue to innovate. Companies must ensure that their TA strategy aligns with their mission, values, and corporate culture. They must be resilient, adaptable, self-educating, and take calculated risks while nurturing genuine relationships with potential candidates. To understand how to find the best talent in the uncertain global talent market, watch the complete discussion.

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