High-Impact Talent Acquisition: The Big Reveal






Today is an exciting day as we published the first-ever Bersin by Deloitte Talent Acquisition Maturity Model and the key findings from our High-Impact Talent Acquisition (HITA) study!


On the surface, talent acquisition (TA) might seem ubiquitous and straightforward—all organizations have employees and those employees must be hired. However, the TA function is highly dynamic with multiple types of employees (e.g., full-time, part-time, freelance, open-source), many performance drivers (we found 16), ever-evolving technology (e.g., applicant tracking systems, candidate relationship management systems, mobile, video interviewing), and a plethora of solution and service providers—literally from A (Aurico) to Z (Zao). A one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work. TA leaders should now embrace technology, adopt modern approaches to sourcing, and deliver metrics that are often hard to measure, while maintaining strong partnerships across the organization and staying aligned with business strategy.

Given that talent acquisition is a complex, multifaceted function with touchpoints and stakeholders across the organization,  it is essential that TA leaders and recruiters understand the key performance drivers that propel an organization toward TA maturity. According to our research, organizations are at four different levels in their journey toward developing a fully optimized TA function. The organizations at the lowest levels typically use a more inconsistent approach that is often managed at the business-unit level by HR generalists, while the most mature organizations have wholly upgraded their TA functions, which are seen as strategic enablers of the business.


Based on our study of 297 companies, we found that the majority (35 percent) of organizations were at Level 1 TA maturity, 29 percent at Level 2, 23 percent at Level 3, and 13 percent at Level 4 (see Figure 1 below).

I’m also excited to share the top three findings from our high-impact talent acquisition study:

1.      High-impact talent acquisition improves both overall business and TA performance outcomes. We found that the organizations with the most mature (or Level 4) TA functions perform, on average, 1.3 times (or 30 percent) better on business outcomes than organizations at Level 1, making the business case for investment in talent acquisition very compelling. In addition, we found that Level 4 organizations are 2.6 times (or 160 percent) more likely to achieve higher TA performance outcomes as compared with organizations at Level 1.

2.      Developing strong relationships with hiring managers is the top driver of talent acquisition performance. Our research shows that this is the top driver of TA performance and four times more influential than the other performance drivers. While such relationships might seem commonplace, they do not always exist among recruiting teams today. The impact of effective relationships with hiring managers is seen not only by smarter hiring decisions and increased productivity but also through the greater perception and value of talent acquisition as a whole in the organization.

3.      Candidate pool development is the second most influential talent acquisition performance driver. Two times more influential than the remaining performance drivers, the development of robust candidate pools should be top of mind for recruiters, as they are tasked with providing “just-in-time” candidates, as well as talent solutions for the future. With the influx of talent communities and the myriad other candidate networks, recruiters should focus on continually building diverse pools of talent. The key to maximizing candidate pools is quality over quantity. Good recruiters know not only where to find the talent they seek but also understand how to engage and, finally, how to nurture and sustain communications with prospective targets over time.

Interested in knowing more, including a high level overview of all four TA maturity levels?

·        If you’re a Bersin member, you can download the report here.

·        If you’re not a Bersin member, you can download the complimentary HITA WhatWorks® Brief summary here.

And I hope you’ll join me at the following complimentary webinars where I’ll delve more deeply into our HITA findings:

·        High-Impact Talent Acquisition Revealed: Key Findings & Maturity Model with Denise Moulton, Senior Research Analyst, Bersin by Deloitte, Deloitte Consulting LLP – Wednesday, September 24th, 2014 at 11:00 am ET

·        The Long & Winding Candidate Journey: A Roadmap for Success with Stephan Herrlich, Founder & President, IntraWorlds Inc., – Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 at 1:00 pm ET

As always, I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to add a comment below, connect with me on Twitter @RAEricksonPhD, or by email at rerickson@deloitte.com


Robin Erickson

Vice President, Talent Acquisition Research Leader / Bersin, Deloitte Consulting LLP

Robin leads talent acquisition, engagement, and retention research for Bersin, Deloitte Consulting LLP. Recognized as a thought leader in her areas of expertise, Robin offers more than 20 years of experience, including prior experience in talent strategies consulting and research for Deloitte’s Human Capital practice. Robin led Deloitte’s global Talent 2020 longitudinal survey series and her work has appeared in several issues of Deloitte Review and in Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends reports. She holds a doctoral degree in organizational communication and change, as well as a master’s in communication, from Northwestern University. Robin also has a master’s degree in theology from Northern Seminary and a bachelor of arts from the University of Chicago.

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