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What Does Talent Acquisition Mean to The Labour Market in the UK?

labour market in the UK
Written by fatraven

Talent Acquisition is a critical function in the HR gamut and determines the organisation’s success as people form the backbone of any business. Talent Acquisition is all about identifying the right talent, hiring them for various roles across the business to ensure seamless business operations. Attracting good skills, employer branding, manpower planning, creating a robust candidate pipeline are key activities involved under Talent Acquisition.

Ensuring a resilient and sustainable workforce is the strategy involved in making any Talent Acquisition plan effective. As per a report published by the SHRM, a recent study states that employers who excelled in recruiting experienced 3.5 times revenue growth and twice the profit margin in comparison to other employers. However, identifying the right talent is always a challenge. Especially in the current times, post the pandemic, the labour market is flooded with talent, and hence zeroing in on the right talent is close to finding a needle in a haystack!

A poor recruitment process will affect the organisation’s bottom lines as it will fail to attract the right talent required for any role and will not sustain existing talent within the organisation. This is why top organisations focus a lot on the recruitment process, and today the entire Talent Acquisition paradigms have taken a shift. Employer Branding has become a mandate in the entire process as talented candidates can find a dime a dozen options to pick and choose from in a diverse global market.

What Is Talent Acquisition?

A talent acquisition strategy involves identifying and acquiring skilled workers to meet your organization’s needs. The talent acquisition team identifies, acquires, assesses, and hires candidates for open positions within a company. Branding your organization, planning for future resources, diversifying your labor force, and building a robust talent pipeline are the cornerstones of talent acquisition.

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Establishing Recruitment Objectives:

It is one of the most essential steps in the entire recruitment process. The recruitment objectives need to strategically aligned with the organisational goals in order to leverage on the bottom lines. For instance, if an organisation’s key focus or key goal is Customer Success, it is pertinent to employ people who will be driven to achieve Customer Success throughout the organisation’s fabric. There have been many instances where organisations hire people with poor customer service skills, the brand and the business has taken a beating in the long run.

As per the SHRM report, the key activities to be listed as part of the Recruitment objectives are:

  • A number of open positions to be filled.
  • Date by which positions should be filled.
  • Cost-per-hire.
  • A number of applications desired.
  • Type of applicants sought: | Level and type of education. | Level and type of work experience. | Knowledge, skills and abilities. | Diversity (e.g., race, age, gender, socioeconomic status). | Other considerations (e.g., currently employed?).
  • Job performance goals for new hires.
  • Expected new-hire retention rate.

Vanguard and Facebook are examples of organisations that have conducted rigorous research on their recruitment drives. They have all the data that showcases which recruitment drives yielded more hires, which of them produced productive staff and the employees that were retained. So they tend to focus on those recruitment drives that give them optimised results. That is the key to Strategic Recruitment Planning.

Key Metrics to Recruitment:

SHRM report and guide chalks out the following as key metrics to Recruitment:

  • Time-to-hire.
  • Cost of filling the position.
  • Yield ratio for each recruitment method.
  • New-employee retention rate.
  • New-employee performance level.
  • Hiring manager’s satisfaction with the recruitment process.
  • Applicants’ perceptions of the recruitment process.

Something interesting to note here is a unique approach – Wells Fargo targets its customers into its recruitment cycle – they advertise job openings on their customer receipts and, Ikea does it on their customers’ packaging. A different perspective to this approach would be that no one knows better about the products than the customers themselves and, they would be excited to be a part of the business! As HR professionals, this is the highest form of credibility that anyone can provide about an organisation’s product or services.

While a lot of effort goes into putting a strategy in place to attract the right labour force, the UK labour market’s current situation looks quite challenging as the market is flooded with way too many candidates and, every organisation is looking to hire someone with more advanced and sustainable skills. The global needs have made the labour market extremely dynamic and hence volatile.

Talent Acquisition is definitely in a state of uncertainty and indefinitely given the post-pandemic situation, and the Brexit norms recently brought into effect. There seemingly could be a shift in power from the employer to the candidate, and a more proactive recruitment approach is the need of the hour.


Each organization deals with talent acquisition differently; nonetheless, the talent acquisition department is arguably the most important factor that contributes to positive long-term growth and corporate culture.