As unemployment remains at record lows, Cielo’s new Talent Acquisition 360 study finds that the competition for talent is causing major shifts in corporate strategy, as well as significant disagreements among business functions regarding their companies’ approaches to finding, recruiting, interviewing, and hiring new employees. Nearly 70% of business leaders surveyed worldwide believe the existing talent pool is shrinking while the competition for talent is increasing, and 54% say their company has more open positions than ever before.

Download Cielo's Talent Acquisition 360 Report“Although leaders in all of the business functions we surveyed now agree that retaining talent is a core business driver, they disagree on talent acquisition priorities, effectiveness, metrics for success and the role of technology and outsourced services to help them compete for talent,” said Sue Marks, founder and CEO of Cielo, a global recruitment process outsourcing provider. “Over 70% of C-Suite leaders now say they want to play a role in talent acquisition decisions, a clear indication of the increasing pressure to align talent acquisition and retention with business goals. There is a tremendous opportunity to improve outcomes through better collaboration and communication across the enterprise.

Cielo’s study reveals that nearly 30% of companies are now hiring contingent labor across all job levels, including 24% of senior roles, 28% of manager-level roles, 32% of individual contributors and 41% of entry-level talent. This contingent labor includes temporary employees, independent contractors, consultants, interim executives and gig workers. The proportion of contingent labor in the total workforce is significantly higher in Asia Pacific, Latin America and the Middle East than in the United States, Canada and Europe.

“There appears to be a rapidly growing trend as 65% of companies we surveyed said they expect flexible workers, contingent workers and project-based workers will take over a significant amount of the work currently being done by full-time employees,” said Marissa Geist, Executive Vice President and Managing Director of the Americas for Cielo. “We’re seeing more and more companies embrace a ‘Total Talent’ approach that incorporates the recruiting, hiring, and retaining functions of all their employees into a single strategy. This shift introduces important challenges, specifically around who owns that single strategy for the organization,” she added.

Total Talent Acquisition is a consistent and comprehensive approach to recruiting and hiring both full-time and contingent labor, including temporary staff and independent contractors. In a rapid shift in business strategy, the study shows that 90% of companies view Total Talent Acquisition as a top priority, especially those in the healthcare, retail, consumer goods and automotive industries. This is in stark contrast to Cielo’s 2015 Talent Acquisition 360 study, in which Total Talent Acquisition was merely a future goal that companies were not yet prioritizing. Even more impressive, every business leader surveyed in 2018 in the United States said Total Talent Acquisition is a top priority.

The new Talent Acquisition 360 study consists of more than 1,100 surveys of C-Suite executives, HR leaders, procurement leaders, business leaders in North America, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and APAC in July and August of 2018. The companies surveyed have 1,500 or more employees. For the full study results, go to