Talent acquisition leaders need agile and flexible strategies to meet today’s rapidly changing expectations and deliver results. To discuss familiar challenges and share ways organizations are adapting how they attract and retain talent, a group of TA leaders gathered for a roundtable event in Chicago this fall.

Facilitated by Cielo’s Anne Bucher, Senior Vice President – Customer Experience, the discussion allowed leaders to explore recent research findings to better understand underlying issues and collaborate on ways to advance TA strategies. From COVID-19 vaccines and managing through the mandates to internal TA team retention tactics to long-term talent strategies – the challenges outlined by participants were relevant and high-stakes.

“Really enjoyed attending one of my first TA Forums, in person, in close to over a year! Cielo did an excellent job bringing together a small group of local TA and HR professionals who have all been experiencing some of the same challenges with attracting and retaining talent in our new normal. I found a lot of value in the data that was presented and came away with some great insight to share further into my organization.” – Danielle Dutcher, Director of Global Talent Acquisition at Claire's

Key takeaways from the event include:

Managing Up
With unprecedented impact related to talent shortages, TA Leaders must effectively explain these challenges to their senior management and board of directors. Some talking points discussed were:

  • Turnover is at unprecedented highs and the vaccine mandate makes keeping up with demand even more challenging
  • Policies related to obtaining and validating vaccine immunization records happen post-offer and apply to full-time, contingent workers, and even some business partners
  • As companies increase wages, benefits, and rewards to meet current demand and expectations, it is important to map the impact on wage equality of the current workforce as well as the long-term impact on workforce planning
  • Proposing inventive solutions for fulfilling the short-term needs of the business, such as contingent or part-time workers in roles traditionally held by full-time, permanent employees

Talent Mobility
Employee engagement strategies are more important than ever. Recognizing the need to provide incentives and career mobility, TA leaders should have a well-defined and formal talent mobility program. Conversation points related to talent mobility included:

  • How to address the reduction in federal benefits and the number of hours worked
  • Benefits credits for the non-core worker; exploring vendor support
  • Ways to incentivize leaders to develop individuals for lateral moves or promotions
  • Extending specialized programs at universities and high schools, such as women in STEM
  • Specific strategies to promote diversity within mobility programs

Total Talent
Another hot topic was using a talent maturity roadmap to examine the overall talent landscape and address short-term unexpected hiring requirements. The following total talent acquisition topics were addressed:

  • Opportunities for automation
  • Assessment tools to determine if FTE, gig, early talent, niche, senior talent, etc., is ideal for a position
  • Methods to access remote and/or leverage H1B candidates
  • Evaluating where/when to train, educate or “grow” existing talent
  • Military hiring – coming into civilian work through organizations like RallyPoint and Hiring Our Heroes
  • Role sharing for senior talent through flex roles/hours/location
  • Policy changes to increase candidate pools, such as eliminating drug screens, background checks or pre-employment assessments
  • Alumni nurture campaigns

Translate talent acquisition pain-points to solutions, explore best practices, and create buy-in for solutions with the C-suite.