I recently collaborated with Tom Kaminsky, VP and Global Practice Lead of Advisory Services (part of KellyOCG, which includes The Ayers Group) on a whitepaper called “The Evolving Role of HR: A Strategic Partner to the Organization.” Leading up to that, in 2016, Tom and I worked together on a strategic sourcing project—when we began discussing how Talent Acquisition needs to adjust in order to account for the changes in the talent landscape.
This shift from order taker to consultative business partner has been a slow but steady change for Talent Acquisition teams. There is a clear request from the business to move faster and provide the kind of consultative partnership that results in finding high-quality talent at the speed of business. To make this turn, Talent Acquisition must move away from the “we’ve always done it that way” approach, to breakthrough innovation around process, technology, and resources. 
In order for Talent Acquisition to successfully evolve and deliver on this promise to the business, they need to address talent challenges in the market and design efficient talent strategies.
Addressing Talent Challenges
- Free Agent Market: Experts predict that by 2020, half of the workforce will consist of free agents. Organizations will need to provide attractive corporate culture, opportunities for development, and a realistic preview of jobs. Candidates will opt out of the free agent market when the corporate experience is highly engaging.
- Skills Shortages: Anecdotally, the time it takes for Talent Acquisition to fill open requirements is on the rise. Part of the reason for the increase in this key metric is a skill shortage of critical talent—particularly in the tech sector. Talent Acquisition will need to begin building proactive talent pools and engage with talent well before business needs are identified.
- Diversity: Achieving success in hiring diverse candidates seems to be a primary objective for the majority of organizations in 2017. To gain traction on hiring diverse talent, Talent Acquisition must have defined sourcing plans and reduce any unconscious bias in the hiring process. 
Designing Efficient Talent Strategies
- Candidate Experience: From the very first touch point, the candidate experience matters to getting the best talent through the door. While it may seem daunting to evaluate the full end-to-end candidate experience, the only way to attract and hire top talent is to ensure a seamless candidate experience.
- Data Analytics: Data-driven decisions will aid Talent Acquisition in optimizing their resources and budgets. While you cannot (and should not) measure everything, defining a core set of metrics will help guide your budget and resource decisions. Take the time to review metrics on a quarterly basis, and take action when the data shows you are off track.
- Innovation: The talent landscape is in a state of flux with new technologies and tools coming on the market at a regular (and fast) pace. Use the data to identify where the biggest opportunities for change and innovation are, then take the leap—try new things and learn from the experiment.
When Talent Acquisition successfully delivers on talent challenges and strategies, studies show specific bottom line improvements , including:
- 1.4x revenue growth and profitability
- 144% improvement in planning for future talent needs
Given this clear positive impact, Talent Acquisition teams must continue to respond to changes in the market, and plan for future workforce trends. The role of Talent Acquisition has changed dramatically in the past decade, and the quick pace of transformation promises to continue. In order to deliver quality hires for the business, Talent Acquisition must continue to evolve. This way, organizations will not just survive through this time of rapid change: they will thrive.
[1, 3] “The Evolving Role of HR: A Strategic Partner to the Organization.”
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