Aligning HR and Procurement for the Future of Talent Acquisition

At the beginning of November, I was honored to represent KellyOCG® at “Talent Leadership in Action.” It was an innovative event because it brought together approximately 30 senior decision makers from HR and Procurement to discuss the future of talent acquisition. This was a first, since usually the two business areas focus on different categories of workers. At this event, however, the intention was to get leaders from both fields in one room in order to start a conversation. I’m pleased to say that the results didn’t disappoint.

Change is coming, yet few companies feel prepared

As one of the presenters at the event, I was particularly excited to share some of the results of a joint global survey by Harvard Business Review and KellyOCG—and to hear what my peers’ thoughts were on those same topics.

The survey asked the following questions (amongst others):

  • How prepared is your organization for using technology?
  • How well are you equipped to use a consumer-based marketing approach to talent acquisition?
  • How mature is your organization in terms of using flexible workforce arrangements such as free agents and the gig economy?

The results showed that the majority of respondents found all three of these areas challenging. When I asked the same questions at the event, it became clear that the majority of the attendees were dealing with the same issues. In general, people felt that the complexity of the challenges currently facing talent acquisition is overwhelming. Organizations know they need to change, but they don’t know how or where to start.

Here are some of the trends I noticed:

  • HR and procurement are not really aligned. Moreover, there are still silos when it comes to the different labor categories, with HR handling permanent hiring and Procurement handling temporary talent and independent contractors. This is holding organizations back from managing their workforces in a more integrated manner.
  • People are aware of the shortcomings in their own organization, but they struggle to get C-suite attention. Without being able to inform key decision makers about the full range of options available, efforts to evolve the talent acquisition process are often ineffective.
  • Organizations are struggling to navigate the technology landscape and keep up with the latest developments. Disruptive technologies are too complicated and the numbers of solutions are overwhelming. Furthermore, most organizations lack the in-house resources to know which solutions to select, let alone how to implement them.
  • The use of data and analytics to better understand how to find and attract the best talent is underutilized today. The reason for this is that many organizations don´t have access to relevant data sources; plus, they lack expertise when it comes to the actual data science.
  • Finding a way forward together

Overall, the event was a resounding success. First, it showed that many organizations are struggling with the same challenges. Second, it started a conversation between two traditionally siloed business areas—and perhaps even moved them closer to getting aligned around their common goals. And last, but certainly not least, it demonstrated that everyone is looking for a way forward. So while we might not have the solutions to all of these challenges yet, if we continue the conversation, we will find a way forward together.