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Total Talent Solutions | 5 minute read

Outsourcing talent acquisition in times of economic uncertainty

February 21, 2023

We are still firmly in what many are calling uncertain times, and following the Great Resignation, it's understandable business leaders are moving forward cautiously. Recent news headlines might lead you to believe otherwise, but it's still a candidate-driven market. As of the beginning of the year, the US Department of Labor (DOL) reported an unemployment rate of 3.4% — its lowest since May 1969. Other regions showed promise as well, with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) reporting the European Union and euro area stayed low at 6% and 6.5%, respectively, and has slightly lowered in Canada (5%) and remained stable in Japan, Korea and Mexico. 

CHROs and talent acquisition leaders are under immense pressure to meet hiring demands in a hyper-competitive job market with major skills gaps and wage inflation. Post-pandemic, the workforce is transforming at a rate we've never seen before, partially due to digital disruption. Add on the boomer generation leaving the workforce in droves, and it's left a realm of confusion for many leaders. To keep pace with the rate of change, companies must continue operating in a way that prioritizes talent acquisition.

Hiring during times of uncertainty

Outsourcing talent acquisition is one way in which organizations can continue to manage talent efficiently and it’s useful both in times of economic uncertainty and during periods of economic growth.

What are the benefits of outsourcing talent acquisition?

  • Because talent partners offer more proactive solutions than agencies, they provide candidates that are more suited to open roles and are better aligned with organizational culture. And, as they are strategically aligned to business objectives, they have a full understanding of the evolving skills required to move an organization forward. Talent acquisition outsourcers also have access to robust talent pipelines to ensure constant access to skilled candidates.
  • Because outsourcing partners can scale the size of their teams up and down as demand dictates, they often provide greater flexibility (whether through times of growth or periods of uncertainty if the economy dictates a slowdown).
  • Talent acquisition partners build quality into their teams through continual training and performance managed through data and regular business reviews. This means improvements through innovation are constantly delivered. Additionally, by hiring higher-quality candidates, attrition rates improve.
  • Talent acquisition partners offer a seamless end-to-end candidate experience. Often, providers will brand themselves as the client, which means candidates don’t experience a disconnect in service between the provider and the employer. In addition, talent acquisition partners view talent holistically and treat talent as one, meaning contingent talent is treated in the same way as their permanent counterparts.
  • A strong employment brand requires a clear voice and coherent narrative across many different elements and channels in the candidate journey, including career pages, social media, recruitment marketing, accolades and corporate social responsibility efforts. Working as a strategic partner, recruitment outsourcing can help promote an organization’s brand and position them as an employer of choice through personalized content catered to the multiple generations that make up today’s workforce. This tailored approach leads to increased engagement and organic promotion of the brand.
  • Talent acquisition outsourcers can ensure compliance standards are met, which is especially important for global businesses that have operations in multiple countries. It can be difficult to keep track of the ever-changing employment regulation in one country, never mind several. Also, the increasing use of contingent workers brings with it many benefits but also increased regulations to comply with. Given that around 36% of the workforce is now made up of contingent workers, it’s important that compliance standards for this segment of workers aren’t neglected and talent acquisition outsourcing providers have expertise in compliance to ensure organizations don’t fall foul of the legislation associated with this group of workers.

Do talent acquisition partners help with digital transformation?

To keep pace with shifts across industries and digital transformation initiatives, organizations must double down on reskilling and redeploying talent across the business. Talent acquisition partners do more than external recruiting — they can also support internal hiring programs. 

Recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) partners can also examine the market to determine where you should hire based on talent supply and demand data and other market research to help you drive strategic business decisions linked to digital transformation initiatives.

Claro Analytics is a workforce intelligence platform in WilsonHCG's tech stack that uses real-time labor market insights to assess compensation and workforce planning, talent supply and demand data, competitive benchmarking, diversity and inclusion information and more. As a talent acquisition partner, we use this software to improve clients' organizational capabilities and make better, more informed decisions.

Do talent acquisition partners provide higher-quality candidates?

In short, yes. Talent acquisition partners are aligned with business objectives and improve productivity (and the bottom line!) by providing higher-quality candidates. Outsourcing talent acquisition also means that HR teams have more time to focus on the strategic needs of the business. It’s a good solution for companies that have placed the hiring of full-time talent acquisition teams on hold and don't want to see the growth of their talent pipelines slow. And, of course, it’s a cost-effective solution, especially for organizations that rely on agencies.

Today, global downturns and decelerated growth are having a huge impact on the economy. Is your organization able to adapt to fast-changing market conditions?

Managing talent beyond turbulent times
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About Craig Sweeney

As executive vice president, global strategic talent solutions, Craig leads WilsonHCG's growth strategy and new partnership cultivation across the globe. Alongside the trusted consultants at WilsonHCG, he builds market-leading, scalable and customisable RPO solutions. Craig's relationships span all industry verticals and geographies with expertise in technology, business services, financial services, engineering, manufacturing, retail, and media.