At the end of the day, you bet on people, not strategies – Lawrence Bossidy, Former COO – GE
Even with the influx of vacancies in the US job market, unemployment levels refuse to decline. Experts attribute this to the large skill gap that plagues today’s industry. The National Federation of Independent Business stated that as of April 2017, 45% of small businesses reported that they were unable to find qualified applicants to fill job openings. Moreover, the acceleration of technology causes specific skill sets to have a shorter shelf-life. This dynamic nature of business dictates that organizations prepare teams that are versatile with their capabilities. Along the course of ongoing or new projects, there often emerge tasks that require a different skill-set than employees currently possess. In such cases, managers must assess the feasibility of hiring new resource or try bridging the current skill gap through training. Both means, talent acquisition as well as talent development, contribute to the skill acquisition of an organization on the whole.
The role of Talent Acquisition
A talent acquisition team is responsible for finding people who are of strategic importance to the organization. These people are chosen keeping in mind the long-term endeavors of a company. A talent acquisition team comes into play for positions that are hard to fill or that require a niche set of skills. Often, talent acquisition specialists begin their search several months in advance to ensure no hindrance to the organization’s future projects. At times, this means employing someone who possesses the skills to do the job but may not have the necessary supporting certification. For example, one may be a good team leader or manager without a qualification in management. It requires a certain degree of experience to be able to gauge which people would best suit a job position based on their current skill sets.
To Acquire or to Develop?
Talent acquisition can’t always be the best solution since finding the person with the right skills can be tedious and time-consuming. At some point, vacant positions cause a dent in business continuity and a recruiter faces the risk of settling for someone with a less refined skill set.
Even with the best Talent Acquisition teams on-hand, nothing beats having a ready-to-deploy team with the rights skills. The first step to building such a team is to anticipate skill needs that might arise in the future. For this, organizations build committees that consist of hiring managers, project leaders and human resource specialists. Once a requirement is drawn up, the right training sessions are provided to employees in order to prepare them for the oncoming tasks. Hence, by doling out the right training at the right time, companies ensure continuity in their work processes.
How Talent Development contributes to overall Skill Acquisition Goals
Good talent is hard to find and harder to retain. According to Globoforce, 46% of HR professionals list retention as their number one problem. Add this to the growing costs of recruitment, employee satisfaction and new employee development; the result is a formidably expensive affair. With recruitment needs growing at an alarming rate, companies face the risk of approaching recruitment as a quick-fix remedy. Talent development programs ensure that all the employees working on similar projects have flexible skills sets. This leaves enough time for talent acquisition to find the right people within comfortable timelines. Companies often fear that investing in training is futile since employees might take their newly learned skills elsewhere. Contrary to this belief, training is beneficial to retention because it instills a sense of self-worth within an individual. Employees often feel valued and empowered with their skills and begin to take ownership of their roles within the organization.
The impact of good skill acquisition techniques is reflected in the overall performance of an organization. With better recruitment as well as retention rates, business productivity soars. Through the acquisition of more refined skills, soft skills and core competencies, tasks are achieved seamlessly. This helps in achieving both, the short term as well as long-term goals of the organization at a quicker pace. Hence, it becomes essential that human resources plan ahead for skill acquisition. The simplest way to achieve this is to employ the use of analytical tools that can pin-point a specific talent density right in the initial stages of recruitment. This speeds hiring and lowers the costs of overall skill acquisition.