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Reactive recruitment won’t cut it in 2022 – you need a talent strategy


The pandemic created a tidal wave of recruitment challenges that many had never prepared for before.

In many sectors, recruitment froze entirely because life was placed on pause. As a result, talent teams were furloughed or made redundant, while the teams left behind were handling rapid legislation changes. As they’ve scaled back up, it’s been a challenge to find suitable skillsets to fill the backlog of roles that have become re-available in other parts of the business.

While many industries experienced a downturn because of the lockdowns, in contrast, others – such as the e-commerce and digital sectors – were tremendously successful and capitalised on an influx of talent to their teams. However, recruiters who had previously been able to forecast spikes in hiring were suddenly faced with an overwhelming task to hire quickly enough to meet demand.

As we continue to feel the tidal wave of industry disruption caused by the pandemic, companies must become proactive with their hiring. Here are the signals you might see from your hiring team which suggest they need the support of a talent strategy and/or third-party specialist in 2022.

The need to recruit vs. lack of resource to recruit

The first thing to look for is a very obvious need to recruit, but a lack of ability to prioritise it; in short, your team is currently too overwhelmed to dedicate the time and resources required to fill your vacancies. Alternatively, candidates may be committing to a role with your company before suddenly taking a vacancy with a different employer; this tends to indicate the candidate is leveraging your business to create counter offers and suggests your recruitment process isn’t tightly controlled. Perhaps the candidate’s ambitions haven’t been understood, or they’re not being properly engaged with throughout the hiring journey.

You might already use recruitment agencies and notice your spending is through the roof, but you can’t quantify performance or results. Perhaps you’re inundated with CVs for a role, but none quite fit the bill; if this is the case, the agency isn’t working closely enough with your organisation to find the right skillsets and values to meet your culture and technical requirements. This might mean your projects become delayed, causing internal objectives and targets to be missed.

Where are the candidates?!

Since the pandemic – but also pre-Covid, from businesses, looking to source niche talent – our RPO team has been recognised for our ability to provide businesses with the insights and data required to source the most suitable candidates for a role, as well as our ability to embed within a business culture and employer brand proposition. Our services have been utilised to create a real point of difference in the hiring landscape and with great effect.

For example, as talent teams have fluctuated in capacity, we’ve worked on a project basis to supplement available resources. More companies have used our Digital Studio to enhance visibility in crowded, candidate-led markets. We’re being appointed to support workforce planning, ensuring teams are better prepared for spikes in demand so they can talent pool in advance, rather than in reaction to a surge. We’re overhauling onboarding journeys to create positive, personal experiences that are more reflective of the brands we represent.

With such a candidate-led market on our hands, we anticipate that in the coming months we’ll witness the highest ever level of resignations; it’s the first time in a long time the country has felt quietly confident enough to move jobs. This, along with the demand for flexible working, the move out of the furlough scheme and people using up masses of saved up holidays will put a huge strain on talent teams once again. If they reach burnout, a domino effect will be created whereby operating teams may be left completely under-resourced for months on end.

Is an RPO the solution?

Internal recruiters are the gateway to any business, in the privileged position of bringing people into a company that will lead to its future success. But if you envisage this type of tipping point taking place within your business, act now and begin to take steps to rectify the issue before it manifests and takes hold. Such a conversation can be challenging to have but it’s for the good of your business. Allow an outsourced provider to manage the more complex, talent strategy challenges, while your internal team might be allocated to high volume roles that they have vast experience in filling. An RPO can help you fill a set of specialist vacancies that might not yet be associated with your business, help your brand stand out in a noisy market, or leverage a bespoke platform to source from a wider talent pool than is available to your in-house recruiters.

Much better than that, they’ll get to know your business inside and out, developing an understanding and awareness of your culture, vision and objectives to the extent they’ll perform just like an internal team member, but with certain advantages over your competition. In time, they’ll become indispensable and a crucial part in delivering an effective talent strategy.

With 50 years’ experience helping clients with operations around the world to navigate their recruitment challenges and refine their talent strategy, in 2021 we launched RPOne to the market.

It’s a transformation of the traditional RPO model, offering a more agile, custom-fit solution to organisations of all sizes that wish to make their talent ambitions a reality and gain a competitive edge within their industry.

To find out more about our specialist RPO offer, click here.