Navigating Talent Trends: From Talent Acquisition to Strategic Access in HR

hr talent trends
Reading time: 10 min.
Written by Camille Antunes
Published on
Updated on

In the ever-evolving HR landscape, talent shortages have persistently challenged organizations over the past two years. From industry leaders to budding startups, the war for top talent intensified as industries adapted to remote work and digital transformation. However, amidst these challenges lies a paradigm shift from traditional talent acquisition to the strategic approach of talent access.

Talent trends are reshaping HR talent strategies

The latest talent trends have reshaped today’s world of work. With collaborators' new needs, market demands, competition, and digital transformation, HR needs to adapt its talent strategies. 

Talent bomb, talent shortage, skills shortage: what are the differences?

Talent bomb: The Talent Bomb is a global crisis in which HR fears a talent shortage and skills available in the labor market. It disrupts the balance between supply and demand for the qualified workforce and can have numerous consequences for a company's health and performance. In response, companies are forced to rethink their approach to talent management completely.

Skills shortage: It refers to the mismatch between the skills sought by employers and those offered by candidates. It affects all sectors and all levels of qualification. In April 2022, the French public employment service Pôle Emploi published its ”Need for Manpower" survey sent to companies to determine their recruitment needs and challenges. The results revealed that 58% of recruitments are deemed “difficult” and with unprecedented struggles by the 424,000 HR leaders questioned. 

Talent shortage: A talent shortage happens when there’s a significant disparity between the skills employers need for their organizations to thrive and the number of available employees or qualified candidates with those skills. It usually occurs when a company requires more specialized talent. A recent Korn Ferry report finds that by 2030, “more than 85 million jobs could go unfilled because there aren’t enough skilled people to take them.”

The evolution of talent shortages

Talent shortages have been a recurring theme in recent years, exacerbated by several factors, including demographic shifts, skill mismatches, and heightened competition among employers. The COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbated these challenges, prompting organizations to reassess their talent approaches and adapt to the new realities of remote work and virtual collaboration. As the workforce landscape continues to evolve, HR professionals are tasked with navigating these complexities and devising innovative solutions to attract, retain, and develop top talent.

Talent strategies are changing

In 2024, we anticipate a shift in talent strategies. While organizations have typically relied on talent pools for external talent management, there will be a notable transition toward fostering internal talent pools. This shift involves a proactive approach to identifying and cultivating transferable skills within the organization.

The rise of non-traditional talent pools will prompt a reassessment of conventional career progression frameworks. Consequently, organizations will need to reevaluate their career structures and advocate for self-directed and democratized career management. This approach empowers employees to steer their own career trajectories based on their accumulated skills and desired skill development. 

Rather than solely focusing on traditional qualifications or job titles, organizations are placing a greater emphasis on identifying and nurturing specific skills and competencies. This enables them to build more versatile and agile teams capable of meeting evolving business needs. We call it “The shift towards skills-based organizations and development.”

Additionally, there's a growing recognition of the importance of employee experience. HR strategies are increasingly tailored to create a positive and engaging work environment that fosters employee satisfaction, well-being, and productivity. This includes initiatives such as flexible work arrangements, personalized development opportunities, and a strong focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The traditional vertical career progress model will be abandoned, and a greater emphasis will be placed on facilitating horizontal and diagonal career paths through a career lattice framework.

talent challenges

From talent acquisition to talent access

In the current highly competitive labor market landscape, there's a notable pivot from simply acquiring talent to fostering internal growth and advancement within organizations.

Relying solely on external recruiting puts organizations in a vulnerable position, dictated by market fluctuations. Hence, adopting a proactive and sustainable strategy to cultivate talent access will become paramount in 2024.

This isn't to downplay the significance of talent acquisition. On the contrary, we advocate for an approach that not only facilitates access but also enhances acquisition by recognizing that modern talent seeks more than just attractive job offers.

As per Gallup's findings, the primary considerations for Millennials when seeking employment include opportunities for personal development, alignment with their work interests, and prospects for career progression.

In tune with these preferences, organizations are increasingly prioritizing the amplification of talent progression and promotion frameworks. In fact, 48% of companies have identified refining these processes as critical business practices aimed at bolstering talent availability, positioning it as one of the leading HR trends in 2024.

The rise of talent access

Enter the era of talent access – a strategic approach that transcends traditional hiring practices and focuses on tapping into a broader pool of skills and expertise. Unlike conventional talent acquisition methods, which often prioritize hiring full-time employees for specific roles, talent access emphasizes the importance of accessing talent in various forms, including freelancers, gig workers, and external partners. This shift is driven by the recognition that talent is not confined to traditional employment models but exists in diverse and dynamic forms across the global talent landscape.

How can HR create access to talent?

How can organizations assist their employees in proactively managing their careers? 

HR has the opportunity to empower employees to build their career paths through opportunities within the organization. This will require a shift in the company's culture and mindset to promote and support internal mobility, with a focus on internal career development that goes beyond just moving employees internally. The aim should be to create access to skills that the organization needs and upskill its teams.

Internal mobility can be an effective talent strategy for organizations that want to plan and manage their talent supply. By utilizing data and technology, organizations can connect mobility practices to workforce planning, create talent pools, and access the required skills where they are most valuable. This approach will also reduce the movement of low performers between departments, which typically leads to inefficiencies and demotivation. 

The new approach to managing talent is less about acquiring talent to fill gaps and more about recognizing, unlocking, and nurturing potential from within.

The new approach to managing talent is less about acquiring talent to fill gaps and more about recognizing, unlocking, and nurturing potential from within.

talent management for success

Strategic imperatives of talent access

At the heart of the talent access strategy lies a set of strategic imperatives aimed at optimizing workforce agility, scalability, and resilience. These imperatives include:

  • Agile Talent Acquisition: Rather than relying exclusively on traditional recruitment channels, organizations are embracing agile talent acquisition strategies that leverage technology and data-driven insights to identify, engage, and onboard top talent quickly and efficiently. By embracing agile methodologies, HR professionals can adapt to changing market dynamics, seize emerging opportunities, and stay ahead of the competition.
  • Skills-Based Talent Management: In the era of talent access, skills take center stage as the currency of the future workforce. Organizations are shifting towards a skills-based approach to talent management, which focuses on identifying, developing, and deploying the right skills at the right time. By leveraging advanced analytics and AI-powered tools, HR professionals can gain deeper insights into the skills landscape, identify skill gaps, and align talent strategies with organizational objectives.
  • Flexible Work Arrangements: The rise of remote work and flexible work arrangements has opened up new possibilities for talent access and collaboration. Organizations are embracing hybrid work models that allow employees to work from anywhere while leveraging technology to facilitate seamless communication, collaboration, and productivity. By offering flexibility and autonomy, organizations can attract top talent regardless of geographical boundaries and foster a culture of innovation and inclusivity.

Talent AI software and automation

Technology can also play a vital role in supporting access to internal talent. Digital platforms can identify transferable skills and create internal talent marketplaces that match candidates to roles based on skill sets, aspirations, and potential. This democratizes access to opportunities. AI-driven tools are being leveraged to streamline recruitment processes, analyze workforce data, and provide personalized learning experiences. By harnessing the power of data and automation, HR professionals can make more informed decisions and better support talent management objectives.

Automation and AI-driven technologies empower HR professionals to streamline talent acquisition processes, identify skill gaps, and optimize workforce planning. From AI-powered resume screening to predictive analytics for talent forecasting, automation has revolutionized the way organizations attract, engage, and retain top talent.

This is a game-changer for Human Resources and organizations in the realm of talent acquisition and access, transforming the way organizations attract, engage, and retain top talent. From AI-powered sourcing to predictive analytics and robotic process automation (RPA), automation for talent acquisition and access encompasses a wide range of functionalities:

  • AI-driven Sourcing: Advanced algorithms analyze vast datasets to identify potential candidates based on skill sets, experience, and cultural fit. By leveraging AI for sourcing, organizations can efficiently identify qualified candidates from diverse talent pools, reducing time-to-fill and enhancing the overall candidate experience.
  • Chatbot-Assisted Recruitment: Chatbots have become integral to the recruitment process, providing real-time support to candidates and automating routine tasks such as scheduling interviews and answering FAQs. These conversational AI platforms enhance efficiency, engage candidates round-the-clock, and deliver personalized experiences at scale.
  • Skills-Based Assessments: Traditional resumes often fail to capture an individual's full potential. Skills-based assessments powered by AI enable organizations to evaluate candidates based on their actual abilities, rather than relying uniquely on credentials. HR professionals can make data-driven hiring decisions aligned with organizational goals by assessing candidates' competencies through simulations, coding challenges, and interactive exercises.
  • Predictive Analytics: Leveraging historical data and machine learning algorithms, predictive analytic models forecast future talent needs, anticipate turnover risks, and identify emerging skill trends. By harnessing the power of data, HR leaders can proactively address talent gaps, develop targeted upskilling initiatives, and ensure a continuous pipeline of skilled professionals.
  • Robotic Process Automation (RPA): RPA automates repetitive, rule-based tasks such as data entry, candidate screening, and onboarding paperwork. By automating these mundane tasks, HR teams can focus on strategic initiatives, such as employer branding, candidate experience improvement, and talent development.
365Talents unlocks talent potential with agility

365Talents talent marketplace offers an employee-first talent experience platform that unlocks potential and staffs faster with unprecedented visibility. Our solution increases the number of qualified candidates for internal mobility by pushing smart suggestions to the best profiles and empowering managers to uncover hidden gems in your employees’ skills and motivations. 

365Talents automates and accelerates this matching process, revealing the best-fit people for each project without bias and providing explanations to better understand the commonalities and transferable skills between opportunity and employee for more informed, strategic staffing decisions.

365Talents empowers your people to chart their own course by increasing the visibility of the mobility possibilities across your organization. Engaging with us daily on your people's next career goals and ambitions will transform your organization’s approach to mobility, reduce talent loss, and save significant recruitment costs! Book your demo now.

Unlock the benefits of talent management with skills-based HR

In 2024, it is anticipated that organizations will face ongoing talent challenges. As a result, workforce management will expand to include a wider range of diverse and disparate sources of capability. Additionally, organizations will leverage tools to facilitate these initiatives and overcome these challenges.

Many companies have traditionally relied on assessing candidates based on their education, experience, and previous job titles. However, there is a growing trend in talent management, which involves focusing on the skills required for specific tasks. This approach is known as the skills-first approach to talent management.

“84% of business leaders think talent approaches need to reflect a focus on skills rather than traditional job roles.”

Source: Navigating The Changing Talent Landscape

Becoming a skills-first organization is now essential for identifying the skills relevant to the work and then matching people (with those skills) to the tasks across the full talent lifecycle. 

Putting skills at the heart of your organization helps you become more agile and unlock greater productivity while boosting diversity and enhancing employee engagement and well-being.

A skills-first approach encourages ongoing learning and development, empowering employees to stay relevant and competitive throughout their careers. Seeing your employees across the lens of their skills helps HR clearly define the skills the organization has and the skills it doesn’t. HR can show their teams their strengths and the skills gaps they need to fill to progress in their role and careers. Human Resources can then provide new talent mobility and upskilling programs. 

HR talent strategies are evolving to meet the demands of a rapidly changing workforce landscape. By staying attuned to emerging trends and leveraging innovative approaches, organizations can successfully attract, develop, and retain top talent. The transition from talent acquisition to talent access marks a pivotal moment in HR strategy. By embracing automation and AI-driven technologies, organizations can unlock the full potential of their workforce, adapt to evolving talent trends, and drive sustainable growth in the digital age. As we navigate the complexities of the talent landscape, the key to success lies in embracing innovation, leveraging data-driven insights, and reimagining the future of work.

HR functions now have the chance to influence the People & Operations strategic arm of the business. As they need to compete for talent, they are making more efforts than ever to understand and improve employee experience. 

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