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Defining the most appropriate Future Focused Talent Acquisition (TA) Operating Model:

How to operationalise efficiently

The Future of the TA Operating Model: How to operationalise efficiently?

The world of work is ever-changing; this is shifting the demands and expectations of HR to a value-add, C-suite service offering to Executive level business stakeholders. As a critical function within HR, Talent Acquisition (TA) functions need to ensure the TA Operating Model is adapting to respond to this wider HR disruption. 87% of recruiting professionals say TA has become a more strategic function over the past year but despite this, TA functions are still finding they do not have the capabilities, capacity or efficiencies in place to provide a client ready response to their C-suite that reflects their organisation’s external level of service. Although reshaping your TA Operating Model may seem like a daunting task, the advantages highlighted by fully optimised TA functions are increased speed of services, improved experience for candidates and hiring managers and reduced costs.

So how can TA leverage the operating model to uplift the TA level of service not only to HR, but also to business stakeholders and candidates?

What are the typical TA Operating Models?

We see 4 types of Operating Models or ‘Archetypes’ being implemented (although the below list is not exhaustive). The Archetypes are intended to reflect the typical characteristics, benefits, and considerations behind possible TA Operating Models.

What options does TA have for their Service Delivery Model?

A critical part of the Operating Model design is subsequently how do we deliver this? With the War for Talent ever pressing on performance, the common question arises - should we look at outsourcing the TA function? There is no ‘one fits all’ solution. Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) can be an attractive option for organisations who may not have the right capabilities internally; RPOs also offer agility and scalability in response to changing business demands. However, one of the key benefits of an in-house recruiting function is that the experience for candidates can be more personalised, due to the internal nature of the TA team as well as an invested interest in the success of these candidates in the business. An alternative insourcing option that can be suitable for some organisations is centralising TA services to a HR Shared Services Centre. The benefits of moving recruitment transactions to shared services model include cost efficiencies, due to this often being offshored and rolled into wider business shared services. It also benefits from efficiencies of scale so is a viable solution for many organisations looking to create an adaptable TA function.

What is the process of defining a new TA operating model?

If you’ve decided to embark on the journey of transforming your TA Operating model, it’s important to consider the various elements of the design but also understand how they complement and interact with each other. As a starting point we’d advise:

  1. Current state assessment and visioning: Understand where the TA function is currently, and what the biggest operational challenges may be to help your create your vision statement.
  2. Define design principles: Based upon your vision statement of where you want the TA function to be in the future, align TA to the broader HR and business operational strategy and define the design principles you want to build TA around.
  3. Scope of services, customers and channels: What will Talent Acquisition be responsible for in a future state? Who will be the critical customers of TA and how will those customers interact with TA? E.g. chatbots, case requests
  4. Design options: Define the structure of the TA Op Model including capabilities, where the capabilities will be located, your service delivery model including if and where insourcing/outsourcing could be used and finally sizing up the TA team.

The benefits of an efficient TA Operating Model are wide ranging, from adaptability, scalability, cost efficiencies, capability expansion and improved experience. Although the primary purpose of TA has not changed: to supply the workforce for the organisation to thrive; TA functions need to consider how to operationalise efficiently to effectively fulfil that purpose and become a truly future focussed TA function.