Five Ways Talent Forecasting Transforms Recruiting

Talent forecasting is a growing field that uses data-rich software to help HR leaders to better understand and address the supply-and-demand challenges within their organization.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014
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Increasing demands on HR departments to find the "A" players who boost the bottom line are turning recruiting into a competitive sport. Gone are the days of sifting through resumes or letting job boards do the work when you're suddenly in need of new hires. According to a survey by The Adler Group, 83 percent of candidates are passive. But guess what? You're not the only one who wants them.  To get an edge on your competitors, HR needs to be proactive, not reactive. This means knowing your business plans, segmenting out the key positions that will drive change, and going at these key people with a long term view. 

We call it talent forecasting, and it's a growing field that uses data-rich software to help you better understand and address the supply and demand equation. For example, most growth strategies include geographic expansion and the introduction of new products. If your company wants to effectively execute on the business strategy it's important to consider the following:

1) Predictive Analytics Proactively Pinpoint Problems

Most recruiting metrics are historical, meaning they only tell you what already happened. This leaves little opportunity for businesses to proactively address any workforce issues they may face now or in the future. Businesses need real-time metrics that deliver information for tactical excellence, but more importantly, this data needs to be connected to a forecasting capability. These predictive analytics can warn you of upcoming problems and talent opportunities before they occur.

2) Recruitment Needs to be Part of Integrated Talent Management 

Almost every business function has adopted an enterprise-wide process to identify and manage risk, sensing and responding to changing conditions. However, recruiting often remains an island of systems and partners with only a loose connection to the enterprise. Because of this many companies struggle to use the rich data the new hire comes in with just as rich behavioral data that happens through their employee journey to inform and predict other best fit candidates. With integrated analytics, talent and performance processes, companies can act quickly to segment better performers and acquire candidates with the right skills before the competition.

3) Faster Speed Equals Quicker Hires and Less Wasted Time and Resources

Most candidates - as high as 90 percent - will not apply the first time they see an opportunity. Capturing their attention, creating interest in your company and engaging with them is the key to hiring them. Tools are available today that can automate much of this. Invest here so you can use your recruiters to nurture high touch relationships with candidates that are already vetted and looking for real career enhancement rather than just another job or a lateral move.

With automated recruiting marketing and talent forecasting, you can see which sources yield the best results. This saves enormous amounts of time and routinely cuts sourcing costs by at least half.   

4)  Use Big Data to inform Strategic Workforce Planning 

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 The massive volume of data available from candidate supply and demand intelligence systems provides a great Big Data opportunity. Taking this information and using it for forecasting provides a "line of sight" between predictions and outcomes which can drive new recruiter efficiency and candidate quality.

5) Be Bold. This really does work!

According to a survey of 4,288 HR and non-HR managers by the Boston Consulting Group, talent acquisition is the single most important driver for revenue growth and profit.    

Before cutting back on people spending, keep in mind that talent management is a key part of your success. You don't want to become one of the many companies desperate to hire anyone as work piles up and your team falls further behind on deadlines. With a comprehensive recruiting approach that uses big data, predictive analytics and workforce planning, you will avoid the recruiting abyss and be that highly coveted employer of choice. 

These five advantages showcase how talent forecasting can provide human resources with data that will make long-term planning and the allocation of resources easier. Clearly, talent forecasting is much more than counting the number of employees -- it's about understanding the business you want to be and using the technology we have today to find and deliver an effective workforce.

Lisa Hartley is vice president of product and sales strategy for recruiting at SuccessFactors, an SAP company.

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