No Longer Just an Afterthought: High-Performing Talent Acquisition Teams Influence Organizational Profitability

Posted by Robin Erickson January 29, 2018.

I’m excited to announce that we just published Bersin’s latest High-Impact Talent Acquisition (HITA) study, with 1,220 global participants. This study is only our second industry study for talent acquisition—and, yes, the world has changed since our last industry study published in September 2014.

We found that talent acquisition (TA) can contribute meaningfully to an organization’s success. Accelerating the capabilities of a TA function requires effort, investment, resources, and even cultural change. But the payoffs for TA maturity are significant gains in business performance. Our research shows that companies with high-maturity TA functions bring in 18 percent more revenue than their low-maturity counterparts. Further, when it comes to profit per employee, organizations with high-maturity TA functions enjoy a 30 percent advantage over their low-maturity counterparts.

So what do TA functions need to focus on specifically? We discovered six key findings:

  • Mature TA teams build the workforce through integration with the business. Senior executives view TA teams as essential players in executing strategy and promoting the company’s people culture. Integration also allows TA teams to better anticipate broader business needs and better partner with hiring managers.
  • Existing employees are recognized as a strategic resource, and internal mobility is a part of company culture. Hiring managers and recruiters know their internal employees’ capabilities, and hiring managers work with recruiters to cultivate talent from within.
  • Candidates are evaluated for work ethic, values, and potential as much as skills and past experiences. Effective TA teams recognize that a great candidate on paper may not be a good fit for the organization—and some of the best candidates can emerge from unlikely places.
  • High-performing TA teams construct a personalized candidate journey. Rather than a “one-size-fits-all” experience, high-performing TA functions market the role to specific candidates to not only engage top talent but also strengthen the employment brand and promote the organization’s culture.
  • Mature TA teams continuously regenerate because of dedication to upskilling, informal learning, and professional growth. Both recruiters and hiring managers are encouraged to engage in a mix of traditional education, mentor relationships, and networking opportunities to improve their TA capabilities.
  • Highly mature TA teams use artificial intelligence (AI) and predictive data analytics. Organizations sharpen the TA function by using data-driven analytics and digital, cognitive tools to better source and assess candidates and prevent possible misjudgments caused by bias or false logic.

Bersin members can download these six key HITA findings and the new TA Maturity Model here. Not a Bersin member? Download an infographic outlining the HITA findings and the associated survey data.

Over the next year, I plan to do additional research on how TA intersects with internal mobility, AI / cognitive tools, and predictive data. Doing something interesting in any of these areas? As always, I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to add a comment below, or connect with me on Twitter @RAEricksonPhD or by email at

Robin EricksonRobin Erickson, Vice President, Talent Acquisition Research Leader / Bersin, Deloitte Consulting LLP

Robin leads talent acquisition, engagement, and retention research for Bersin, Deloitte Consulting LLP. Recognized as a thought leader in her areas of expertise, Robin offers more than 20 years of experience, including prior experience in talent strategies consulting and research for Deloitte’s Human Capital practice. Robin led Deloitte’s global Talent 2020 longitudinal survey series and her work has appeared in several issues of Deloitte Review and in Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends reports. She holds a doctoral degree in organizational communication and change, as well as a master’s in communication, from Northwestern University. Robin also has a master’s degree in theology from Northern Seminary and a bachelor of arts from the University of Chicago.

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