Talent acquisition outcomes: So much more than “better hiring”

Posted by Robin Erickson and Denise Moulton on June 19, 2018.

We’ve been seeing significant evolution in the talent acquisition (TA) function for some years now as companies continue to refine how they attract, recruit, select, and onboard talent in a competitive market. But even we were surprised by how strongly the latest Bersin™, Deloitte Consulting LLP research on high-impact talent acquisition confirms TA’s advancement since our last study in 2014. We now have data tying TA maturity not only to advancements in how well the TA function fulfills its purpose, but also to business, financial, and workforce outcomes.

Considering the breakneck pace at which work, workforces, and workplaces are evolving, we wanted this latest TA research to explore just how TA is integrated into the culture and context of organizations as they evolve to meet the future of work. By doing so, we were able to uncover insights beyond the functional aspects of mature TA, such as how they source candidates, build relationships with candidates, evaluate candidates, design a hiring process, and the like.

Instead, we were able to not only look at ways mature TA functions become better at talent acquisition, but also how they enhance the entire HR suite and support the broader business. The most effective TA functions are seen by senior executives as essential players in executing business strategy and promoting the company’s people culture. These high-performing TA teams are integrated across the HR suite and the business as a whole, enabling TA to better understand and anticipate the needs of the business while also developing a more integrated relationship with other talent-related functions. In our research, for example, two-thirds of high-performing TA functions report significant integration with talent management, while only 16 percent of their low-performing counterparts can say the same.1

How we measure high performance

Bersin’s Talent Acquisition (TA) Maturity Model enables leaders to assess their organization’s current capabilities and move up in maturity. Each level of the model is characterized by a specific level of achievement across a handful of factors. Our research shows that progression from low to high performance correlates with gains in a range of specific outcomes.

The Talent Acquisition Maturity Model

Source: Bersin, Deloitte Consulting LLP, 2018.

For example, outcomes typically include:

Business Outcomes: High-maturity organizations are:

  • 2x more likely to meet financial targets
  • 2.4x more likely to improve efficiency
  • 2.4 times more likely to innovate
  • 3x more likely to manage change than low-maturity organizations.2

Financial Performance Outcomes: While making no claims of causation, organizations with high-impact Talent Acquisition functions significantly outperform their peers. Compared to low-maturity organizations, high-maturity organizations demonstrate:

  • 30 percent higher profit per employee
  • 18 percent higher revenue for enterprise-size organizations
  • 31 percent higher revenue for midsize organizations.3

Selected Workforce Outcomes: High-maturity organizations are:

  • 4x more likely to address people topics in a timely manner
  • 6x more likely to engage in data-based decision making
  • 3.4x more likely to develop capable managers than low-maturity organizations.4

As companies look to optimize their Human Capital Balance Sheet to help build human capital as an asset, reduce inefficiency in labor spend, and manage risk, these results demonstrate the value of investment in and attention to talent acquisition within the HR suite. Only 13 percent of the organizations in our research have reached TA Maturity Level 4, so this is an area of great opportunity for many organizations looking to improve.

The full 2018 High-Impact Talent Acquisition survey results are worth a closer look. More than 1,200 HR, TA, and business professionals in organizations of all sizes from around the world participated, and the data represents a cross-section of geographies, industries, and organization sizes. Interestingly, the data did not vary by organization size; achieving TA maturity and the associated outcomes for the business is possible regardless of organization size.

Bersin members can download the full research report and new TA Maturity Model here. Anyone can access this infographic outlining the High-Impact Talent Acquisition findings and associated survey data. Also, we blog regularly on TA, so please follow us at blog.bersin.com and stay tuned as we share more insights from our research there as well as here on HR Times.

1 The Talent Acquisition Maturity Model, Bersin, Deloitte Consulting LLP / Robin Erickson, PhD, and Denise Moulton, 2018.
2 Ibid.
3 Ibid. High-maturity organizations are Top 50%, and low-maturity organizations are bottom 50% of the 271 organizations with financial data available.
4 The Talent Acquisition Maturity Model, Bersin, Deloitte Consulting LLP / Robin Erickson, PhD, and Denise Moulton, 2018.

Robin Erickson, PhD, leads talent acquisition, engagement, and retention research for Bersin, Deloitte Consulting LLP. Recognized as a thought leader in her areas of specialization, Robin offers more than 20 years of experience, including prior experience in talent strategies consulting and research for Deloitte’s Human Capital practice.


Denise Moulton leads HR and talent research for Bersin, Deloitte Consulting LLP. Specializing in talent acquisition, talent management, human resources administration and field operations, Denise is also skilled at driving reinvention across onboarding programs, employment branding initiatives, and recruitment management.

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