The FIRM Annual Membership Survey 2018/19

The FIRM have just launched their 2018/19 Annual Membership Survey. It certainly doesn’t feel like 12 months since the 2017/18 publication hit the market! Tempus fugit.

This year’s report is based on a survey of just under 200 in-house recruiters from all manner of industries, covering such sub-topics as structure, strategy, future talent, attraction/sourcing, tech/digital, assessment/selection, RPO and reporting/analytics.

As with last year’s survey, I wanted to pull out some interesting insights to get a sense of what the Talent Acquisition community is thinking and feeling on certain topics a year on.

EVP/employer brand is still number one in the list of ‘recruitment priorities’ (44%), albeit I couldn’t help but focus in on number 2; direct sourcing (41%) – number 3; talent pipelining (30%) – and number 4; succession planning (27%). Music to the ears of organisations such as ourselves from a partnering perspective and further evidence that the TA community is still doing all it can to become as proactive as possible in an attempt to leave the days of reactionary ‘order taking’ behind.

60% of respondents state that the level of recruitment within their organisation will increase compared to last year, yet just under half of all respondents are still sat in TA teams of between 1 and 5. A similar number of respondents (45%) are dealing with 25/30/40/50+ requisitions at any given time (echoing the findings in our recent requisition workload insight report). This remains a wider problem that many organisations don’t appear to be facing up to based on previous surveys. Talent Acquisition as a function is expected to work harder and fill more roles year-on year, yet team sizes remain incredibly small and budgets remain tight.

Little wonder then that 64% of respondents said that, within their organisation, more hires will come from external suppliers than internal activity. Only 20% could point towards figures that showed their organisations were hiring more candidates from direct sourcing than from external providers.

However, agency use continues to be limited. 48% of respondents filled less than 10% of their roles via agency in the last 12 months; 26% filled less than 25% of their roles.

As a result, organisations partnering with research/insight consultancies appears to be on the increase. 86% of respondents have used/would like to use market mapping, 93% have used/would like to use external market insight and 94% have used/would like to use competitor benchmarking.

In summing up my thoughts on the 2017/18 survey last November, I said: “it would come as no surprise if those Talent Acquisition team sizes remain exactly the same but that the number of requisitions has gone up again…”, which absolutely appears to be the case. Long term this isn’t really sustainable if the mandate from most company boards is “more hiring, but more direct sourcing”. They have to be given the tools and resources to achieve this.

I’m continually impressed with how technology and creative thinking has projected Talent Acquisition as a key function in its own right in recent years, but at a time when the phrase “people are our greatest asset…” is still bandied around by business leaders, it would appear that a lot of organisations are continually stifling the very team responsible for bringing those new ‘assets’ in.

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