Trends & BenchmarksTalent Leadership

Tackling the top 3 challenges in enterprise TA

Lauren Shufran

Lauren Shufran

Content Strategist

Posted on

June 17, 2021

At the end of last year—a year that tested us, asked us to discover our resilience, and invited us to surprise ourselves in the face of crisis and uncertainty—we surveyed over 500 talent acquisition professionals, from Sourcers and Recruiters, to Directors of Talent, to Talent Ops, to VPs of People, because we wanted a broader sense of what the recruiting landscape looked like. We wanted real voices in the form of anecdotes and opinions. We wanted to know about remote tools and tech stacks, about how talent leaders understood themselves as strategic business advisors in the face of the pandemic and the renewed importance of DEI, about top trends they anticipated for the coming year. In some cases, we sliced answers to the same question—separating out individual contributors (ICs) and talent leaders—to see if they shared perceptions, opinions, conjectures, or expectations. Often—as was the case for anticipated recruiting challenges of 2021—top answers were the same:

enterprise recruiting challenges

In aggregate, sourcers/recruiters, talent leaders, and executives anticipated the same top-3 recruiting challenges in 2021: difficulty finding qualified talent was #1, difficulty meeting diversity goals was #2, and nurturing passive talent over the long-term was #3. When we filtered by company size, we discovered that those top challenges were the same for enterprise (1000-4999 FTEs) and large enterprise (5000+ FTEs) companies. The only difference was that “nurturing passive talent over the long-term” came in at #1 for individual contributors, followed by difficulty finding qualified talent and difficulty meeting diversity goals.

What this means for enterprise talent acquisition is that it’s coping with the same top-three challenges in 2021 as its smaller counterparts—Mid-Market and SMBs—in its respective industries are. Your counterparts—the smart ones, at least—are currently implementing strategies to uncover more qualified candidates, meet their diversity goals, and nurture top passive talent. (We know because we’re talking with them about these strategies, and their successes, every day.) And if you’re lagging in meeting these same three challenges head-on, you risk losing the competitive advantage you currently have thanks to longevity and brand recognition. 

The Tackling the Biggest Challenges in Enterprise TA Series contains first steps, next steps, best practices, and recommendations for teams when it comes to each of these challenges. Here’s what each ebook broadly covers:

6 Secrets to Finding Qualified Talent

“Finding qualified talent” is recruiting’s long-standing challenge, and the pandemic didn’t change that. By the end of 2020, 40% of U.S. companies were saying they had open positions for which they couldn’t find qualified candidates. Now, in 2021, 61% of recruiters say their top challenge when it comes to finding technical talent is “finding qualified candidates.”

Rather than a “talent shortage,” the reason enterprise TA teams aren’t “finding” qualified talent likely has something to do with a lack of effective sourcing methods, impractical job requirements, weak employer branding, or impersonal candidate experience—or some combination of the above.

6 Secrets to Finding Qualified Talent supports TA teams in their top challenge of 2021, and covers:

  • How to rethink what “required” means in your reqs and job descriptions, and why it may be worth it to you to think about results or impact rather than requirements

  • How to cast a wider net to find passive talent, expanding your search beyond inbound applicants 

  • How to strengthen your employer brand to convey a unique company culture that qualified talent wants to come work for

  • How to ensure your entire hiring process from reachout to offer-accept is human-centric, swift, and data driven, so you can keep the qualified talent that does enter your funnel

How to Meet Diversity Recruiting Goals

Over 80% of talent leaders said that diversity was the most important trend shaping the future of recruiting and hiring in 2020. And we continue to see more and more enterprise TA teams set new diversity goals and create new diversity initiatives in 2021. 

The pioneers in the space don’t blame the pool for how difficult it’s been to meet these new goals. Rather, they look deeper into their sourcing, recruiting, and hiring processes. They debug and debias their diversity funnels to avoid systemic racism and sexism. The good news? It works

In How to Meet Diversity Recruiting Goals, we aim to help enterprise TA teams tackle their second-biggest challenge. We take you from the top of the funnel all the way through to hire. We answer questions like: 

  • How can I think “out of the box” to find underrepresented talent?

  • What does an inclusive job description look like? 

  • How do I signal inclusion in my outreach to all talent?

  • What’s the key data to share in our public demographic stats?

  • What should our EEOC statement read like?

  • How can I use data to debias the stages of my hiring funnel, so I’m not losing underrepresented talent to a thoughtless process?

How to Create a Structured Process to Nurture Passive Talent

It can take between 12 and 20 touchpoints to influence a career decision. But most sourcers and recruiters aren’t maintaining relationships after their initial outreach when the job opportunity doesn’t align with talent’s timing. In doing so, they risk missing stellar but not-quite-ready candidates every time they fail to nurture those connections. 

The best recruiting teams aren’t just hiring for today; they’re hiring with the long-view in mind. They know that nurturing passive talent over the long-term ultimately means faster time-to-hire, better quality-of-hire, employees who are more aligned with their values, and better retention numbers. And they know it makes good business sense.

In How to Create a Structured Process to Nurture Passive Talent, we guide you through top challenge #3, breaking down the steps of building a winning nurture process: 

  • How to create and segment your talent personas for long-term nurture campaigns

  • Where to go for content (hint: you don’t have to create it all yourself!), what types of content to consider, and how to use it in your outreach 

  • What tools can help you to personalize, automate, and track your entire nurture process, so you know (and use!) what resonates most strongly with talent 

We had a delightful time creating this series, and we hope it serves you in tackling these challenges, this year and in the years to come.




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