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Organisations should focus on ‘resourcing’ rather than recruitment

Recruitment is reactive and focuses only on short-term needs, whereas resourcing is long term and strategic

Replacing the traditional model of recruitment with ‘resourcing’ could help organisations tackle the war for talent, according to research by the Corporate Research Forum (CRF).

The CRF’s report, seen exclusively by HR magazine, cited research from HireRight showing that 52% of organisations find retaining and developing talent their biggest concern.

"In short, competition for talent is intense, and employers are having to work harder than ever to develop compelling employer branding, employee value propositions, and resourcing strategies to attract and retain the best people," the report stated.

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Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, co-author of the report and professor of business psychology at University College London and Columbia University, said that recruitment is too often reactively focused on filling short-term needs, rather than on strategic planning that considers the organisation’s needs as a whole.

“Recruitment is about selling a job to someone who is willing and able to do it. Resourcing is about looking at the long-term needs of the organisation. It’s a far more holistic approach,” Chamorro-Premuzic told HR magazine.

Of the 231 heads of resourcing, heads of talent acquisition, and senior HR generalists surveyed for the research, 23% said that they do more ‘planned’ than ‘reactive’ external recruitment, 30% said their activity is evenly balanced between reactive and planned, and 45% admitted they do more reactive recruitment.

Chamorro-Premuzic said that HR professionals often struggle to identify and develop talent, but this can be tackled with AI and data.

“One of the most important aspects is identifying potential, and whether someone has the right skills for the organisation. But a lot of companies don’t have a good grasp on effective performance data.”

However, despite increasing attention on AI in HR, only 31% of respondents stated that deploying technology was a priority for them.

Gillian Pillans, CRF research director and co-author of the report, said HR professionals often recognise that the way they approach talent is an issue, but are unsure of how to move towards a resourcing model.

“Suddenly investing in 50 data scientists to use strategic workforce planning can feel like a big step to take,” she said. “Organisations need to start by being strategic, and HR needs to be involved through providing really high-quality market data, and analysing what is and isn’t valuable in their organisation.”

When respondents were asked if their organisation had an explicit resourcing strategy that drives recruitment activities 65% said yes. But further research revealed that these processes were often informal, with the largest proportion (37%) saying that resourcing plans and business strategy are not explicitly connected; instead there are informal mechanisms aligning them in practice.

“There’s also a point on execution – how close is the link between strategy and people resource planning? Organisations think they have a workforce strategy but they don’t always look at the nature of that connection,” Pillans added.

As part of building a successful resourcing strategy employers also need to consider how candidates’ views of the recruitment process are evolving in terms of employer branding, transparency, and values, the report stated.

The research looked at B&Q’s selection methodology, which is based on a bespoke, scientifically-validated framework that incorporates AI and assessment tools. “Our core belief is that the more you can hook people processes end to end, with a consistent approach, the better chance you have of attracting, retaining, and growing great people,” said George Wakely, director of talent and organisational effectiveness at B&Q.

Chamorro-Premuzic added that ‘resourcing’ not only helps attract the right talent but is also fairer: “It’s far more meritocratic.”