Now’s the time to rethink your talent strategy – and Design Thinking can help

New research reveals the power of leveraging Design Thinking in recruiting at world-class companies

A recent study by the Human Capital Institute (HCI) on “Designing and Refining Talent Acquisition” reinforces the important role Design Thinking plays in HR. 307 HR practitioners were surveyed to enlighten those in the HR field on how Design Thinking can be applied to the problems of talent acquisition. If you are considering changing your approach to your talent sourcing and recruiting strategies, then you will want to learn how Design Thinking benefits organisations by reading through this study.

Highlights from the study

Context:  Existing weaknesses in talent acquisition strategies have been highlighted due to the changing landscape of work, including increasing numbers of new and open positions and tighter competition for the talent with the best fit and most desirable skills.

Most recruitment drives are overly complex and are designed for recruiters and compliance, better technology, better reporting, better structures, better analytics. This has motivated many businesses to rethink not only their talent acquisition strategy but also the approaches they use in problem-solving.

For many companies, this now includes Design Thinking – defined as a constant methodology that seeks understanding through empathy and creates solutions by prototyping, refining, and re-designing.

Design Thinking finds solutions by starting with the perspective of the customer – carefully considering the emotional, physical, and cognitive needs of all the stakeholders in this process.

The study suggests starting by asking discovery questions to gain a better understanding of stakeholders: What is the candidate experience? What is the hiring manager’s experience? What is the company’s experience? And, from each of those “customer” perspectives–consider: What do they need, want, and value?

By showing empathy, Design Thinkers can provide context for problems and challenges in designing and refining the talent acquisition process. This approach, will integrates the needs of each of these key stakeholders, translating into a superior and robust talent acquisition strategy.

Key Findings of Design Thinking in Talent Acquisition

  • 31 percent of talent leaders at organizations with developed design thinking say they’re effective at building sustainable talent pipelines – compared to 16 percent in the overall pool, and only 12 percent in the group that uses no design thinking.
  • The use of analytics in the talent acquisition process received the lowest rating of effectiveness (13%) in the survey, suggesting that efforts to improve the sourcing of candidates and create a sustainable talent pipeline may continue to pose significant challenges in the near-term.
  • Design Thinking helps talent acquisition teams build sustainable talent pipelines.
  • Design Thinking addresses the communication between the customers of the talent acquisition process to improve its outcomes. The candidate is given more timely and transparent information about their place in the process, and more opportunities for feedback. This results in greater insight into the candidate experience and improves the organisation’s employer brand.
  • 57 percent of talent leaders at organisations with developed design thinking say they’re effective at aligning talent acquisition strategies to business priorities – compared to the average of 36 percent, and just 27 percent of organisations which use no design thinking.
  • Design Thinking approaches are effective in meeting some of talent acquisition’s biggest challenges.
  • Companies that use Design Thinking create better alignment of talent acquisition strategy and business strategy.
  • Unlike traditional problem-solving efforts, organisations that rely on Design Thinking approaches are more likely to use a combination of qualitative and quantitative people data.
  • Organisations with Design Thinking are more likely to measure time to proficiency and time to productivity to better describe the quality of hire.

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The British Institute of Recruiters is the Professional Body operating The Recruitment Certification Scheme

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