Using Predictive Insights for Data-Driven Talent Acquisition, Sourcing and Engagement

July 22, 201610:15 am663 views

Global talent acquisition and management services provider, Alexander Mann Solutions, announced the launch of a research report titled Transforming the Talent Acquisition Function.

The report identified that establishing and communicating corporate brand by enhancing candidate experience, finding the right sourcing channels and methods, and effective utilisation of technology and automation are the three biggest challenges for human resources professionals today.

One of the first comprehensive studies of the Asia Pacific talent acquisition market, the research investigates the views of more than 150 HR executives and experts in Australia, China, Hong Kong, and Singapore on key issues and trends related to talent acquisition, in terms of six key levers which influence the design of the talent acquisition function: Structure & Capability, Brand experience, Sourcing, Technology and Automation, Data and Analytics, and Assessment.

While corporate brand and candidate experience is stated to be one of the top factors contributing to the overall talent acquisition process, 43% of the surveyed HR executives also considered it the number one challenge among the levers. One of the most significant findings uncovered was the necessity to communicate the employer value proposition effectively, in a way which differs across a broad range of age demographics and experience levels.

The research also noted that more than 70% of all HR executives see a shortage of qualified candidates for their vacancies, making sourcing the second major challenge. Amongst all sourcing channels, internal referrals are still utilised by most HR executives surveyed (80%), followed by social media (78%) and paid job boards (76%).

Organisations are seeing the business benefits that social media can offer for more efficient sourcing results. In addition to using both traditional and digital strategies, they should continue to maximise efficiency of sourcing through digital platforms and invest in insight-led sourcing channels that are customised for active and passive candidate markets.

In addition, with online technology being widely used during the talent acquisition process, 79% of all HR executives felt that mobile technology will lead the way for talent acquisition, opening up remarkable opportunities for connecting and engaging with candidates, such as mobile-friendly company websites, candidate communication using mobile messaging tools, and candidate assessment via mobile devices.

Organisations are recommended to implement professional technological tools, including Candidate Relationship Management Systems (CRMs), and advanced technologies, such as predictive analytics, which can contribute to better hiring decisions.

“Attracting and retaining high-quality talent is becoming increasingly complex as candidates are now looking beyond salaries and job titles when considering job offers. This has moved Asia Pacific HR function to take a more strategic, corporate brand- and candidate-focused approach to talent acquisition,” said Caleb Baker, Managing Director, APAC & Emerging Markets at Alexander Mann Solutions.

“The smart use of technology will help address many of the current challenges faced by HR, such as candidate engagement and communication. Armed with the insights presented in this study, Alexander Mann Solutions is in an even better position to assist Asia Pacific clients with defining their talent objectives and tackle today’s talent acquisition challenges.”

Here are some key findings and actionable recommendations amongst the six levers to help organisations maximise efficiencies and meet dynamic business needs:

  • Structure & Capability
    • 44% of all organisations surveyed have outsourced all or part of their talent acquisition function to a third party supplier, leveraging industry expertise to establish a long-term corporate talent acquisition and retention strategy.
    • Professional consultancies can assist organisations in building a robust and anticipatory talent pipeline management strategy, which emerged as a priority in the study, especially in the IT sector where skillset requirements are constantly evolving, or at the C-level where an in-depth understanding of business dynamics is required.


  • Data & Analytics
    • Data and analytics have been identified as a significant driver for effective talent acquisition, yet only 18% of the respondents said they are currently using data and analytics software tools during the talent acquisition process.
    • One of the greatest barriers preventing the adoption of these tools in multinational organisations is concern over data transparency.
    • Organisations with more transparent corporate cultures are more likely to appreciate the ability and benefit of accessing information in a secure and convenient environment using data and analytics tools.


  • Assessment
    • Having an effective and engaging assessment process is crucial to organisations looking for candidates who best fit their needs.
    • While the survey shows that desktop and pen-and-paper are still the predominant channels for evaluating candidates, many employers are open to trying out mobile (58%) and video (43%) assessment, while video situational judgement tests and gamification are also gaining popularity as pre-hire engagement and assessment tools.

The Transforming the Talent Acquisition Function research was conducted in early 2016 through an online survey of 159 HR executives in Australia, China, Hong Kong, and Singapore, and is further supported by the insights and perspectives from independent HR experts.

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