What makes Talent Acquisition so hard (and important)

Talent Acquisition (TA) is a complicated but highly rewarding concept. For Human Resources professionals focused in the realm of TA, they are on a high speed roller coaster with multiple twists and turns that can often lead them on a white knuckled trip. What makes talent acquisition so hard, and yet so important, is the main focus of the task. TA is a competitive, time-sensitive task that can yield disappointment but also joyous rewards.

Talent Acquisition Challenges

The main reason TA can be so challenging yet rewarding is the same – the people factor. In the current job market, the talent pool is very competitive due to disproportionate numbers of skilled available talent compared to the number of vacant jobs. The competition is fiercely competitive. Rival companies are recruiting the same candidates that TA professionals seek to hire. Getting the message out to job seekers about the company’s vacancies and the company’s stellar branding to entice them to apply and pursue the company takes precision to filter through competitors’ noise. TA specialists can resonate their message more clearly and combat the noise by ensuring that company branding promotes the company as being the employer of choice due to culture.

Having a culture inclusive to employees with benefits that meets and exceeds the needs of employees solidifies TA’s claims to job seekers that their company is the one for job seekers. If job vacancies in certain geographic areas are more difficult to fill, examine what could help with filling those roles. Consider expanding the candidate search to additional areas or explore options for remote or hybrid work settings to attract more candidates. Utilize social media to its fullest and promote vacant job listings on major platforms. Social media platforms reach target audiences of differing ages and backgrounds. Using different social media platforms allows TA professionals to reach job seekers with diverse demographics.

The “People Factor”

Digging deeper into the people factor. What if applicants are plentiful, but none are perceived to have the needed skill set to be fully qualified to fill the vacant roles within an organization? This is where TA must partner closely with the department leaders of the vacant roles. Focus on the required skills needed for the vacant role. Candidates that meet those required skills can be evaluated further. They then identify the reasons why Human Resources cannot completely commit to extending a job offer.

For candidates who are contenders for a role but not 100% vetted, explore what it would take to mold a candidate for the vacant role in which they applied. The “perfect” candidate is equivalent to a unicorn; sought-after, beautiful and fictitious. If there are candidates for vacancies that can be shaped into productive contributors to an organization with some assistance upon hire, consider providing that assistance. It is possible that extra training or classes could be beneficial. The financial investment initially could pay off more down the road. A new hire will then have been given the opportunity to refine weaker areas to enhance their performance. Investing in employees, particularly new hires, can lead to higher employee retention and productivity.

Screening Candidates

Upon review of candidates, TA must be tasked with screening those who are potential for the company. TA is often the first impression of a company so TA professionals must display professionalism with a personable demeanor. Phone screens and interviews, whether face-to-face or virtual, generate nervousness in the minds of job seekers. TA professionals should create a positive rapport with interviewees. they can do this through sincerity and a genuine interest in learning more about the person’s desire to work for the company. Establishing a dialogue that is reflective of the company culture of inclusivity will help TA professionals formulate a working relationship with job seekers that help set a competitive edge. The best job seekers will be receiving employment offers from multiple companies. Job seekers will migrate to the company that demonstrates a bona fide interest in employees. This will help attract stellar job seekers from competitors.

How to make Talent Acquisition Easier

Monitoring efficiency in talent acquisition can be challenging if data is not being collected and analyzed. Using an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) consolidates applicant data into a central location for analysis and communication by TA professionals and other designated employees in the hiring process. Having a central location to screen applicant data and communicate with stakeholders in the hiring process saves time and creates a comprehensive trail of actions taken when screening applicant records. Robust reporting tools deliver accessible data quickly to identify efficiency gaps in the hiring process. Using analytics helps TA professionals confidently formulate short-term and long-term goals. These can be used in immediate activities and strategic planning with leadership.


TA professionals work diligently to overcome competitive challenges in the hiring process. It is often a role which entails erratic schedules with long days and weekend events. Disappointment is frequent when TA professionals witness coveted potential talent decline their best pitch at landing them within their organization. While it is a game of wins and losses in a very broad generic sense, talent acquisition hosts a plethora of rewards. Without TA professionals to lead the charge of recruiting and retaining key talent, an organization would be sailing a ship without sails ultimately leading to a lack of sales.

TA professionals relentlessly pursue potential talent. They need to have the support of executive leadership as they navigate the recruitment process. Providing TA professionals with the tools they need for success is the best option for an organization. Then leadership can ensure that the company’s growth and productivity as a whole will weather threatening situations. This will allow them to survive things such as pandemics and global recessions. Talent acquisition is truly a hard but essential component in an organization’s overall health. It is crucial that appreciation is shown to those charged with acquiring talent to the company.

How will ChatGPT affect the hiring process?

Chat Generative Pretrained Transformer (AKA ChatGPT) is making headlines consistently throughout the world. ChatGPT is an Artificial Intelligence (AI) driven, human-like chat concept created by OpenAI and released to the world in November 2022. OpenAI has a strong, powerful and well-known investor – Microsoft.  In fact, the partnership with OpenAI and Microsoft is so strong, Microsoft is slated to incorporate AI called “Copilot” into Microsoft 365. Technology is constantly evolving, and the world is getting mainstream access to software that is reflective of human-like responses. AI driven software is new and exciting yet intimidating and overwhelming. ChatGPT is promoted as a resource for industries across the board, and Human Resources are starting to field questions, benefits and concerns as it is integrated in the hiring process.


Benefits to using ChatGPT in recruiting

Crafting a job listing or creating a standard job template can take time. ChatGPT can help by providing a foundation of content describing the role that can be customized to reflect the requirements of a vacant job listing. ChatGPT can generate content that does not include unconscious bias towards protected classes. It can keep content neutral, remove potential gender biases and eliminate jargon.

ChatGPT can provide job specific content for an organization. It can provide Human Resources professionals with sample interview questions to use in phone screens and face-to-face/virtual interviews. It can focus on the roles being filled at the moment. This is helpful as a starting point for recruiters.  These recruiters might be interviewing candidates for different types of roles that might be outside their niche. Before becoming dependent on the interview questions generated by ChatGPT, it is important to check with the company’s legal team. They can ensure that all application  and interview questions meet local, state and federal legal guidelines. HR professionals need to customize questions to reflect the culture, mission and vision of the organization as a whole.

Using ChatGPT in the workplace

Trying to come up with a way to draft an email that is not too wordy but yet “personable”? ChatGPT can be tasked with composing email content related to the mission of the message. Spelling and grammar errors are reduced. Save the content as a Communication Template to use when texting and/or emailing others.

Once new talent has been hired, it is crucial for a company to keep them engaged. ChatGPT can help new hires by answering their questions about company policies. ChatGPT can also provide assistance to new hires as they complete required paperwork and enroll in benefits. This can save HR time by automating tasks such as scheduling orientation, supervisor meetings and ordering company swag for new hires.

Microsoft’s AI, Copilot, will be integrated into Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook.  Abilities of the AI integration will allow for the automatic creation of data graphs in Excel. It also has the ability for PowerPoint to create presentations with images based on user prompts. For people who miss a Teams meeting, Copilot is set to generate automatic summarization. It will document the key content points from conversations within Teams. The inclusion date of this feature has not yet been released. This is promoted to offer cost and time savings to end users. Considering the volume of companies that use Microsoft, this will impact internal and external stakeholders.


Concerns about using ChatGPT in the hiring process

While AI has been trickling into mainstream software and internet use, the immersion of ChatGPT fosters some genuine concern. Such as how intuitive the tool can be and whether it can cross a line of no return in its answers. There is no guarantee that answers provided to the users’ questions will be accurate or even ethically appropriate. Individuals who are starting conversations with an employer via chat dialogues need to be aware of who is or is not on the other side of the chat. Be forthcoming to employees that AI is driving the results and direction of the chat conversation to mitigate negative perception of the “employee” communicating in the chat.

Some companies will seek the use of ChatGPT as a replacement for human capital in a way to save time and money. If ChatGPT can do the tasks of one or more individuals, it is likely there will be some cost-cutting measures by eliminating human roles. Goldman Sachs estimates that 300 million jobs could be lost or diminished due to AI. To mitigate risk of elimination, at-risk employees need to explore opportunities for ongoing education and cross-training in in-demand areas.

Questions exist over safety controls. As with any software program, engineers work diligently to establish the highest parameters of safety. Will answers be accurate and appropriate? If ChatGPT generates inappropriate answers in a chat conversation, the impact of that conversation could lead to negative publicity that could impact the recruitment and retention of employees.


As an Applicant Tracking System helps streamline the recruitment process and an Onboarding System securely organizes employees’ content, technology is designed to simplify tasks in a process.  With ChatGPT, a lingering question exists. How will ChatGPT affect the neurodevelopment of employees? Will individuals find ChatGPT as a time saving tool that helps individuals light the fire of innovation of new projects, or will ChatGPT foster a sense of dependency and lethargy that stymies creativity and self-awareness? Time will tell as the debate is escalating on the use of AI in the employment sector. As with any new tool, it takes time to develop and refine the skills of its use. Knowledge is power; do not underestimate the powerful partnership of technology and the human brain in the quest for efficiency and productivity.

Workforce Redeployment

Layoffs have been a recurring theme in the news lately. Major organizations such as Disney, Meta, Microsoft, and Goldman Sachs are some of the most well-known organizations that are cutting staff due to concerns of a pending global recession. Layoffs are designed to cut costs and implement a more lean style of business to yield a higher profit. However it can often communicate internal instability to consumers. They might look at other product and service providers who appear more stable to complete business transactions.

Layoffs not only reduce staff, but they also reduce employee morale. They generate a sense of uncertainty as many employees wonder if they are next on the “chopping block”. If employees are tense wondering if they are going to be laid off, they will start looking at employment elsewhere. Often this is with the company’s competitors in the same niche.  Although layoffs can be unavoidable, other options worth examining exist before making the decision to eliminate jobs. To help mitigate damage to employee morale and maintain a positive perception of company stability, companies need to explore the option of workforce redeployment instead of layoffs.

Internal Mobility

Workforce redeployment, AKA “internal mobility”, is a strategic function conducted by Human Resources and leadership to shift existing employees into different roles within the same organization. This is not a new concept. Companies have been utilizing workforce redeployment for years. Particularly in the case of health issues where an employee might not be able to physically or mentally perform the duties of their current role. They are then moved into a different role within the same organization which is more feasible for success. Workforce redeployment is commonly used at times of internal reorganization to help employees maintain employment within the company. Redeployed employees do not necessarily keep the same pay, schedule and working arrangements. Those factors are based on the needs of the new role in which the employee was redeployed.

Currently, workforce redeployment is gaining more traction as a strategic function to offset unexpected situations that impact business functions. The economy will continue to ebb and flow with periods of expansion and contraction so that is a known variable. Unknown variables such as a global pandemic are difficult to anticipate. Over three years later, companies are still reeling from the effects of COVID-19’s impact on working arrangements and job adaptability. Throw in the ongoing challenge of finding qualified talent, and these three items form the perfect storm for business failure if proactive processes to retain talent are not integrated within the company’s strategic plan.

Maximizing Efficiencies

Human Resources and leadership must conduct regular reviews of an organization’s structure. To help maximize efficiencies within an organization, a company needs to evaluate current roles. Then forecast where growth and reductions are anticipated to occur. In departments where growth and value are lagging, examine the likelihood of their future impact and their timeframe of dissipating value. Before the expiration date of those departments and/or roles within that have lagging value, invest in the talented employees. Offer the ability to reskill, as needed, and move into a different role. During times of prosperity, cross train employees. Provide training on skills that are internally forecasted with a high need.

Proactively identifying where cuts are needed, but allowing time to partner with those affected employees, shows the organization’s commitment to their employees. Redeploying employees can boost employee morale and demonstrate a view of solidarity and strength to internal and external stakeholders. Employees who believe that their organization is committed to their tenure and growth are more likely to stay within the organization reducing the loss of knowledge and talent.

For those employees who are redeployed into a different role within an organization, management must take into account that there will be varying degrees of emotion. Employees will run through a gamut of nervousness, excitement, and fear. Establish regular check-ins and monitor the transition into the new role. The redeployed employee is already familiar with the company’s culture and mission, vision and values so time to productivity should be quicker. Allow the employee to openly share their needs, goals and expectations for success.

Workforce Redeployment Challenges

Not all employees will be supportive of workforce redeployment initiatives so there will be some attrition. For those employees who willingly leave the company, keep the door open and offer a warm welcome for a potential future return. Boomerang workers are employees who leave an organization and come back later to work for the same company. Harvard Business Review reports that 20% of employees who left an organization during the pandemic have returned to a previous employer. Losing talent is hard. It is even more painful for the organization if the talent built a positive rapport with colleagues. Provide a positive departing experience for talent who is voluntarily leaving. There is a solid chance they could want to return, and they might be the talent your organization is seeking.

Due to the nature and complexity of the scope of business, not all organizations can launch a mainstream workforce redeployment plan. However, often feasible opportunities exist to shift employees into roles that are conducive to company growth. Creative efforts must be made when examining the potential jobs and employees for redeployment. Create an internal network so employees can have a better understanding of other departments’ functions. Conduct skills assessments to identify skills transferable into different roles. Use an Applicant Tracking System’s (ATS’s) internal application to collect the interest of employees interested in other company opportunities. Maintain performance and employee records in a robust onboarding platform.


To offset financial loss and maintain a competitive edge, include workforce redeployment initiatives in the company’s strategic plan. Companies must forge through merciless storms of talent wars, evolving technology, pandemics, inflation and supply chain issues among many other barriers that disrupt operations and threaten a company’s existence. The loss of talent and the negative publicity that results from layoffs can be a one-two punch that can impede profits and even existence. Taking initiatives, such as workforce redeployment, can mitigate those losses and help keep doors open longer. Having an agile workforce is in an investment that pays in the long run.

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