Strategic Importance – Talent Retention Vs Talent Acquisition

Author: Nipsy Jhamb | Categories: HR Management

Demand for strategic human assets and the ability to retain them in the organization is becoming an undeniable challenge for many organizations, across industries. The primary reason for this struggle is the demographic and psychographic shift happening in today’s employable population. Educated and skilled employees have a buffet of options in front of them if ever they want to switch to greener employment pastures. Therefore, the traditional financial dependence on thejob, search for job security, and loyalty towards employer don’t hold much relevance anymore.

By realizing these transforming conditions in the talent market, organizations have started laying emphasis on two core strategic processes – Talent Acquisition and Talent Retention.

Strategic importance of Talent Acquisition

A recent study conducted by Deloitte University Press with senior level executives has revealed, “while 31% of the organizations today are undergoing changes in Talent Acquisition process and strategy, 27% more are considering doing the same”. Talent Acquisition is no longer about competency mapping, designing JDs and organizing recruitment platforms. Talent and skill scarcity is reflectedevidentlyin some industries that most TA managers are now re-acquiring employees who left the organization some time ago. From a strategic point of view, managing talent acquisition efficiently requires:

  • Engaging current and potential employee networks over social media platforms, extending the employer brand.
  • Analyzing the impact of the cost of talent acquisition on the organization-wide profitability and efficiency.
  • Opting for internal deployments, job enrichment, job enlargement and referral recruitments where thecost of new talent acquisition can be debilitating in terms of time and money.
  • Extending hot skill bonuses, attractive compensation packages as well as holistic work opportunities to employees in order to build a strong employer brand.

However, just by focusing on talent acquisition, organizations can’t hope to make human resource their competitive advantage. Talent retention, which is the other end of the talent management cycle, also has to be strategically managed.

Strategic importance of Talent Retention

While talent acquisition strategic repositioning remains the key priority for many organizations, talent retention has emerged as another area of strategic relevance. Even paymasters in each industry are struggling with attrition rates as high as 10%. Organizations can no longer project organizational growth on the basis ofthe current count of human resources. HR managers are finding it difficult to determine the motivating factors which can retain employees within the organization. Key strategic areas that have become of great consequence in retaining valuable talent are –

Talent Retention

  • The cost of hiring: Employers are doing a cost benefit analysis for all levels of organization hierarchy, determining the cost of retention v/s cost of hiring. For most positions, the cost of recruitment, time and money spent in thetraining of new employees are weighed against talent retention cost.

  • The opportunity cost of replacement: The cost of business opportunity lost at the date of talent replacement and when vacancies continue to remain status quo for extended intervals, can be debilitating for businesses in the long term.

  • Time gap in goal alignment: Failing to retain talent and initiating new talent in crucial positions also exposes organizations to the risk of poor goal alignment between employees and organizations.

Therefore, employers now realize the lasting impact that efficient talent retention can have on long-term business growth. The importance of employee engagement, competency and skill building as well as transparent career progression as talent retention strategies is activelybeing recognized. Employers no longer see monetary compensation for talent retention as a cost, but as an investment which can circumvent the larger costs and risks associated with new talent acquisition.

As organizational headcounts vary dynamically and skill demand grows exponentially due to several macro and micro industrial factors, an undeniable focus on talent acquisition and talent retention are required. Needless to say, employers who canrecognize the strategic importance of these HR functions can continue to remain competitive in changing market conditions.