Demonstrating Results: Measuring the ROI of your Talent Acquisition Programs as a Strategic Business Partner

The recruitment landscape is picking up. Figures from the Manpower Global Employment Outlook for the first quarter of 2011 show employers in 33 of the 39 territories included plan to make hires in the next three months.

Even in the US, the outlook has increased on last year, while in Europe 11 of the 21 countries, including all those in Eastern Europe, reported a more positive hiring landscape – pointing toward economic recovery.

These figures also mean the war on talent is hotting up, as more companies once again look to add to their staff numbers from the increasingly global workforce.

A strong talent acquisition strategy is therefore imperative, and one which provides a good return on investment has positive effects felt far beyond the HR department.

Talent Acquisition Systems

For many, implementing the best talent acquisition programme comes with assistance from new technology.

Research from Bersin & Associates published recently revealed that despite its established position in the market, demand continues and the sector is growing at the same rate as newer, emerging HR innovations.

The Talent Acquisition Systems 2011 report identified a number of key changes taking place in the sector, including the increased use of mobile and social media recruitment, video interviewing and sourcing analytics, which provide clearer information on where candidates are coming from.

It concluded: "The leading talent acquisition systems will continue to develop beyond core functionality (e.g. applicant tracking and candidate requisition) into areas such as contact management, onboarding, employer branding and internal mobility."

Around 50 per cent of organisations said they were looking at changing the provider of their talent acquisition systems and choosing the right one can bring companies a significant return on their investment.

Figures provided by Taleo Corporation said its enterprise customers – including those which use its talent acquisition products – are seeing equivalent of a total return on investment of $4.7 million (£2.9 million). This was caused in part by the 14 percent reduction in the time to hire and a 10 percent cut in recruitment costs.

ROI From Recruitment Programmes

For those companies which find a recruitment solution suited to their needs, the ROI figures can be extremely impressive.

UK-based wholesaler Makro set its e-recruitment platform, provided by StepStone Solutions, live in July 2010. By the next month, it was predicting a 150 percent ROI within just one year.

Over 350 applications were processed through the new website in just one week, some which led to the immediate hiring of new staff. During the same period the platform received 27,000 hits and 5,500 people looked through the jobs being advertised.

Time to hire was reduced by the entire process being conducted online and the series of questions which candidates had to answer while submitting their applications meant fewer unsuitable CVs were received, cutting wasted administration time.

In addition, HR professionals are able to search the platform for applicants suited for specific job roles using their location, department or keywords. Previously, the Makro was receiving 200 speculative CVs each day from potential recruits.

Nicola Lake, head of resourcing at Makro, said the system had a positive impact on their in-house management of talent acquisition, as well as creating a positive experience for candidates.

"The majority of the job applications we were receiving were speculative, but our new system gives greater visibility of what opportunities exist at Makro for those wanting to join us," she explained.

Lake added that the investment in the website helped set the company apart from its competitors, a key asset in attracting top talent.

Of course, not all organisations can expected to receive a 150 percent ROI from new recruitment programs, and even for Makro the figure is only a projection. But the opportunities for using talent acquisition as a strategic part of a business certainly do exist.