How to Build, Manage, and Engage a Global Talent Pipeline
Wintrgarden interviewed HR professionals and business leaders at companies large and small, throughout a variety of industries, and located across the globe. We wanted to understand the biggest challenges faced by talent managers right now and create a report sharing key findings, insights, and solutions to building, managing, and engaging a global talent pipeline.
The post-pandemic workplace is an opportunity for today’s companies to evolve their business and talent strategies. Demographic shifts have reshaped the workforce, the demand for emerging skills has created a shortage of talent, while remote work models are becoming the new normal and opening talent acquisition efforts to strategies that aren’t focused on where the work gets done.
Having the best team possible in place right now is mission-critical, and having a healthy, engaged global talent pipeline to fill vacancies is the goal of every HR professional. So how, in the post-pandemic era, do HR managers proactively build, manage, and engage an eager, diverse global talent pipeline? Join us as we explore.
- Companies lack a systematic, proactive approach to building global talent pipelines and are unaware of tools and technology that could help them
- Employer brand and value proposition are vitally important to building a healthy global talent pipeline
- Technology is the key to building, managing, and engaging talent on a global scale
- Create a proactive talent retention strategy that recognizes and rewards strong performers by offering opportunities for education and lateral career opportunities
- Strategically develop an employer value proposition that addresses the personal needs of talent
- Create a strong employer brand that resonates with a global audience of talent, if applicable
The pandemic has forced many organizations to completely reimagine their hiring strategy. From methods to find new talent to exciting new ways to develop potential employees, it took a global pandemic for organizations to accelerate their use of technology to build, manage, and engage a talent pipeline. The use of technology isn’t enough without the human factor, and today’s talent is only willing to work on their terms.
It turns out that technology has become a great enabler on both sides of HR. Today’s technology equips talent with the tools to be adaptable and flexible to different workplace demands. At the same time, companies gain the ability to form a global talent pool and create a workplace culture without a physical workplace. While this doesn’t always mean a surge in investment in new technology, research shows that 63% of companies are investing in or planning to invest in AI solutions in 2022 (this figure was at 42% in 2020).
Even with an increase in the reliance on technology, many HR professionals are finding it increasingly difficult to develop a systematic approach to building diverse, engaged talent pipelines in line with a proactive strategy to fill vacant positions. To better understand the challenges today’s HR professionals face, the Wintrgarden team conducted interviews with high-level talent professionals around the world throughout a variety of industries.
The professionals we interviewed for this whitepaper agreed to share candid insights on the current state of HR in their organizations. In return for their transparency, information, and data, we have agreed to keep them anonymous when sharing specific quotes and details. To provide a variety of different points of view, we conducted the study to include organizations in a variety of global locations:
Because the state of global talent acquisition varies widely between industries, we included a variety when conducting the interviews:
The professionals that graciously gave their time for our interviews had different perspectives due to their positions, titles, and responsibilities:
Interview questions were focused on three post-pandemic talent trends, as follows.
1.) The Great Resignation
Also known as The Big Quit and The Great Reshuffle, The Great Resignation is an ongoing post-pandemic economic trend of employees voluntarily resigning from their jobs en masse. Primarily concentrated in the US at the start of 2021, the possible causes include stagnation of wages as the cost of living rises, general dissatisfaction with their job, and COVID-19 safety concerns.
When conducting interviews among HR professionals we wanted to understand if they were experiencing higher than average resignations compared to before the pandemic. Further, we wanted to understand how they viewed this trend and what, if any, talent retention strategies they were employing to retain their workforce.
“It’s hard to define that impact [of the great resignation] yet. What I always have in contrast to other leaders is that I keep my talent pool warm and know the people, when to hire, and where to hire.” – Head of Sales Excellence for a Telecommunications company
In a study of the US workforce in October 2021 conducted by Deloitte, 57% of CEOs among Fortune 1000 companies believed that attracting talent is among their biggest challenges followed by 51% that said retaining talent. The Big Quit has spread around the world, with a Microsoft survey of more than 30,000 workers across 31 countries putting those considering leaving their current jobs at 41% for reasons including burnout, fear for personal safety, dissatisfaction, and shifting priorities.
Pivoting our focus to the topic of talent acquisition, we asked the HR professionals if they had increased their efforts in employer branding as a consequence of the pandemic and asked them to elaborate on which areas they put high importance on, and if these efforts had been effective, specifically including:
- Recruitment marketing and job ads
- Third-party recruiters
- Building a talent pipeline proactively ahead of need
- External employer branding, communication, and marketing
- Internal employer branding to existing staff
2.) Talent shortage and company growth
In a recent survey, it was discovered that nearly 7 in 10 (69%) of companies have reported talent shortages and difficulty acquiring talent, which represents a 15-year high. In particular, the survey highlighted that organizations with the least workplace flexibility are having the most difficulty filling vacant positions (74%) as are companies with a workforce larger than 250 (74%).
“It is the toughest market for recruitment right now. It has never been so tough. I know that even [large companies like] Spotify have problems finding people. People are not applying for jobs anymore.” – Head of Talent Acquisition at an e-commerce firm
If left unaddressed, talent shortages will seriously hinder business growth worldwide according to Korn Ferry’s Global Talent Crunch report. When conducting our survey, we asked the HR professionals how they found and attracted talent and if they felt that their efforts created a sufficiently large talent pipeline. We then sought to understand how the pandemic impacted their efforts to attract talent and what methods they used to improve. We also wanted to know if their organization had changed its employer value proposition to improve its ability to attract new talent.
“In India, young talent is looking for a 20 to 25% (salary) increase year-on-year so it’s common for them to change jobs every 18 months to find this increase. What we aim to do is present our company as a place to stay for a career rather than just a job to hop into for a short time.” – Vice President of Operations for a global B2B equipment manufacturer
3.) Global talent
Because many organizations are remodeling their workplaces to follow remote or hybrid strategies, this shifted the talent pool to be dependent on location and, as a result, much larger. A global talent pool means more competition for top candidates, with geography no longer a consideration for many employers. Online tools including job boards and LinkedIn can be a great way to find talent from around the world, but a global talent pool could include every qualified candidate on the planet. This makes having the right technology an essential part of managing a global talent pool and keeping it engaged with the company brand.
Technology is important to building a global talent pipeline, but a huge part of appealing to a diverse range of candidates is establishing a positive, attractive employer brand that starts with the first interaction and extends through onboarding and beyond. According to Prashana Samaraweera, CEO at ExroAsia, “Companies armed with the knowledge and proficiency needed to pilot a global talent pool will hire and retain the best workers in the competitive talent landscape.”
The unfortunate truth uncovered by our surveys is that most organizations don’t have a talent pool in place, let alone a global strategy to build one. The competition for talent is fierce and talent around the world is seeking new opportunities to live their best work-life balance. Companies that aren’t prepared to build and manage a global talent pool won’t hire the best workers, won’t compete on a global level, and risk being left behind.
“There is a wealth of talent out there that we don’t reach today that could be potential colleagues, in my opinion.“ – HR professional at a major energy brand
Like many organizations around the world, more than half of the participants in our survey were experiencing talent attrition rates that they could attribute to ‘the great resignation’.
Those that weren’t experiencing this trend described their talent turnover as normal or close to pre-pandemic rates. While this could be attributed to the industry type being immune to the post-pandemic great resignation trend, we did discover that, among those that answered ‘no’, the common recommendation was to build proactive talent retention strategies and offer professional development opportunities.
“If you want to build loyalty you need to work on your talent retention strategy. You need to help your employees develop; basically, they need to feel that with every day they are at this company, they become a better person.” – Head of Sales Excellence, Telecom company
This is consistent with the findings of a recent report, which explored the ways employees desire recognition, growth, and the chance to try something new. Only 37% of the employees surveyed for this report believed that their employer is effectively investing in developing their skills. Employees want fresh challenges, not necessarily a promotion and increased responsibilities. With effective recognition strategies and education opportunities, companies can avoid the high attrition rates post-pandemic.
It became clear from our surveys that companies with an employee appreciation strategy, i.e. small gifts sent to their home, digital events, and regular check-ins, clearly did not see increased talent attrition. All of these activities kept employees engaged and strengthened the internal employer brand, which translates directly to attracting more talent.
“We are an MNC that looks after our workers and have been able to provide continued employment and salary payment throughout the pandemic, which is our value proposition in our particular market. Ultimately, I’d like people to proactively apply to work for us. To achieve this, we have created an internal learning library and, as we see opportunities for existing, long-term employees to improve, we bring in new material and encourage internal learning, training, and advancement from within.” – VP, Operations, major manufacturing company
Create a proactive talent retention strategy that recognizes and rewards strong performers by offering opportunities for education and lateral career opportunities.
2.) Talent shortage and company growth
A massive 83.33% of the companies we interviewed didn’t believe that their talent pipeline was large enough to meet their immediate and future hiring needs. As outlined earlier, talent shortages can hinder business growth if left unaddressed.
“You can not sit on the passenger side when building a growth company. You always need to have a pipeline of talent to fuel the vacancies with top candidates.” – HR professional at a Financial Services company
To address talent shortages and prevent them from detrimentally affecting business growth, 58.3% of the companies in our survey changed their approach to finding and attracting talent. This fits with recent research outside of this report discovering that over 60% of companies are increasing their investment in talent acquisition technology this year. A majority of the companies we interviewed that changed their approach are relying on new media strategies to attract talent and new technology to manage and engage their budding talent pipelines.
“Last year we were pretty busy getting the right systems and processes in place [to attract talent].” – an HR manager at a European IT company
Organizations in our survey felt the need to change their employer value proposition to make sure they were attractive to new talent. Overall, they agreed that candidates are often well informed on their organization after having reviewed its digital touchpoints. Candidates are interested more than ever in the company’s values and care more about the work environment, company culture, flexibility, and work-life balance than about status and salary.
3.) Global talent
Interestingly, 67% of the HR professionals in our survey said that their organization would benefit from hiring people independent of their geographic location, and a high percentage had a remote work strategy they want to maintain in the post-pandemic future.
“There are a lot of roles [that] can be fully remote. In the end, it’s also about personal responsibility. If you don’t need this interaction with your colleagues, it should be positive both for the employer and the employees. We have offices in five or six places in Sweden as well and we have people living in cities where we don’t have offices. We are quite open but it depends on the role.”
– an HR professional at an IT company
Those that didn’t see an advantage to a global talent pool cited reasons such as a negative effect on company culture and lack of collaborative opportunities. However, this comes with a large caveat from our point of view. Even if an organization does not pursue a remote work strategy, they are still competing with companies that have location-agnostic cultures for the same talent pool.
“Many of our junior staff want to work at the office and become a part of the company culture.” – an HR professional at a global energy brand
These same HR professionals all answered yes when asked if attracting and engaging with talent has changed because of hiring independent of geographic location.
In digging further, we discovered that increased employer branding was the number one change post-pandemic when it came to talent acquisition strategy changes. Having a strong employer brand that talent from around the world recognizes and, most importantly, wants to work for, solves many talent acquisition challenges.
- Create a strong employer brand that resonates with talent on a personal level
- Review the hybrid work policy and develop a location-agnostic culture
- Increase spending on digital employer branding touchpoints
- Develop a proactive approach to building a talent pool
Companies all over the world are at a pivotal moment, faced with enormous talent acquisition challenges. The interviews we conducted with HR professionals around the world reinforced that three trends are driving talent acquisition challenges today. While the shift to a remote or hybrid workplace opens up the opportunity to welcome talent from around the world, many organizations are dealing with a shortage of talent addressing key business growth areas and a higher rate of talent attrition.
However, along with these challenges, there are also immense possibilities and a distinct advantage for organizations that can reimagine the workplace, create a powerful employer brand, and build, manage, and engage a global talent pipeline. The global talent pipeline technology available today is empowered, intelligent, and human-centric. Companies that employ the right technology to build, manage, and engage their talent pipelines while creating a people-first strategy and culture will succeed.
With the competition fierce and the talent pool small, organizations without a structured approach to building a talent pipeline will ultimately fall behind, lacking the critical access to talent that can secure future business and innovation. Now is the time to take back control of your talent pipeline and build a proactive hiring strategy to prevent lost opportunities that hinder company growth.
How Wintrgarden supports you
Sure, there are plenty of talent pipeline tools out there and you may already be using one, but is it intuitive and easy to use? Wintrgarden is a talent attraction platform that advocates for proactive hiring. Wintrgarden enables you to put people at the center of all talent attraction efforts and helps you form a stronger employer brand that attracts the best talent most efficiently.
“Wintrgarden is more than software, it is a facilitator for connecting people. We know that 80% of all organizations struggle to find and attract talent and the cost of each failed recruitment is huge. To overcome this challenge, many companies are moving away from reactive hiring to proactive talent relationship management.
We provide organizations with a unique capability to systematically build their talent relationships and form a global talent pipeline.
With Wintrgarden, organizations take control over their talent relations and can convert talent leads into hires faster than the competition.“