The Economic Relevance of Talent Acquisition

Having led major talent acquisition organizations within insurance and financial services, I’ve looked at the function of staffing aka talent acquisition as having the same mission as other analytic functions within the enterprise such as underwriting and investment management, namely: predicting the future performance of an investment or possible asset.

It may sound strange (or even unfeeling) to talk about talent (people/candidates) as investments or assets. However, from a financial perspective, the function of talent acquisition is as critical to the business as underwriting and investment management are.

Thinking of talent acquisition in these terms can elevate the mindset of those who are charged with sourcing and screening the right talent for the organization, both today’s and tomorrow’s needs.

Think about it: behavioral interviewing, job specific assessments, executive assessment processes, work samples, drug testing, references to be checked, social media presence to be evaluated; these are all designed to help us predict the performance of the person(s) being hired. Extending this idea, you could also imagine including the risk management function in this comparison; attempting to mitigate the risk involved in a specific activity or decision, in this case hiring a new employee.

I think there are many parallels between talent acquisition and other important functions within businesses, large and small. Given that premise, we would do well to value the talent acquisition function and assign it the same level of importance as the other business functions we already believe are critical to our success.


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