How to close the skills gap between today’s and tomorrow’s talent acquisition function |The Talent Tightrope

9 minute watch
Talent acquisition has earned its seat at the table thanks to its agile response to the pandemic and subsequent Great Resignation. But now it has to prove it has to skills to remain at this level. Elizabeth Birrell, director insights and talent analytics at Armstrong Craven, tells Siân Harrington how talent professionals can gain the skills needed today while preparing for tomorrow’s needs
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Experts in talent mapping, pipelining, executive search and talent insights. Working with the world’s most influential & respected businesses undergoing transformational change, gaining market insights needed to identify & recruit specialised talent

Getting talent acquisition (TA) future fit feels like a huge job, says Elizabeth Birrell, director insights and talent analytics at talent mapping and executive search firm Armstrong Craven. But now is the time for TA teams to upskill in order to build on the strategic significance they have gained in the past couple of years.

“There's a challenge for businesses to upskill TA quickly enough,” says Birrell. “The market's accelerating and, although that is led by tech, it's not confined to tech by any means. So alongside the gathering pace TA itself does need to change.”

Birrell believes there are three critical skills businesses ought to be focusing on in terms of building internally or buying in for their TA teams: data literacy, storytelling and knowledge management. Of the latter she says, while it may feel old-fashioned, knowledge management needs a champion in every TA team, or what she calls “a kind of librarian for talent intelligence data”.

“Knowledge management is a real, practical challenge for those data-enabled, data-literate TA teams today. So you are the ears of the business in the talent market. You've got teams speaking to potential candidates about the business every day, getting reams of useful information about skills, about pay, about profiles, about ways of working, about direct talent competitors. And then where is it all going? Where is it stored? Who can access it? Whose job is it to check that it's all joined up and it's indexed and it's accessible and it's compliant with GDPR or the regional equivalent. We see time and time again TA either mishandling that data or missing great opportunities.”

In this video, part of our Talent Tightrope series with Armstrong Craven, Elizabeth discusses these three critical skills talent acquisition teams need today, demonstrates through a case study how data intelligence can help TA teams tackle challenges and suggests what’s next for talent acquisition.

About Elizabeth Birrell

Elizabeth Birrell is an experienced talent intelligence professional, leading Armstrong Craven's Insight & Talent Analytics practice to deliver bespoke talent insight projects to global, blue-chip clients.

The Insight & Talent Analytics team delivers talent pool sizing, skills gap analysis, offshoring location insight, salary benchmarking, employer branding, attraction and diversity projects, working globally across industry sectors.

An Oxford graduate and a specialist in online research and data visualisation, she joined Armstrong Craven's Knowledge & Information Services team in 2016 following several years working in research in technology and corporate finance.

To download a transcript of the video please click here.

Published 28 September 2022
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