Kronos Study Finds Talent Acquisition Taking Longer, Costing More

With unemployment hovering at its lowest level in more than a decade, a new study from Kronos Incorporated finds more than half (53 percent) of organizations are planning to make major changes to their talent acquisition strategy within the next two years in response to increases in time-to-hire and cost-to-hire created by the competitive job market.

The study, “How High-performing Organizations Compete for Talent: Evolving Strategies for Attracting and Hiring a Complex Workforce,” was conducted by Kronos and The Human Capital Institute (HCI).

Human resources (HR) leaders at 234 organizations were interviewed to better understand what they are doing differently to recruit the hourly and salaried talent needed to be competitive today and in the future.

“Low unemployment, higher rates of turnover, and increasing time-to-hire and cost-per-hire continue to put added pressure on HR and recruiting professionals. Organizations must take a proactive approach to talent acquisition. By offering an engaging candidate experience – strategically leveraging technology to meet the needs of the candidate, HR, and the hiring manager – organizations will be better positioned to identify internal high performers and more easily find, attract, and hire external talent.”

Stacey Kervin, SHRM-CP, senior manager, HCM Practice Group, Kronos

Key Findings

  • Talent void: Recruiting in 2019 is more challenging by every key metric
    • According to the study, approximately half of all organizations say the number of open hourly (48 percent) and salaried (53 percent) positions has increased over the last two years.
    • It takes longer to fill those roles, too, as 36 percent of organizations report time-to-hire from original job posting to accepted offer for hourly positions has increased, and 38 percent of organizations report time-to-hire for salaried positions has increased.
    • Extended time-to-hire is also driving up cost-per-hire, which has increased at nearly half of all organizations for both hourly (48 percent) and salaried (47 percent) positions.
    • Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of organizations have increased starting pay for salaried roles, while half (50 percent) have increased starting pay for hourly roles over the past two years.
  • Strategic vs. tactical: High-performing organizations look inward for recruiting success
    • At HPOs, the most important talent acquisition strategy considerations include alignment with business priorities (56 percent), strength of internal talent pipeline (48 percent), and availability of specific skills (48 percent).
    • For all other organizations, availability of specific skills is the top consideration according to nearly three-quarters of HR leaders (70 percent), followed by meeting the needs of the hiring manager (58 percent), and building an external talent pipeline (39 percent).
    • More than one-fifth (21 percent) of HPOs utilize workforce data from human capital management suites, human resources information systems, or recruiting solutions to make hiring decisions compared to just 5 percent of all other organizations.
  • Growing gap: Not all organizations are investing in talent acquisition at similar rates
    • Better employer brand/recruitment marketing is the top focus for nearly two-thirds (59 percent) of HPOs compared to just 40 percent of other organizations.
    • HPOs also plan to invest in talent acquisition technology more aggressively than other organizations (59 percent vs. 37 percent).
    • Additional budget will be put toward an enhanced candidate experience at 55 percent of HPOs (compared to 37 percent of other organizations), while more than half (51 percent) of HPOs will focus on improving recruiter effectiveness compared to just 27 percent of other organizations.

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