Kelly Morgan Jul 4 6 min read

Why now is the time to invest in your TA team, not reduce it

The untapped potential of TA and the benefits it can bring in a slower growth period.


In today's changing business world, companies are reducing their Talent Acquisition teams due to reduced hiring needs. This means we need to rethink the role of Talent Acquisition within the company. Instead of just looking at outdated recruiter goals like how quickly they hire, how many people they hire, and how much it costs, businesses should see the valuable intelligence that the Talent Acquisition team can provide. By using the insights from the TA team, companies can gain an advantage over their competitors and make smarter decisions that align with their goals.

One of the key advantages of a TA team lies in their ability to understand the skills that are in highest demand in the market. By analysing these trends, organisations gain a deeper understanding of the challenges they may face when hiring for specific roles, which can inform the organisation's L&D strategy to allow them to upskill or reskill existing employees to meet emerging demands. By leveraging TA insights, businesses ensure they have the right people in the right positions, optimising their talent allocation and cost-effectiveness. Another significant benefit of TA is its ability to provide valuable insights about competitors. This knowledge allows organisations to stay ahead of the curve and adjust their own talent acquisition strategies accordingly, as well as consider how their employer value propositions (EVPs) compares to the competition in order to strengthen their own employer brand and attract top talent. Your TA team will know what your competitors are hiring, which could be an early indicator of competitor direction. For example, if you notice that many of your employees in a particular function are being recruited by a competing business, it suggests that they may be gearing up to compete directly in that area. Additionally, if you observe a client hiring a number of people with the same skills and expertise that you currently provide them, it could indicate that they are considering bringing those skills in-house. This poses a risk to your existing contract with that client, as they may be planning to handle those tasks internally. Being aware of these signals allows you to address the situation and explore alternative strategies to retain employees or clients or adapt to potential changes.

There is a wealth of insight possessed by the TA team that, when combined with the power of Talent Intelligence data, can be really powerful. By integrating data-driven approaches, companies can derive actionable intelligence and make smarter decisions. For example, asking recruiters to gauge which companies prospective candidates would prefer to work for and which they would not can provide valuable insights into market perception and talent preferences. This information can guide organisations in enhancing their employer brand and improving their candidate experience, ultimately leading to a competitive advantage in attracting top talent.

Organisational capability goes beyond headcount and should consider a "Buy, Build, Borrow" approach. Recruiters often focus on the "buy" strategy but, with Talent Intelligence (TI) data, they can identify when a flexible "borrow" strategy may be more relevant. By leveraging TI data, recruiters can guide organisations towards a balanced approach that optimises capability and cost while maintaining agility.

Stratigens CEO, Alison Ettridge’s journey into TI started with the building of talent pipelines, which focus on finding people and keeping them warm until the company is ready to hire. But during that process, in a conversation that isn’t centred around ‘do you want a job?’ but rather the wider context, real insight can be gathered. For example, finding out why someone may be leaving a company or role provides valuable information on what employees are looking for from their work or their employer and what companies are or are not offering. Aggregating this data then allows key market signals to be noticed and acted on.

In summary, viewing TA as a source of valuable intelligence allows businesses to tap into a wealth of insights that inform critical business decisions and allow them to identify emerging trends and adapt to a changing market. By cutting your TA team now, you are directly impacting on your competitive edge and ability to make smart business decisions.