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Few Organizations Have Top-Notch Talent Acquisition Departments - New Study by the HR Research Institute

Only 18% of HR professionals describe their talent acquisition (TA) function as 'top-notch' or 'advanced' when asked where their organization sits on a talent acquisition maturity model. This is a considerable drop compared to 29% in the HR Research Institute (HRRI) 2020 study. This might indicate that some TA departments lost personnel or other capabilities during the Covid-19 pandemic economic downturn, affecting the quality of today's recruitment teams.

The free research report, The Future of Talent Acquisition 2021, is now available for download.'s Research Institute conducted the study of HR professionals to examine and track the state of talent recruitment, recruiting technology, hiring metrics, and perceived drivers now and in the future in order to meet strategic talent acquisition goals.

The survey analysis also reveals that the biggest barriers to TA success are:

  • not being able to find the talent that meets the job requirements (61%) and
  • not having the right skills in the applicant pool (46%).

Over the next three years, artificial intelligence (AI) will have the largest influence in these four areas:

  • automating TA processes
  • targeting candidate searches
  • prioritizing resumes and applications
  • engaging candidates

Further, organizations that are considered recruitment leaders with 'top-notch' or 'advanced' talent acquisition processes are:

almost three times as likely to use metrics for workforce diversity and inclusion

more than twice as likely to:

  • indicate employee referrals will increase over the next three years
  • use programmatic advertising
  • measure TA's return on investment

about twice as likely to:

  • have above average or top-notch talent
  • use sourcing technology
  • have a recruitment marketing system
  • leverage talent and skills analytics technology

more likely that say that hiring great talent is a top priority

more likely to measure time to hire and/or time to fill

'Talent acquisition departments are so busy trying to keep up with the pressures and demands of sourcing and hiring that companies are lacking clear hiring objectives and strategies,' stated Debbie McGrath, Chief Instigator and CEO of 'Employers will have to put more focus on developing strategic talent acquisition goals in order to find and recruit the right talent.'

Download the full report which includes details on nine key takeaways to help HR departments gain insights into how to develop and meet strategic talent acquisition goals.


About and the HR Research Institute's HR Research Institute helps HR departments keep their finger on the pulse of HR! is committed to creating inspired and informed workforces by maximizing the potential of HR professionals around the world. Almost 2 million HR professionals rely on as the foremost, trusted industry resource for education, career development, and compliance (that many people can't be wrong!). Offerings include the largest network of HR executives, leading-edge industry research from the HR Research Institute, 13 monthly HR-themed epublications, innovative HR education including 250+ annual webcasts, the most comprehensive HR certification exam preparation program supporting SHRM and HRCI certification, as well as helpful HR tools and legal compliance updates. has the largest knowledge base of HR practices globally and offers unparalleled training and networking for HR professionals all over the world... 24/7... 365 (just in case you can't get enough HR). Visit to download research (always free) and to maximize HR potential.

For more information, contact:
Jenna Watson Gudgel
PR Manager, News

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