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Covid-19 has altered the talent acquisition landscape as we know it, with hiring activity hit hard, but the quality of a new hire remains a top priority for the majority (60%) of businesses. That’s according to research from global talent acquisition and management firm, Alexander Mann Solutions.

The report – in partnership with Aptitude Research – analysed a mix a quantitative and qualitive research across North America, EMEA and APAC during the pandemic to ascertain the impact of Covid-19 on talent acquisition.

Hiring activity takes a hit but speed of recruitment still a priority

According to the data, 38% of companies had put their recruitment on hold as a result of Covid-19 and 17% were reducing the number of hires planned this year, which is perhaps to be expected given the current economic climate. However, regardless of hiring plans, over 60% of those surveyed reported that their top priority is filling positions quickly.

The report also indicated a trend in businesses turning to an outsourced recruitment model to best tackle the hiring challenges of today. In early 2020 8% of companies used an outsourced model, but during the pandemic this number doubled. This is indicative of the impact of Covid-19 on resourcing teams, with 46% of firms experiencing layoffs across the talent acquisition department.

Internal talent acquisition a top priority

The report further indicated a focus on building internal resources over buying external skills. In April, 39% of businesses indicated an intention to build internal capabilities while just 9% would borrow from other parts of the company. 17% revealed plans to leverage service providers to fill sourcing gaps.

While there was a clear trend in building internal talent, respondents highlighted that the pandemic had increased concerns around workforce planning as more companies faced staffing challenges. As the pandemic took hold in April 2020, 30% of those surveyed stated that workforce planning was a capability gap and priority, up from 12% reporting this before the pandemic. This is likely to be exacerbated by the impact of financial restrictions that have come in to play since the pandemic. Before Covid-19, 64% of companies were increasing talent acquisition budgets, but during the outbreak this dropped to 24%.

Neil Jones, Managing Director APAC at Alexander Mann Solutions commented:

“The pandemic has dramatically changed the landscape of talent acquisition. Organisations have adapted and adjusted their priorities, processes, and budgets with limited resources. After years of building strategies and roadmaps, many talent acquisition leaders have been forced to reconsider these plans overnight.The events of 2020 have undoubtedly accelerated the need and desire for the talent acquisition function to think differently about how they run their business, however the lack of investment and unpredictable environment means 2020 is more likely to be the year of refocus, repurpose and planning.”


Press contact:

Vickie Collinge

BlueSky PR

+441582 790705

About Alexander Mann Solutions

We’re passionate about helping companies and individuals fulfil their potential through talent acquisition and management. Today, over 4,500 of our talent acquisition and management experts partner with more than 100 blue-chip organisations, operating in 40 languages, and over 90 countries. We deliver a distinctive blend of outsourcing solutions and - through Talent Collective - a full range of consulting and specialist services. We provide unrivalled experience, capability and thought leadership to help clients attract, engage and retain the talent they need for business success. This approach has led to us being identified as a global leader in the 2020 NelsonHall NEAT Matrix and named a major contender in the Everest Group Contingent Workforce Management PEAK Matrix® Assessment 2020. We also made the Sunday Times PwC Top Track 250 list for the third consecutive year.

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