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7 New Insights On Today’s Talent Acquisition

Adrian Dixon

August 30, 2018

post featured image and IBM Smarter Workforce Institute recently released a comprehensive report on the state of talent acquisition called, “How Organizations Identify and Hire Great Talent.”

The extensive survey included questions about HR leaders’ top hiring challenges, their time to fill, and their desired outcomes for using AI in talent acquisition.

Here are 7 new insights into today’s talent acquisition from the and IBM report summarized in an infographic:

7 new insights on today's talent acquisition

1. 38% believe the biggest hiring challenge is losing promising candidates during the hiring process

Losing promising candidates during the hiring process was the hardest hiring challenges for 38% of respondents. According to, you are probably losing some of these candidates to competitors with a faster talent acquisition process. With today’s competitive labour market and low unemployment rates, adopting more efficient and effective screening and messaging practices means you can assess a candidate’s qualifications more quickly and respond to them faster.

Overall, this also creates a better candidate experience. Previous research by the IBM Smarter Workforce Institute found candidates who rated their candidate experience as positive are 38% more likely to accept a job offer.

2. Employers regret 31% of their new hires

When asked if how many of the employees hired in the past 12 months they would rehire, respondents regretted nearly a thirds of their new hires on average.

While there are many reasons a new hire underperforms including a failure to properly onboard and train, a lack of accurate tools for screening and assessing how well a candidate’s qualifications match the job requirements plays a large role when it comes to hiring regrets.

3. Average time to fill ranges from 37 to 84 days

The average for time to fill hasn’t significantly changed from previous industry estimates of 39 to 41 days.

Employers take on average 37 days to hire an individual contributor, 57 days for a manager or supervisor, and 84 days for an executive or senior manager. This is not surprising when you consider there are fewer candidates as well as a more intensive recruiting process at higher levels of seniority. 

4. Average attrition of new hires ranges from 3% to 18% 

Overall, 9% of new hires leave within their first six months with a 18% attrition rate for individual contributors, 6% for managers and supervisors, and 3% for super managers and executives.

The cost of attrition adds up quickly. IBM estimates employers spend up to a third of an employee’s annual salary on identifying, recruiting, hiring and onboarding a new worker.

5. 30% say their technologies meet their needs to a low extent or not at all

Only about a quarter of respondents said that their recruitment technologies meet their current hiring needs to a high or very high extent.

The most common complaints were a lack of good assessment tools to identify the best candidates (28%) and the use of outdated recruiting technologies (24%).

6. 45% rate their recruiting process as below average at quality of hire

According to LinkedIn, 40% of employers rate quality of hire as the most valuable KPI for their recruiting teams as their top priority. However, 2/3rds of recruiting leaders surveyed admit they currently have no metrics in place to measure it.

This disconnect means that nearly half of recruiting departments surveyed feel their process is below average at finding quality hires. A recent survey found that while speed was the metric used to measure recruiting success currently, quality was the metric most desired to be used in the future. With the growing adoption of intelligent technology and workforce analytics, demand for recruiting departments to measure and improve quality of hire will only increase.

7. Talent acquisition wants both efficiency and quality of hire from AI

Nearly 50% of respondents predicts AI will be important or very important to talent acquisition in their organizations within the next five years.

When asked what outcomes they would most like to achieve using AI for recruiting, 57% cited the ability to fill open positions more quickly, 51% want to spend less time sifting through resumes, and 54% want AI to help them improve the match between candidates and jobs.

Other considerations include 44% desire an improvement in candidate experience and 31% would like to see an increase in the diversity of new hires.