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25 Aug 2022

Talent Acquisition’s Inevitable Collision with L&D

Talent Acquisition’s Inevitable Collision with L&D
As open positions outnumber candidates at alarming differences, businesses are forced to rethink their hiring practices. Could incorporating L&D be the best way to find great talent?

The current talent-led recruitment market is accelerating Learning & Development’s integration into Talent Acquisition. As open positions outnumber candidates at alarming differences, businesses are forced to rethink their hiring practices. Firstly, they must ask themselves which candidates they’re open to considering, and secondly, what they can actually offer the candidates that they do interview.


Opening Your Talent Pool


The traditional way of assessing candidates, based solely on qualifications and past experience, is quickly becoming outdated. It limits your candidate pool to a rigid box – a box that often excludes people that may be great for the role (and includes many that won’t be). This is because it focuses on what a person has done, rather than what they can do.

Skills-based hiring allows you to hire based not only on what abilities your candidate has, but what abilities they’re capable of learning. Plenty of quality applicants get turned away because a basic screening reveals a lack of required skills. However, these screenings often fail to assess how likely they are to pick up those skills quickly.

Say, for example, a software business needs a developer that knows a certain programming language. One applicant doesn't know that particular language, but in the past has learnt three others, each within a month. It would be foolish to reject that applicant when instead the software business could offer a short course on the required language, capitalising on the applicant's proficiency for learning programming languages quickly.

Ignoring qualifications and experience in favour of skills also assists greatly with diversity and inclusion, as it opens opportunities up for people with varied backgrounds. Someone may be making a career move, or may not have been able to go to university, so using a skills-based hiring process gives them the opportunity to prove their competency rather than be judged by a laundry list of past events. It also helps to protect your business from hiring someone who may possess the right qualifications but lacks the actual talent to back them up.


L&D’s Importance to Candidates


Growth continues to be more and more valued by the workforce. When looking for a job, the majority of millennials stated that they value growth opportunities over salary. Given that millennials are projected to make up 75% of the workforce by 2025, this makes your business’s L&D offering a significant asset when acquiring talent. Even when hiring outside that age bracket, 69% of non-millennials still listed Learning & Development opportunities as a key factor in their job search.

What growth opportunities can you offer your candidates? Are they limited to a rigidly structured career path, based largely on time spent at the business rather than professional development? If so, it may be time to open up your learning opportunities within the business, allowing for branching interests, upskilling and reskilling. This way, candidates will feel your business truly values their individuality and invests in their potential.


For the Future


While a great L&D offering is excellent for attracting and sourcing talent, its real value lies in what it does for those already in your business. As time moves on, so do the skills that are required from your staff; a person hired today may need an entirely new skillset in a couple of years, even in the same role. Having solid L&D within your business boosts talent retention as it allows your current staff to keep up with what’s required in their role and prevents you from having to keep hiring those newly-needed skills into the business. Having the ability to upskill and reskill your employees also allows far more opportunities to hire internally for open roles, even across departments. More than this, a Culture Amp survey found that employees who report having access to the L&D they need in their role are 21% more engaged, which in turn increases talent retention even further.




In 2021, 69% of businesses reported a talent shortage or difficulty hiring. By failing to adapt to these new ways of viewing Talent Acquisition, employers will continue to struggle to find suitable candidates.

If you’re in need of revolutionising your Talent Acquisition or L&D and don’t know where to start, there is a wonderful array of tech solutions that can help. You’ll find some excellent Talent Acquisition tech at HR Technologies UK, and your ticket will grant you access to Learning Technologies, co-located with our show at ExCeL London on the 3rd and 4th of May 2023. Come along to meet the businesses that will help you make the best of your staff!

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