HR Help Wanted: Talent Acquisitions Skills a Must
Workspan Daily
May 20, 2022
Key Takeaways

  • Shifting priorities. When asked to rate how their organization is prioritizing a number of skills when recruiting HR talent, the largest number of respondents (52%) said recruitment, sourcing and selection-related skills were a high priority.  
  • Demand outpaces supply. In a labor market with an unprecedented number of openings, companies are beginning to think ahead by sourcing and recruiting candidates in anticipation of their hiring needs, creating bench strength and succession plans in the process. 
  • A trend that’s likely to stay. The new world of remote work means that talent acquisition skills will continue to be vital for organizations to source the best talent, even as the job market levels off. 
  • Predicting success in recruitment roles. Skills such as lifecycle recruiting, the ability to work with internal hiring leaders and develop recruitment plans, cultural fit and overall curiosity are always advantageous for HR-focused roles, and help predict a candidate’s chances for success in recruitment positions. 


The labor market is hot, and competition for talent is fierce. 

Employers sourcing HR talent have taken notice and are seeking HR professionals with the skills and experience that will help their organization land the talent they need to compete. 

New research from WorldatWork and uFlexReward suggests that recruitment, sourcing and selection-based skills are indeed hot commodities throughout the HR suite. 

Fielded over 14 days in February 2022, “Workforce Planning in the Great Resignation Era” surveyed 556 organizations of different sizes and across multiple industries. When asked to rate how their organization is prioritizing a number of skills when recruiting new HR talent, the largest number of respondents (52%) said that recruitment, sourcing and selection-related attributes were a high priority for them, with another 36% saying finding candidates with such skills for roles in HR was a “moderate” priority.

Judging by these figures, it seems clear that companies are putting more emphasis on these traits when sourcing HR talent. There’s a simple explanation for this trend, according to Kathleen Duffy, president and CEO of Phoenix-based recruitment firm The Duffy Group Inc. 

“It’s because there are an unprecedented number of job openings. Demand is outpacing supply,” she said. “As a result, some of our clients are beginning to think ahead by sourcing and recruiting candidates in anticipation of their hiring needs. It’s all about being proactive by creating bench strength and a succession plan.” 

Indeed, the current labor market means that “organizations are inevitably using more HR staff for recruitment activities,” added Deirdre Macbeth, content director, regulatory, at WorldatWork. “By prioritizing HR talent with talent acquisition skills, organizations are trying to stay ahead of the curve to ensure they maintain the best talent pipeline possible for open positions.” 

Of course, the labor market will eventually level off, and employers won’t be filling job openings at the frenzied pace they are right now. But, the “new world of remote work” means that talent acquisition skills will continue to be vital for organizations to source the best talent, said Macbeth, “even as the job market levels off.” 

So, how does an organization and its hiring managers spot candidates for HR roles who are likely to succeed at recruiting and selecting high-quality employees? 

It’s always advantageous for candidates for HR-focused roles to possess some basic all-around HR skills, including lifecycle recruiting, working with internal hiring leaders and developing recruitment plans, said Duffy. 

“Another consideration is the candidate’s cultural fit within the organization,” she added. “But more than ever, we are seeing the need for … the ability to sell the company regardless of the position a recruiter is trying to fill, and most importantly, a strategic mindset to help expand the HR and recruiting roles in their organizations.” 

As the head of a recruitment firm, Duffy has a great deal of experience in interviewing candidates for positions that require recruiting skills, and she’s identified one critical trait that she says is a good predictor of success in talent acquisition roles. 

“A key question I ask candidates is what they are curious about outside of their job,” she said. “Curiosity is a huge trait that is a good indication [of whether a candidate] will excel as a recruiter.” 

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