Growing Competition for Talent Requires a More Diverse Definition of the Ideal Candidate, McLean & Company Reports

The newest research blueprint from McLean & Company, the trusted partner of HR and leadership professionals around the world, is now available. Drawing on industry research, survey insights, and data collected from 2019 to 2022, Elevate Talent Sourcing provides a framework to help HR leaders optimize the recruitment process at the sourcing stage to expand candidate pipelines amid current high levels of turnover and increased competition for top talent.

Talent shortages driven by external environmental changes, tightening labor markets, and rising candidate expectations have made sourcing talent increasingly challenging. According to McLean & Company, combating these obstacles requires rethinking traditional sourcing activities.

“Redefining what makes a ‘quality’ candidate is crucial to finding stronger, more diverse talent pools,” says Laura Ribadeneira, Director, HR Research & Advisory Services at McLean & Company. “It’s important to prioritize the transferrable skills and experiences candidates bring, rather than relying on historic job requirements. This means talent acquisition specialists must have the skills, tools, and organizational support to influence a shift in hiring practices and decisions.”

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The latest research from McLean & Company shows that recruiting has remained the number one priority for organizations since 2020, though HR departments’ effectiveness at enabling recruiting has decreased by 8% despite HR spending 25% more of their time on talent acquisition compared to 2021. Sourcing talent for onsite roles is proving particularly challenging, with organizations unable to provide remote or hybrid work options being 1.5 times more likely to experience candidate ghosting and 1.3 times more likely to experience decreased job applications.

Relying on methods that worked in the past is no longer enough as the world of work continues to change. In order to attract and retain top talent, McLean & Company recommends HR leaders challenge historical perceptions of qualified candidates to ensure inclusivity and remove barriers for potential applicants to expand candidate pipelines further.

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To assist HR teams in diversifying their talent pools, McLean & Company’s newly released blueprint outlines four steps to improve sourcing activities and channels:

  1. Assess the current state of sourcing – Collect stakeholder feedback on sourcing effectiveness, complete a sourcing analysis and uncover pain points, identify challenges requiring solutions beyond sourcing, and then set goals and metrics.

  2. Optimize key sourcing activities – Consider specific sourcing activities to improve and elevate some or all of the following sourcing activities:
    • Holding intake meetings
    • Creating success profiles
    • Designing sourcing plans
    • Developing job ads
    • Nurturing talent pipelines
  3. Identify specific sourcing channels to improve – Determine which channels meet current and future needs, explore other sourcing channels to integrate, and decide whether to elevate, maintain, remove, or build key sourcing channels, such as:
    • Internal talent mobility
    • High-potential program
    • Employee referral program
    • Campus recruitment
    • Organizational alumni program
    • Social media
  4. Implement changes to sourcing activities and channels – Create a roadmap of planned changes to sourcing activities and channels and communicate planned changes to stakeholders. Partner with other functions to leverage existing knowledge and build skills, and then evaluate success and continually monitor effectiveness.

To support HR leaders in their efforts to elevate talent sourcing and expand candidate pipelines, McLean & Company provides various levels of support and practical resources in addition to comprehensive research such as Elevate Talent Sourcing. From DIY toolkits to guided implementations, workshops, and consulting, McLean & Company offers tools that are best suited to the unique needs of organizations, allowing leaders to shape a workplace where everyone thrives.

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