Driving Talent Acquisition Maturity


Posted by Robin Erickson on February 22, 2018.

Organizations today recognize that to execute their business strategies successfully, they need to have the right talent in place. And in order to have the right talent in place, they need to build a mature, high-performing talent acquisition (TA) function. This process requires an awareness of what other organizations have done to establish their TA functions as high-performing; and not just specific initiatives, either. This necessitates a broader approach to talent acquisition, which includes a commitment to change and the requisite investment in the function.

In a January blog, I announced that we recently published Bersin’s latest high-impact talent acquisition (HITA) research and shared the study’s six key findings. As part of that study, we also created an updated Talent Acquisition (TA) Maturity Model. Our research shows that progression from low- to high-performing correlates with gains in specific business outcomes, such as growth, innovation, and productivity.

The TA Maturity Model enables leaders to assess their organizations’ current capabilities and move up in maturity (see Figure below). Like other Bersin maturity models, the TA Maturity Model has four levels, with Level 1 being the least mature and Level 4 being the most mature. Each level of the TA Maturity Model is characterized by a specific level of achievement across five factors.

The Talent Acquisition Maturity Model

Source: Bersin, Deloitte Consulting LLP, 2017.

Level 1: Basic and Transactional

These organizations often meet the basic requirements of TA, such as performing general sourcing and assessment of candidates. However, in Level 1 organizations, TA typically sits on its own, rarely coordinating with HR, hiring managers, or other key members of the organization. At this level, the TA function generally lacks any standardization of processes.

Level 2: Standardized and Focused

This level is distinguished by a standardized but limited approach to talent acquisition. Level 2 organizations have established some integration between TA and the larger HR suite, and have developed influence with hiring managers. Key sourcing strategies are in place for most roles at Level 2 organizations, and TA leaders regularly assess these strategies.

Level 3: Integrated and Evidence-Based

At this level, talent acquisition has further refined—and even automated and standardized—candidate evaluations, which helps reduce bias in the hiring process. Level 3 TA capabilities are advanced, with meaningful investment in analytics and artificial intelligence (AI), as well as in training and professional development.

Level 4: Personalized and Digital-Enhanced

Level 4 TA functions stand at the pinnacle of talent acquisition capabilities, and strive to remain innovative in their approaches. They constantly refine their processes and assumptions, with a special focus on collaborating with the business functions to improve their strategies, outcomes, and resource pools.

Most important, these mature organizations are highly integrated into the business and nurture collaborative relationships with leaders at all levels. The results of high maturity speak for themselves—organizations at high levels of TA maturity have 18 percent more revenue than their low-maturity counterparts and can achieve a 30 percent productivity advantage over their low-maturity counterparts.1

Bersin members can download the new TA Maturity Model here. Not a Bersin member but want to know more? Visit https://www.bersin.com/get-started/.

Throughout the next year, I plan to do additional research on how TA intersects with internal mobility, AI / cognitive tools, and predictive data. If you’re doing something interesting in any of these areas, I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to add a comment below, connect with me on Twitter @RAEricksonPhD, or via email at rerickson@deloitte.com.

Robin EricksonRobin Erickson, Vice President, Talent Acquisition Research Leader / Bersin, Deloitte Consulting LLP

Robin leads talent acquisition, engagement, and retention research for Bersin, Deloitte Consulting LLP. Recognized as a thought leader in her areas of expertise, Robin offers more than 20 years of experience, including prior experience in talent strategies consulting and research for Deloitte’s Human Capital practice. Robin led Deloitte’s global Talent 2020 longitudinal survey series and her work has appeared in several issues of Deloitte Review and in Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends reports. She holds a doctoral degree in organizational communication and change, as well as a master’s in communication, from Northwestern University. Robin also has a master’s degree in theology from Northern Seminary and a bachelor of arts from the University of Chicago.


1 The Talent Acquisition Maturity Model, Bersin, Deloitte Consulting LLP / Robin Erickson, PhD, and Denise Moulton, 2018.

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