Filling the Leaky Bucket: A Talent Acquisition Perspective

By Emily Loberto

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If the last few years have made one thing clear, it’s that companies are increasingly facing a leaky bucket problem. There isn’t enough experienced talent to go around, and employers can’t hold onto the people that they do have. And the current global economic crisis has exacerbated this dilemma. The escalating costs associated with employee turnover and disengagement pose a genuine threat to businesses that cannot reinforce their talent pipelines.   
Many companies are attempting to fill their bucket by opening the faucets and trying to onboard employees as quickly as they lose them. However, when you aren’t bringing in the right people for your organization, it only expands the size of the leak. In the absence of solid talent acquisition practices, businesses will not survive. 

The Current State of Talent Acquisition 

The dynamics of the new world of work have revolutionized employee expectations, and a growing number of workers are disengaging or leaving their positions in search of roles where they can use their inherent skills and strengths.   

The consequence of this is a palpable tension and urgency within companies that are stuck in the rut of traditional hiring practices. Candidates no longer want to be seen only for their degrees and past work experiences but for their potential and what they could do if given the opportunity. But without the right tools, this is impossible for companies to define.   

As a result, many organizations are missing out on great talent. Future top performers and leaders are routinely being passed over by the current mainstream hiring techniques. With the limited availability of highly skilled workers, these are people that companies can’t afford to lose. 

Navigating the Recruiting Maze 

As employers continually miss the mark in attracting and selecting the best fit for their organization, they are losing out at the top of their bucket and at the bottom when employees leave for opportunities that better align with their strengths.   

This revolving door of talent is the core of the leaky bucket problem. Recruiting and retention are being treated as two separate functions rather than two sides of the same coin, and organizations are trapped in a cycle of hiring people and then desperately trying to hold onto them for as long as possible before they disengage.  

Instead, employers must shift their focus away from what a candidate can do today and hire with the entire employee journey in mind. When recruiters look beyond a company's immediate needs and candidates' present abilities, it opens the door to opportunities for both to grow alongside each other. Employees want opportunities to develop their abilities, and those hired based on the inherent passions and talents that fulfill them stay in their role three years longer than their peers. Once organizations recognize this, they can hire employees who will stay longer and deliver more value. 

The Path Forward 

It's not just about simply filling the bucket. It's about filling it with the right people who will stay and grow with your company long-term. This shift is not just a strategic choice; it's a survival imperative in a world where the stakes are continuously escalating. Employees flourishing in their roles is no longer a luxury; it's a fundamental necessity for continued and sustainable growth.  

However, the data that is most valuable to accomplishing this cannot be found through a resume or a cover letter, so many companies are turning to solutions like Plum to help them better understand their candidates. Plum flips the script on employment, focusing first on what a person is naturally driven by and then matching them to roles within an organization where they can excel.    

This revolutionary approach was recognized by the 2023 Gold Stevie Award for Talent Acquisition & Retention Solution Provider of the Year, as it ensures that the right people are brought into your organization. 

But it doesn't stop there. Dive into the other side of the leaky bucket solution and learn why acquiring the right talent is the first step to adequately managing it in our next blog post: Plugging the Leaky Bucket: A Talent Management Perspective.