CHROs lead strategic shift in talent acquisition

iCIMS report shows CHROs driving strategic change, focusing on AI, retention, and business impact

CHROs lead strategic shift in talent acquisition

With numerous demands for their attention, talent acquisition (TA) technology provider iCIMS surveyed thousands of chief human resources officer [CHRO]s to understand their evolving roles as strategic leaders.  

The survey examined how they are navigating a dynamic market filled with obstacles and why they are securing a prominent seat in the C-suite. The iCIMS CHRO Report also looks at job seeker sentiment, comparing their expectations with employers' business goals. 

 “We're in the midst of a seismic shift, and CHROs are poised to be the strategic partner to help the C-suite navigate the road ahead,” said Laura Coccaro, chief people officer at iCIMS.  

“This report is full of data and advice to help CHROs meet the demands of fellow leaders while addressing the needs of their workforce. The insights can guide CHROs and their teams to form strong partnerships with their businesses and achieve strategic goals.”   

Key findings from US-based CHROs and workers include:   

Talent acquisition takes priority: More than half of CHROs (56 percent) spend more time on TA now than they did two years ago. With fluctuating hiring needs and candidate expectations, this increased focus on TA is not surprising.  

A large majority (90 percent) view the recruiter role as evolving into a strategic talent advisor to the business.   

Endless TA priorities: Over the next 12 months, CHROs aim to improve analytics and reporting, enhance employer branding, diversify talent pools, and increase recruiter efficiency.  

Employees, however, wish for more emphasis on flexible work arrangements, employee retention, preventing staff shortages, and skills-based training and development.   

AI integration: 65 percent of CHROs plan to implement AI in recruiting, with 40 percent aiming to do so within the next year. An additional 29 percent already use AI in recruiting.  

However, 60 percent of employees are unsure of AI's importance in their jobs over the next year, indicating a need for better internal communication about AI benefits.   

Challenges and concerns: CHROs face numerous challenges, including changes in compliance and regulatory laws, budget constraints, and fluctuating hiring needs.  

They are also concerned about integrating AI into TA and HR processes, the lack of qualified candidates, retaining top performers, regretted attrition, and economic uncertainty.   

Retention as a priority: 86 percent of HR leaders prioritize internal mobility, with over one-third investing in new technology to support this initiative. Employees agree, with 77 percent open to finding new jobs within their current companies.  

The iCIMS platform reports an 18 percent increase in internal applications and an 11 percent increase in internal hires compared to last year.   

Salary transparency: More than 40 percent of employees would not apply for a job without a listed salary range.  

However, 44 percent of CHROs say their job descriptions include salary ranges only in states where it is mandated, and only 37 percent claim all postings on their organization's career site include salary ranges.   

Boardroom focus: CHROs seek new ways to measure business impact and provide value. They report diversity, equity, and inclusion metrics to CEOs and boards.  

TA metrics include diversity in applications and hires, offer acceptance rates, applicants per opening, recruiter productivity, and application conversion rates. 

 “The iCIMS CHRO study shows how 'talent acquisition' has evolved,” said Josh Bersin, global industry analyst and CEO of The Josh Bersin Company.  

“Companies now view 'talent acquisition' as a growth function, incorporating AI-powered solutions for internal mobility, development, organizational redesign, and recruitment. This aligns with our Systemic HR model, validated by the needs of over 1,000 CHROs and their companies.”