New Cielo Study Finds Companies Dramatically Shifting Strategies to Compete for Talent, While Business Functions Struggle to Agree on Priorities

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As unemployment remains at record lows, Cielo’s 2018 Talent Acquisition 360 study released today finds that the competition for talent is causing major shifts in corporate strategy, as well as significant disagreements among business functions regarding their companies’ approaches to finding, recruiting, interviewing, and hiring new employees. Nearly 70 percent of business leaders surveyed worldwide believe the existing talent pool is shrinking while the competition for talent is increasing, and 54 percent say their company has more open positions than ever before.

“Although leaders in all of the business functions we surveyed now agree that retaining talent is a core business driver, they disagree on talent acquisition priorities, effectiveness, metrics for success and the role of technology and outsourced services to help them compete for talent,” said Sue Marks, founder and CEO of Cielo, a global recruitment process outsourcing provider. “Over 70 percent of C-Suite leaders now say they want to play a role in talent acquisition decisions, a clear indication of the increasing pressure to align talent acquisition and retention with business goals. There is a tremendous opportunity to improve outcomes through better collaboration and communication across the enterprise.

Cielo’s study reveals that nearly 30 percent of companies are now hiring contingent labor across all job levels, including 24 percent of senior roles, 28 percent of manager level roles, 32 percent of individual contributors and 41 percent of entry-level talent. This contingent labor includes temporary employees, independent contractors, consultants, interim executives and gig workers. The proportion of contingent labor in the total workforce is significantly higher in Asia PacificLatin America and the Middle East than in the United StatesCanada and Europe.

“There appears to be a rapidly growing trend as 65 percent of companies we surveyed said they expect flexible workers, contingent workers and project-based workers will take over a significant amount of the work currently being done by full-time employees,” said Marissa Geist, Executive Vice President and Managing Director of the Americas for Cielo. “We’re seeing more and more companies embrace a ‘Total Talent’ approach that incorporates the recruiting, hiring, and retaining functions of all their employees into a single strategy. This shift introduces important challenges, specifically around who owns that single strategy for the organization,” she added.

Total Talent Acquisition is a consistent and comprehensive approach to recruiting and hiring both full-time and contingent labor, including temporary staff and independent contractors. In a rapid shift in business strategy, the study shows that 90 percent of companies view Total Talent Acquisition as a top priority, especially those in the healthcare, retail, consumer goods and automotive industries. This is in stark contrast to Cielo’s 2015 study, in which Total Talent

Acquisition was merely a future goal that companies were not yet prioritizing. Even more impressive, every business leader surveyed in 2018 in the United States said Total Talent Acquisition is a top priority.

The Cielo Talent Acquisition 360 study consists of more than 1,100 surveys of C-Level executives, HR leaders, procurement leaders, business leaders in North AmericaEuropeLatin America, the Middle East and APAC in July and August of 2018. The companies surveyed have 1,500 or more employees. For the full study results, go to

About Cielo

Cielo is the world’s leading strategic Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) partner. Under its WE BECOME YOU™ philosophy, Cielo’s dedicated recruitment teams primarily serve clients in the financial and business services, consumer brands, technology and media, engineering, life sciences and healthcare industries. Cielo’s global presence includes more than 1,600 employees, serving 143 clients across 69 countries in 32 languages. The industry has verified Cielo’s reputation for executing innovative solutions that provide business impact through numerous awards and recognitions, including Peak Matrix Leader placement by Everest Group and Industry Leader designation by NelsonHall. Cielo knows talent is rising – and with it, an organization’s opportunity to rise above. For more information, visit

For more information: 

Tracy Shilobrit, 262-825-2613 or
Kate Johnson, 262-210-5804 or


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