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Winning the War on Talent Scarcity: How L&D has Become a Recruiter’s Secret Weapon

In today’s competitive job market, the hunt for top-tier talent has become more taxing than ever before. Recruiters are grappling on many fronts – on one hand, there’s a huge scarcity of qualified candidates. In fact, according to research we conducted earlier this year, 88% of organizations admit that they are struggling to find the candidates they need. Yet on the other hand, as the world of work has changed so much, there is a heightened expectation from these hard-to-find candidates regarding the hiring process.

How can recruiters meet these new challenges head on? Technology and processes continue to evolve at an unprecedented pace. As a result, it’s clear that Learning and Development (L&D) is emerging as a crucial resource for recruiters looking to equip themselves with the necessary skills to break through the noise to find, hire, and engage the best talent.

In this article, we delve into the critical role L&D plays in shaping modern recruitment strategies. And to get a sense of how this is impacting the frontline, we’ve teamed up with longtime SocialTalent customer, Hudson RPO. Renowned for their strong commitment to employee development, Hudson RPO shared with us insight into how L&D has become a key differentiator for their recruitment function, the various skills recruiters are most in need of, and how they’ve created a culture of learning for their TA teams.

Equipping recruiters for success

In a talent-scarce environment with demanding candidates and shifting technologies, recruiters need the skills to be more than just transactional matchmakers. They must evolve into strategic partners who understand their company’s long-term goals, culture, and industry dynamics.

And it’s through tailored L&D programs that recruiters can achieve this. Gaining insight into the intricacies of their company’s operations will allow them to identify candidates who align with, not only job requirements, but also with the overarching business objectives. This enables them to make more accurate hiring decisions that contribute to the company’s growth and success.

It’s all about skills for recruiters right now. According to Hudson RPO’s latest whitepaper on the topic, “skills are becoming the new benchmark for success” – and this is from both a macro and micro perspective. Think about it: skills-based hiring is the go-to approach for TA teams looking to land the best talent. But developing skills is also vital for the recruiters themselves. Without access to consistent training, recruiters will struggle to be anything but transactional and fall massively short in this new hiring environment. So, what skills do recruiters need to prevent this from happening?

Don’t forget to download Hudson RPO’s free whitepaper on ‘Building a Skills Based Organisation’ here.

The essential skills for recruiters in 2023

The rapid evolution of the recruitment landscape demands that recruiters equip themselves with a versatile skill set. George McRobbie, Service Delivery Director at Hudson RPO, has over 16 years of experience in the recruitment industry and works closely with global client teams. He tells us that while “the conversation often centres around the skill-shortage in tech, more and more organizations are also looking for soft skills, like creativity, adaptability, communication, and leadership.”

Together with George McRobbie, we’ve compiled a list of vital skills that recruiters must prioritize in 2023-24:

  • Adaptability and agility: Repeating the tried and tested doesn’t always deliver the right outcomes in a competitive talent market. Recruiters should think outside the box, and always look for creative ways of engaging with talent. A study by McKinsey notes that organizations with agile capabilities grow revenue 30% faster.
  • Empathy: Modern recruitment is so often about assessing skills and personality, and using that insight to make a match between hiring manager and candidate ambitions. Recruiters need to empathize with candidates to build rapport and offer tailored solutions that meet their unique needs.
  • Learning mindset: The world of recruitment has always been subject to rapid changes. The best recruiters see this change as an opportunity to learn, and are quick to leverage new technologies and processes.
  • Storytelling and branding: Recruiters need to articulate a compelling narrative about the company’s culture, values, and growth opportunities. Storytelling skills help create a strong employer brand that resonates with candidates. Remember: A study by LinkedIn reveals that 75% of job seekers consider an employer’s brand before even applying.
  • Cross-cultural competency: As workplaces become more diverse, recruiters must understand and appreciate different cultural and generational norms and communication styles to ensure a smooth candidate experience.


Learning in Practice: How recruiters develop at Hudson RPO

L&D has become a strategic differentiator for us,” George tells us. “By leveraging our existing skill sets to develop tomorrow’s talent, we feel that we’re ahead of companies who must start lengthy hiring processes and lose talent when needs arise.”

At Hudson RPO, recruiters learn via a mix of on-demand, customized learning paths from SocialTalent, and also in-person training as part of a people-led development committee called Accelerate. A commitment to 30 minutes of learning is expected every week and managers actively encourage this pursuit. The goal is to give their people the opportunity to own their career and be supported to develop into the professionals they want to be.

SocialTalent is used for whatever challenges they face and has become a go-to resource for learning moments. As George says: “SocialTalent is a great way to access bite-sized learning in the topics you are interested in, whether you are a starting recruiter or looking to take your experience to the next level with leadership or DEI training” – recruiters use the platform to upskill so everyone has access to the same knowledge and can attain a strong foundation.

Additionally, the Hudson RPO Academy, developed and deployed by George himself, has also been created – a dedicated space that gives talent with the right transferable skills an opportunity to train as recruiters.

L&D is at the heart of this organization. Hudson RPO understands how vital it is to ensure that their recruiters are firmly on the pulse and have fostered a culture which feeds into this. Recruiter Training Courses are becoming non-negotiable – for TA to source essential talent, deliver an exceptional hiring experience, and help build workforces of the future, they need to develop their skills.

Learn more about Hudson RPO and SocialTalent’s learning journey in our case study.


In the unceasing quest for exceptional talent, the role of Learning and Development stands as an unwavering beacon. The scarcity of talent, combined with the elevated expectations of candidates and the dynamic tech-powered landscape, necessitates a new breed of recruiter. Those who invest in continuous learning of their recruiters, like Hudson RPO, allow them to become more than talent scouts; they evolve into strategic Talent Advisors who sculpt the trajectory of their organizations.

The nexus between learning and hiring is profound. What recruiters learn directly impacts who they hire. As we march through 2023 and beyond, recruiters who embrace learning as a lifelong endeavour will not only thrive in this evolving landscape but also redefine the essence of talent acquisition itself.

Hudson RPO is a global recruitment process outsourcing and talent advisory company that delivers innovative and customized solutions to organizations worldwide. Its services thrive on innovative approaches, flexibility and cost effectiveness, helping to drive businesses forward through the recruitment life cycle.

Discover how SocialTalent’s learning platform can turn your recruiters into trusted talent advisors. Get in-touch today.

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