What Does It Mean to Be Talent-Centric? Put Candidate Experience First


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What Does It Mean to Be Talent-Centric? Put Candidate Experience First

Welcome to the world of talent-centric organizations, where people are the heart and soul of every business! Are you ready to learn how to prioritize your candidates and put their experience first? Becoming more talent-centric is not just essential for long-term success; it’s also the key to staying competitive in today’s job market.

By creating a positive candidate experience, companies can attract and retain top high-potential employees and build a strong employer brand that sets them apart from the competition. Read on if you want to learn more about what it means to be talent-centric and put your candidates first.


Notable Characteristics of Talent-Centric Organizations 

Talent-centric organizations (TCOs) prioritize the people who power their business, including both candidates and employees. Mark C. Perna, CEO of consulting firm TFS, in writing for Forbes, defined what it means to be talent-centric when it comes to hiring and providing a positive candidate experience:

“To be talent-centric, an organization must focus on attracting, hiring, developing, and retaining top professionals. This requires creating a positive candidate experience that is transparent, respectful, and engaging.”

According to former General Electric COO Lawrence Bossidy, “The most important thing an organization can do is to hire and develop people, rather than relying solely on strategies.”

Talent at all levels is a key indicator of progress and success. Talent-centric organizations focus on empowering employees to reach their potential and drive the company towards success. ¹

Below are two compelling reasons why talent-centered organizations will win in the future:


Being Talent-Centered Closes the Skills Gap 

The IBM Institute for Business Value report titled “The Enterprise Guide to Closing the Skills Gap” discussed the role of the CHRO (Chief Human Resources Officer) in building a talent-centric organization. ²

According to the report, talent-centric organizations generated 32% more revenue than traditional organizations over a five-year period. TCOs also provided employees with training and coaching to develop their skills, allowing them to move up internally more quickly.

TCOs are more likely to have a competitive advantage in today’s fast-paced business environment, as they are better equipped to respond to changing market demands and emerging technologies. Transparency is a crucial part of TCOs, and they are straightforward with employees who are not a long-term fit. In terms of hiring, TCOs prioritize the position description by holistically approaching job roles and using a chief talent officer to lead the hiring process.

The report highlights several key strategies that CHROs can use to build a talent-centric organization, including:


  • Aligning learning and development programs with business goals and objectives.
  • Offering flexible and personalized learning opportunities that cater to the needs of individual employees.
  • Creating a culture of continuous learning and development, where employees acquire new skills and knowledge on an ongoing basis.
  • Investing in technologies that enable learning and development, like AI-powered learning platforms and virtual reality simulations.
  • Leveraging data and analytics to measure the effectiveness of learning and development programs to make data-driven decisions.


Overall, the report suggests that building a talent-centric organization requires a long-term commitment to investing in the development and retention of employees. The potential benefits in terms of increased productivity, innovation, and competitiveness can make it a worthwhile investment for organizations looking to succeed in today’s business landscape.


Being Talent-Centered Wins the War of Turnover Tsunami  

The term “turnover tsunami” refers to a high rate of employee turnover, which can be detrimental to a company’s bottom line and overall success. In the context of talent-centric companies (TCOs), the risk of a turnover tsunami is mitigated by their approach to hiring and employee development. TCOs prioritize attracting and retaining top talent by being transparent about their organizational values, strengths, and challenges, and by offering robust learning and development opportunities.

This approach not only helps attract candidates who are a good fit for the company culture, but also ensures that employees have the support and resources they need to succeed and grow within the organization. In turn, this fosters a culture of loyalty and commitment, reducing the risk of turnover and the associated costs and disruptions.

To further bolster this point, Schultz stresses that “TCOs (talent-centric organizations) have a strong advantage in attracting and retaining top talent because of their deep commitment to employee training and development. They ask both employees and prospective employees what they need, and a robust learning and development experience is usually at the top of candidates’ wish lists.” ³

Maintaining talent-centricity requires continuous work, just like any relationship. Leaders might need to conduct quarterly or semiannual check-ins with employees to keep the organization on its toes. This practice helps nip any issues in the bud. If leaders see people avoiding issues or passing the buck, it might be a call to revisit what’s happening and get coaching to address it.

If you can’t claim to be a TCO yet, Schultz encourages all founders and CEOs to set up an all-hands-on-deck discovery conversation. It should address the following questions:


  • How does the leadership team describe the company’s vision and goals?
  • Is everyone on the same page?
  • What do team members feel should be done differently?
  • What does employee turnover look like in the company and each department?
  • What’s causing employees to leave?
  • Why do our people think the company isn’t achieving its goals?


Through this conversation, any gaps in alignment can be shared in an objective and nonjudgmental way. However, the insights gained from such conversations should be acted upon immediately. Schultz suggests being open to doing things differently from what was done before. This process can be authentic, eye-opening, and valuable.

Finally, it’s crucial not to lose sight of the reason you want to become a TCO.


Hiring With a Talent-Centered Approach  

Here are seven steps you can take to make your hiring process more talent-centric:

1. Improve the job description: Make sure the job description is compelling, and clearly states the expectations and requirements of the job. Highlight opportunities for growth and advancement within the company.

2. Use targeted marketing: Develop targeted marketing campaigns that appeal to the specific skills and interests of top candidates. Use different marketing tactics depending on the type of position to be filled.

3. Use proactive referral programs: Develop a professional employee referral program that is well-administered and includes a database of leads with great information on candidate quality and key strengths.

4. Optimize the candidate experience: Make sure the candidate experience both online and onsite is positive and reinforces how top people look for better career opportunities.

5. Train recruiters and hiring managers: Train recruiters and hiring managers to identify and attract top talent, and to use effective interviewing and screening techniques that energize top people.

6. Use technology to streamline the hiring process: Implement technology that makes the hiring process more efficient and reduces the administrative burden, freeing up recruiters and hiring managers to focus on attracting top talent.

7. Continuously evaluate and improve the hiring process: Regularly assess the effectiveness of the hiring process and adjust as needed to improve the ability to attract and retain top talent. Solicit feedback from candidates and employees to identify areas for improvement.



If you’re looking to adopt the talent-centric approach, Strategic Systems is here for you. We offer comprehensive workforce management solutions that prioritize candidate and employee experience. We do all the work, so you don’t have to.

Get in touch today to learn how we can help you!



  1. “Ep 6: Living to Serve | SEARCH ON.” YouTube. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/importance-talent-centric-approach-syeda-fizza-batool/?trk=articles_directory.  Published June 12, 2018. Accessed 28 February 2023.
  2. LaPrade, Annette. “The enterprise guide to closing the skills gap: strategies for building and maintaining a skilled workforce.” https://www.voced.edu.au/content/ngv%3A85596. Accessed 28 February 2023.
  3. Perna, Mark C., and Amy Danise. “Why Talent-Centric Organizations Are Going To Win The Future.”  https://www.forbes.com/sites/markcperna/2022/12/06/why-talent-centric-organizations-are-going-to-win-the-future/. Published December 6, 2022. Accessed 28 February 2023.