HR lacks ability to spot talent with ‘X-factor’

HR professionals are not good at finding job candidates with the ‘X-factor’ that makes employers money, an expert has warned.

Albert Ellis, chief executive at recruitment giant Harvey Nash, told Personnel Today that many recruitment schemes were too narrow-minded.

“HR in the UK is well-respected,” he said. “But have people got the commercial ability to find talent that will make money for the business?

“Many HR programmes are about process rather than finding the ‘X-factor’. If you are looking for the X-factor then you need to summon creativity.”

Finding good staff will be a big task for companies in 2008 as skills shortages continue to bite, Ellis said.

“HR people need to focus on winning the war for talent,” he said. “There is no room for complacency. We don’t have queues; it is a challenge to find good talent.”

Ellis backed plans for a ‘blue card’ to allow skilled labour from outside the EU to come to member states to live and work.

“We need to trawl far and wide for talent,” he said. “We support the blue card. HR has to think of companies as having a global reach.”

Prime minister Gordon Brown’s promise of British jobs for British workers is worrying, according to Ellis, who believes that allowing in skilled migrants will create more jobs for everyone.

“This alarms us,” he said. “There is not a quota – jobs are global. And jobs will follow talent.” 

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