The recruitment capabilities of global firms are increasingly lackluster and businesses are struggling to find the quality talent they need to compete, according to new research by Recruitment Process Outsourcing company Cielo.

Many aspects of effective talent acquisition were found to be under strain in the survey. Business unit leaders reported major effectiveness gaps in talent acquisition’s ability to provide strategic thinking, make a measurable impact and demonstrate the all important buzz-word of the moment, agility.

The Talent Acquisition 360 report combines the views of nearly 700 C-level executives, business unit leaders and talent acquisition leaders.

90 percent of business unit leaders said that delivering quality hires consistently should be the top priority for their internal recruitment team. However, just over half rated their performance as effective, a gap of one third (33 percent) compared to just one in ten (14 percent) among C-level executives.

“It is striking that business unit leaders, critical stakeholders who are dependent on the competent execution of  comprehensive talent acquisition are so unsatisfied. Talent acquisition is not delivering what the business needs to succeed, a situation that requires urgent action,” Sue Marks commented.

While almost nine in ten (89 percent) leaders agreed that talent is a competitive advantage for their firm, the study revealed a significant effectiveness gap between the importance of key recruitment activities and the performance of those responsible for carrying the crucial tasks out.