Talent Acquisition is a Super Power

Is talent acquisition and recruiting the same thing? It’s a question I’ve gotten repeatedly and some would say it doesn’t really matter. I disagree, allow me to explain.

Talent acquisition is proactive; whereas, recruiting is reactive. Recruiting is a short term, need-based approach. Talent Acquisition is a long-term, comprehensive approach to adding talent to your business. It’s the super power a growing company needs.

Recruiting is one element of a talent acquisition function and it could be plucked out. That means that hiring happens when the need arises. Easy enough, right? Probably not. First, the financial downside of recruiting can be significant. Greater costs to contractors, agency fees, extended position vacancies and, most upsetting, lost revenue. Further, people who are readily available may not have the skills and values that you need to continue to grow your business.

Below are a few key points about the importance of a talent acquisition function for your business.

1. Your employer brand is your talent brand.

What is your business’ reputation? A brand, at its core, is how your business is perceived by your customers and by your employees. Have you checked social media or platforms such as GlassDoor or LinkedIn? In addition to providing company-approved content, these sites allow employees to share their points of view.

The people you want to hire check these sites (among others) to assess your brand’s authenticity. Authentic brands are attractive to candidates and when they become your employees, authenticity is necessary to maintain a positive employee experience.

2. Your hiring problems are business problems.

Talent needs aren’t separate from the business, they are intricately woven together. I have worked with dozens of hiring managers who think that the talent acquisition process is an HR function. The truth is, if you don’t have the right talent, you have a serious business problem. Aside from increased costs, when positions remain empty or you hire the wrong people you will, undoubtedly, have static. You know, that distracting crackling sound? That is the sound of your current employees wondering how long it’s going to go on and quite possibly, they are updating their LinkedIn account.

3. Talent Acquisition works best with a team mindset.

When a hiring manager collaborates with an internal talent acquisition partner (recruiter), she or he can immediately add value to your business. If you want to attract top talent, invite your TA partner to your team meetings and inform them of upcoming projects. TA partners will better understand your team’s strengths and business goals. And, you can get their input on what’s happening in the world of talent attraction and engagement. In the course of a year, your TA partner will speak with plenty of people that you NEVER will. Shouldn’t they be armed with all the best information about what differentiates your team and business?

4. Talent acquisition is not one-size-fits-all

Depending on the size and maturity of your business, an internal talent acquisition structure can look very different. Understanding the short-and-long-term business goals, revenue targets, and talent gaps will be key. Talent Acquisition can function effectively in a centralized or decentralized (or blended) model, but it should always be aligned to the goals of your business.

Additionally, TA partner skillsets can vary greatly. It is unlikely that a successful high-volume TA partner will have the necessary skills to be effective at finding and engaging executive candidates.

5. Talent acquisition is a specialty

I appreciate my HR generalist friends; they have a tough job. And, while I have never met an HR generalist who enjoys and is proficient at talent acquisition, that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Even if they do have the experience, chances are they don’t have the time to properly focus on TA. PwC recently published their 23rd annual survey of global CEOs. It revealed that 80% of CEOs are concerned about the availability of skills. Another recent study suggested that 73% of today’s workers are not actively looking for a job, but they would consider a new opportunity if the right one came along.

This leaves companies with a greater need to attract and engage candidates regularly, authentically and proactively.

Final Thoughts

This is not an all-inclusive list. It is a starting point to think about the value of an in-house talent acquisition function. If you have an internal TA partner already, that’s great. Leverage their knowledge of the talent market and your business to make valuable hires. If you don’t have a TA Partner and you plan to hire people for your business this year, seriously consider hiring one or two. TA partners who have the skills and tenacity to help you build your business aren’t always easy to find, but their impact is undeniable.

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