What’s your role, Ms Recruiter?
Recently I was faithfully digesting an insightful article by J. James O'Malley on Upping the Ante on Talent Acquisition. It talks about the transformation of Talent Acquisition and the need to redefine the full spectrum of roles that are embedded in it, especially in today’s talent landscape and volatile economic demographics.
To briefly summarise the 5-series articles, the key takeaway are:
- Stop being an order taker. Start shifting the mindset from an order-taker to a strategic player. Recruitment is not simply just filling an open vacancy in an organization. It goes beyond that, right from workforce planning to hiring to onboarding and finally retention. Remember this: “When you show up to a meeting with pencil and paper in hand asking hiring managers, can I take your order, then why should they expect anything more from you or treat you any differently.”
- Stop being tactical, start being strategic. Recruiters need to start putting on the strategic cap and play the role of a business partner by understanding the businesses and be consultative to the hiring managers by providing sound advice from HR perspectives.
- Embrace measurement and metrics. The analogy holds: “If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it.” It is imperative to start drawing data metrics from recruitment to support business strategies.
- Resist the temptation to be good at everything. Excel in 1 or 2 areas and focus on building their personal brand revolving them. Delegate or outsource tasks that others can do it better; more efficient and at lower cost.
After reading these articles, that got me thinking and looking back at my tenure in the Talent Acquisition role. I recalled several conversations with my co-workers on the challenges they faced at work:
- I am overwhelmed! I sit in interviews all day, and I can only start clearing all these paperwork after office hours!
- I feel like a postman! “Delivering” suitable CVs to the hiring managers for their scrutiny and waiting for their green light to proceed.
- I feel like a mobile dartboard, being aimed at all the time by the hiring managers for not closing the vacancies fast enough.
Has the recruitment process gone wrong thus making the recruiters feel this way? Is the recruitment function structured this way that only the fittest can survive in this role or is it meant to make people fail?
In my humble perspective, it is imperative to acknowledge that Talent Acquisition encompasses a vast array of roles and it is high time to relook at the internal structure of the team (if not done so) so as to effectively perform its role to the optimal level, especially in talent crunch times like this despite the economic downturn. This brings me back to the article on redefining Talent Acquisition in today’s context.
Redefining Talent Acquisition
- Start from the culture. Culture defines the behaviour of people in an organization. Start building a culture where everyone is accountable for the success of the organization, and no department should be perceived as a “cost centre” or “profit centre”. Otherwise, we are merely sending out the wrong message to the community that one department is more superior to others, hence the “discrimination” against especially the support functions.
- Support from the Management. It is critical that Management views HR as a strategic business partner, with a voice that can be heard, and a well-deserving seat at the table.
- Shift in mindset. If recruiters view themselves as order-takers, then chances are, the other departments will likely share the same perception. Start putting on the strategic cap and partner the line managers in understanding the business requirements and how you can value add or solve their teething problems with regards to talent or manpower. Always remember that recruiters are not food servers that go around filling the empty plates with a buffet of food.
- Start embracing big data. Data analytics is the sexy thing right now. Jump onto the band wagon and start embracing data analytics in talent acquisition. Learn from the big brothers; LinkedIn, Google, Amazon etc, on how they embedded big data to upskill their products and drive sales. Big data makes the talent acquisition process more efficient and accurate as recruiters can rely on statistics to understand where the appropriate channels for talent scouting are and also the characteristics of what constitutes “valuable employees” that they should be looking out for.