How Talent Acquisition Leaders Can Be Super Valuable

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Jul 1, 2016
This article is part of a series called How-Tos.

Being invaluable means that you offer something unique and valuable that no one else in your circle does. I have been blessed; this was very easy for me to do at PROCON.

When I arrived here in July 2013 as its first corporate recruiter, I was starting from ground zero. No ATS, no database, no referral program, nothing. We were an almost 80-year-old company placing newspaper ads to find candidates. That is actually one of the reasons I took the position. The opportunity to start from scratch really excited me.

I was able to offer a lot of value immediately for our organization. As my role and responsibilities grow, I am challenged to find new and different ways to remain invaluable to PROCON, our candidates, and our partners.

In 2015, we doubled our revenue, and myself and my incredible corporate recruiter, who gets more done in 20 hours than most do in 40, hired more than 100 new employees to support that work.  More importantly, almost halfway through 2016, we have a 3 percent turnover rate. We could never have accomplished any of this without the support of our executive team.

The executive team instilled their trust in my team because we were consistently on point, succinct, and prepared with data in hand. Results and time are invaluable to them. Their support gave me the confidence to offer ideas in multiple areas of the business which has propelled me and PROCON forward. It’s a beautiful cycle of achievement for everyone.

So, how do you become invaluable?

First, you must believe that you can. As the saying goes, “If you believe it, you will achieve it.” Belief in yourself is imperative!

Second, you must weave yourself into the fabric of your company, and I do mean your company. Treat the talent acquisition function like it’s your own company. Take the time to get to know the DNA of your organization and each team within it, and you will be able to maintain a low turnover rate by hiring the right people the first time. Results make you invaluable!

Third, treat all people the way you’d want them to treat your children. Not the way you’d want them to treat you; the way you’d want them to treat your children — with compassion. Make every interaction count!

Spend more time with hiring managers; communicate in a way that works for them, not you. Some of my hiring managers only like email, some I call, and others I tackle in the corridor. Whatever works. I don’t waste their time, which is invaluable to them.

Always help your candidates, even the ones you’re not going to hire. Respectfully turn them down and offer honest feedback and advice. If you know of another opportunity, direct them that way. Those two minutes of knowledge you impart will be invaluable to them, and create a great candidate experience which in turn promotes your talent brand.

Agency recruiters who call you relentlessly. They’re likely sitting in the same seat you once occupied. If they catch you on the phone and you’re not using agencies, toss them a few leads. If they email, don’t just delete it. Send a quick “thank you but no thank you.” They will appreciate it. Paying it forward is always invaluable. It may even land you a free resume.

As talent acquisition leaders, when hiring slows down, it’s not the time to run scared. It’s the time to innovate and collaborate. We need to deepen our relationships, be active, be creative, and be humble in order to remain invaluable.

If you are only filling open reqs, you are not invaluable. Any recruiter can do that. Be a true business partner. Offer solutions about staffing levels, salaries, and succession planning. Be the one who employees come to for advice or a pep talk. Educate managers on the market. If your CEO owns other companies offer to advise them. Be invaluable to everyone at every level.

Create fun, internal contests that keep employees engaged, provide you with social media content, and help with your recruiting efforts simultaneously. Design a new campaign for an employee referral program, work on employee retention efforts, organize interview training for hiring managers, strengthen relationships with colleges and universities. The opportunities are endless.

Remember, invaluable doesn’t mean irreplaceable. We are all replaceable. Invaluable means you are worth so much to them that they wouldn’t want to make the effort to replace you.

Talent-acquisition leaders are in a position to offer encouragement, advice, and resources. We have the unique ability to connect the dots to push our company forward, and help others along the way if we so choose.

When you choose to approach talent acquisition from a place of “how may I serve?” as opposed to “what’s in it for me?” you will always remain invaluable.

This article is part of a series called How-Tos.
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