Leading and Structuring a High-Performance Talent Acquisition Team

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Feb 7, 2020

Editor’s note: This article is part of a series highlighting speakers at the upcoming ERE Recruiting Conference. Click here to view other articles in the series.

The talent market has never been more competitive. Gone are the days of offering an average salary and an average benefit package from an average transactional recruiting team that just moves through the motions. Those teams are losing top talent at every turn!

HR and talent acquisition leaders need to think through the right organizational structure for their TA functions to meet business needs and create a consultative culture that partners with key stakeholders, including hiring managers, business leaders, candidates, and employees.        

Now, we are not clairvoyant in HR and TA. Our abilities to anticipate the needs of the business and, therefore, the needs of our function, are drastically improved when we ask for — and receive! — our companies’ business plans and strategies. That is the only way to create a TA operation that supports those plans. 

I Got the Plans. Now What?

Running amok with a bunch of cool ideas is a silly use of time. Spinning your wheels on nice-to-haves instead of putting strategic thought behind a workforce plan is also silly. Prioritization is important — which means understanding that all jobs are not the same when it comes to sourcing, search, and the candidate lifecycle. 

Let’s keep things real. Some roles are harder than others to fill with great candidates. Some roles you can find a lot of great candidates for. Some are unique, some add a lot of value. Knowing how long it takes to fill each is part of the prioritization process. 

Check out this example of prioritization:

Thinking of jobs this way can help you better understand where to focus your efforts as you consider whom your business needs to hire, how important each role is to the company, and how long it will take to find people.  

The Power of “No”

Speaking of finding people, no one in your organization understands talent acquisition better than you. Sure, business leaders know their space: how to build new products, how to acquire deeper market penetration, how to optimize a procurement system. But they don’t necessarily know how to find the right talent to do these things. You and your team do, so don’t allow those folks to tell you how to approach the talent needs of your organization.

Being order-takers is not going to allow your team to be consultative and make recommendations. 

Consultative TA means having the credibility and support to ask tough questions, say no when needed, and add value. Problem-solvers are not mere “yes” people. Indeed, you should empower your team to say “no” when warranted. It will be very liberating for some people!

Of course, there’s a lot more that goes into “Leading a High-Performance Talent Acquisition Team,” which is the name of the workshop I’ll be leading at the ERE Recruiting Conference in San Diego (April 15-17). I’ll be diving much deeper into how to prioritize and be more consultative to elevate your team and your organization. At the workshop, you’ll receive a copy of my book RecruitCONSULT Leadership, as well as a substantial binder of tools and resources to use immediately.

Use code ERESD2020READER to receive 10% off your ticket by registering here. I am looking forward to your stories, experiences, and questions. See you at the conference!

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