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You Want Fries With That?

Posted on in Talent Strategy

“Recruiting is our biggest bottleneck,” said the CEO. The conversation went downhill from there as he expressed his frustration with the process (or lack thereof), the quality of candidates they were seeing and a general lack of urgency.   “I need you to fix this if we are going to scale.”

Ah.  My dream scenario.

I show up on my first day to start the assessment process and while a full assessment takes several weeks to complete, the CEO wanted some feedback at the end of the very first day.  No pressure.

The first order of business was to attend the weekly recruiting team meeting.  Awesome.  Nothing beats firsthand observation of the team and I’ll get insight into their process and hear about their challenges.  I sit at the end of the table, listening intently.  The roles they are discussing demonstrate their knowledge of the business (check), they have control of their candidates through the process (double check), and there is a strong understanding of the prioritization of roles relative to the business demands (triple check).

And then…

The discussion turns to specific challenges they are having with the hiring managers (a term I hate by the way).  One by one I heard about hiring managers who haven’t given them a job description, filled out a scorecard, told them what they are looking for, they are waiting for feedback and on and on and on.  Excuse after excuse.  Lazy.  Unacceptable.

This is when my head almost exploded.

When I met with the CEO at the end of the day he asked me for my blink reaction to what I had seen so far.  “You have a smart, capable team,” I said.  “But, they are order takers and this is at the root of the problem.”

Your business cannot afford to operate in a transactional fashion where your recruiting team takes orders from the business and then takes a “butt in seat” approach.  To compete in today’s market, talent acquisition professionals must act as internal consultants to the business.

A true talent acquisition professional is a strategist who understands the current talent capabilities of your organization and can identify gaps that can be filled through internal mobility or external hiring based on the needs of the business.  They have a depth of understanding of the marketplace, expectations of the talent you are seeking, and what your competitors are doing so you have an edge.  They are educators at the core who will challenge you on what types of skills you should be hiring for, coach on how to interview effectively, and guide you through the onboarding of your new hire.

They know it is their responsibility and duty to own, manage and drive all activities required to identify, attract and recruit those who will succeed in the company and they take that seriously.  They are a guide, partner and safety net throughout the process and they will focus on making sure each hire is a value-add to the business.

Unfortunately, there are far too many people in the recruiting profession who still just don’t get it.  Many know better and don’t care.  Some just don’t know what they don’t know.

In the case of my client, they are the latter and I can’t wait to report back on the progress we make over the next few months as we transform them from being order takers to changemakers.  Until then, here is a piece by Dr. John Sullivan where he further discusses this topic that is well worth the read.



Want to transform your team from order takers to changemakers? Drop me a line below!

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