People are a successful company’s most strategic asset and the Talent Acquisition team, who are after all responsible for finding those very same talented people who want to join your company, must be considered one of the critical drivers of any company’s success.
And it would seem reasonable to assume that companies deliberately invest in ensuring that the Talent Acquisition team are the best they can be and that they set them up for success with all the tools, insights and knowledge they need to go to market and compete for the best talent to join.
And it would also be reasonable to assume that companies also invest in capturing the knowledge that the Talent Acquisition team builds up in understanding how to best hire for your company so that it can be shared and updated and reused as the company grows, as the Talent Acquisition team changes and recruiters leave and recruiters join. After all, surely, it’s better to have a strategic asset that explains how best to recruit for the company that can always be shared than to have that knowledge in individual hands.
It would also be (finally!) reasonable to assume that in the current hyper competitive talent marketplace, that those Talent Acquisition teams are analyzing marketplace data, market movements, talent trends, technology trends, competitor trends in order to understand how best to engage with the marketplace.
And for some companies those assumptions are true but for a lot more companies that is not the case because Talent Acquisition teams are faced with these challenges:
- Knowledge Gaps
- Knowledge Flight
- Knowledge Fright
There are so many knowledge deficiencies in a Talent Acquisition team that they or their companies are not set up for success.
With about 55% of recruiters not having a background in the roles they are asked to hire for, there is a huge knowledge gap that needs to be filled. How can they hire successfully for a role if they don’t understand the role, or are unable to recognize the right profile for the role, or know where to find the right candidates to talk to?
Faced with that knowledge gap, recruiters either learn on the job about how to hire successfully for the role which takes a lot of time and reduces productivity, or compensate for the lack of knowledge by counterbalancing with broad-brush activity in the hope that it will uncover a candidate with the right profile who expresses an interest in the role and the company, taking a “spray and pray” approach. Again, a detriment to productivity.
If your company had a 30% churn of their best sales people, would your company accept the impact or work to mitigate or even remove that impact? We know the answer, right?
Well, there is significant attrition in the Talent Acquisition function. In growth times, there can be a churn of over 30% and in less buoyant times, talent teams are often first to be let go, both scenarios leading to enormous knowledge flight.
When recruiters leave, they take with them all the knowledge they have built up in becoming experts in how to hire for your company. And for those in the talent team who are left behind, they are often expected to recreate the knowledge and expertise that has just left the organisation adding new pressures and stress to an already busy team, thus reducing productivity.
We know the majority of recruiters do not have a background in the roles they are trying to fill – there are even fewer recruiters who have a technical background.
A technical proficiency is important especially if recruiters need to take on data analysis skills so that they can incorporate data driven decisions into their work.
However, almost 75% of recruiters express discomfort in being asked to take on this technical skillset. Historically, recruiters are hired for their communication and sales skills to engage and convert candidates. Now, with the complexity and sophistication of the marketplace, there is a need for them to be more data savvy, but if they don’t want to acquire such skills how can they navigate the marketplace successfully?
Crossing the chasm
How then can a company cross this chasm? Recruitment enablement programs are the key. Companies need to provide recruiters with a single source of recruiting truth, from which the right knowledge at the right time is given to recruiters in their flow of work. Talent teams need to own Recruiter Playbooks.
This way, knowledge gaps are closed, knowledge flight is prevented, and knowledge fright appeased, leading to a Talent Acquisition team that is more successful, more productive and more strategic.