Without doubt, the start of 2023 has been tough for some TA Leaders. They have had to react to market conditions with strategies, plans and actions that could largely be perceived as downbeat – budgets cut for tooling and technology often making their jobs this year harder, headcount cut meaning laying off great team members with those lucky to stay feeling perhaps demoralized, demotivated, fearful. Let’s face it, it’s been stressful, highly emotional and painful.
And these actions have come about because TA Leaders are aligning themselves with the most urgent priority of their CFO for 2023, cost management.
And it can be hard under these circumstances to look forward but look forward they must because for the large part, the company they work for will continue to strive to be successful, will continue to strive to grow, and will continue to strive to offer a great place to work. It’s time to look forward.
So, what can TA Leaders do in their new reality, and at the same time embrace the positive goals of success and growth. In our mind, the most important thing they ought to do is align with the other priorities of their CFO because for now, the CFO’s hand is on the tiller.
CFO Priorities in 2023
The overall sentiment for CFOs in 2023 is preparing for slower growth. Slower growth, but growth all the same. And of course, the hard priorities leading to cost management are the urgent priorities that CFO’s have enacted but what are their other priorities?
According to Deloitte, 57% of CFOs report that their organizations expect to expand their range of products and services. TA Leaders should begin engaging their stakeholders to understand what this means for the workforce, what skills will be required, can those skills be acquired internally or do they need to begin opening new headcount, when will that headcount be required, can TA Leaders begin talent pooling so that they are able to quickly act when those new products and services are being developed and brought on stream. For TA Leaders, applying their skills and expertise to internal mobility is a transformation opportunity. In recent years, TA functions have been focused on hiring for growth and building teams, internal mobility has been a lesser priority. Developing the skills within the TA team necessary to deliver on this will broaden the expertise of the team and provide new opportunities.
Again, according to Deloitte, 41% of CFOs intend to hire more people than they let go. For TA Leaders, they will be focused on finding solutions to deliver on hiring goals more cost effectively. And in challenging times, some of the most innovative solutions are born. TA Leaders are likely to have license to experiment, new approaches, new styles, new ideas, it will be an exciting time for those innovative and creative TA Leaders and their teams. TA Leaders can experiment with developing flexible and adaptable talent teams that can transition easily across multiple roles and locations according to business needs or creating new imaginative ways to engage and communicate their opportunities, or really focus on future talent pools and creating and managing relationships with future talent, the list goes on. It can be an exciting time
Focus on Higher Value activities
84% of CFOs want to develop their people to free them up to use their talents for higher value activities. In other words, initiatives that can give time back to people are important, whether through increasing productivity, process efficiencies, automation or outsourcing. The key for TA Leaders will be to choose initiatives where there is less complexity, as complex initiatives will require larger budgets that might not be accessible. TA Leaders ought rather to find initiatives that are easier to implement, that reduce complexity and simplify, that are quick to roll out and that can demonstrate benefits and returns quickly. For example, creating knowledge communities to close talent team knowledge gaps so that individual team members spend less time in becoming experts but rather lean on the expertise that is there in more efficient ways.
Recruitment enablement: A cost effective innovation to support growth, talent and Higher value activities
One of the most cost effective and impactful initiatives a TA Leader can implement is recruitment enablement. The purpose of recruitment enablement is to elevate your recruiters with knowledge at the right time in their flow of work, so that they become more expert, more productive and more strategic. The path to recruitment enablement can be broken down into:
Baseline your TA environment
Most TA Leaders who set out on their recruitment enablement journey begin with baselining. This typically has the following elements
Define and rollout a common hiring model across all stakeholders. A common model, understood and implemented the same way by call, can be a first step to optimizing the model. You can improve a process or a model without knowing how the baseline process is working.
The next element is to align your recruiting stack to your common model and optimize. TA Leaders have made significant investments in TA technologies over the years, but are they being used effectively, do they align with the common hiring model or add friction to it, what changes can be made to remove friction, are the right technologies in the right people hands, have you purchased licenses for the entire organization when only a handful really need it or use it?
Invest in your team
TA Leaders need their team to be the best they have ever been. The new reality has created new constraints, new responsibilities are on their shoulders, and now is the time to invest in your team and enable them to succeed. Yet over 55% of recruiters do not have a background in the roles they hire for; closing these knowledge gaps is an obvious and practical initiative to begin the process of supporting your team to be the best talent team they can be. Empowering your team by increasing their expertise improves the experience for everyone – hiring managers, candidates, partners, and most importantly the recruiters themselves. They become more productive, more knowledgeable, more engaged, more strategic and more successful.
Create a culture of knowledge sharing and collaboration
Knowledge isn’t stagnant. As new products and services come on stream, as you enter new markets, as new team members join, it’s important to put in place a culture of knowledge sharing and collaboration so that new knowledge can be captured and shared. The starting point for this is to first capture your recruiting hiring patterns and best practices, to document the recruiting practices that drive the greatest success.
Having this single source of recruiting knowledge accessible and shareable to all stakeholders allows for greater collaboration. Greater collaboration builds trust, and trust builds strong relationships. And in times that challenge us to invent, problem solve and find a way through while making your team better, that surely is a good thing!