Key Attributes of a High Performing Internal Executive Talent Acquisition Team

Key Attributes of a High Performing Internal Executive Talent Acquisition Team

There are numerous pitfalls awaiting anyone who endears themself to executive level (Director +) recruiting. And when operated from within Talent Acquisition, it only takes one hole to fall in to damage your reputation. Technology fails, interview not scheduled properly, interview material not available, recruiter with over 30 positions on their desk, not versed in the nuances of a more disciplined approach, false assumption the internal team cannot recruit on national/global level like the outside firms (that one makes me laugh), etc.… Ugh. The hiring manager becomes frustrated, comparing the process to that of an outside retained firm and wishing they had spent the money. 

However, done right, a high performing function can strengthen relationships, careers, and reputations. Bringing a level of trust, respect and confidence to TA and HR where it often lacks. The good news is the time has never been more appropriate and whether you already have the function running or want to build from scratch, with company size irrelevant, it is imperative you do it right and know what you don’t know. 

The model outlined has been curated through numerous experiences of good and some not-so-good… I have been privileged over the last 16 years to lead the function at 3 different multi-billion dollar organizations, delivering metrics that met or exceeded the national benchmarks of Fortune 200 companies. Described are just the key attributes as the model is too deep and wide to share in full here.

What does it look like?

     ✓ Assessment
– First you need to understand the current reputation of Talent Acquisition and the expectations from your leaders. Understanding the gaps will help ensure the building blocks and implementation schedule bring maximum value.

     ✓ The Basics – Know what you want the end game to look like. Have a purpose statement, goal and objective.

     ✓ Metrics – What would you like to measure? Time-to-Fill, cost savings, capture rate, diversity, quality of hire Voice of Customer, etc…?

     ✓ The Team – You are only as good as your people. Critical characteristics such as emotional maturity, ability to influence, strong communicator, dedicated to craft, attention to detail, years of experience with complex searches are just some of what you need. Several you can teach, others are innate. Measure your current talent and either train-up or make a change.

     ✓ Search Process – Your search process needs to be comparable with the outside retained search partners. They are your competition and your leaders will expect the same.

     ✓ Brand – You have one. Do you know what it is? Be intentional with everything you do internally and externally from verbiage, to sales decks, LI Profiles, becoming a Subject Matter Expert in the external community, etc.…

     ✓ Talent Pipeline – What is your employer brand? Have you tested it? What is your recruitment marketing plan? Are you capturing deep and rich talent into a CRM, developing market intelligence and nurturing?

     ✓ Experience – Oh yes, the White Glove treatment. Many people speak of it but what does it really look like? Car service, escorting throughout the day, company collateral, timely, professional, respectful. So much to consider.

     ✓ Tools – As mentioned previously it only takes one misstep to damage the reputation of the Talent Acquisition and/or Human Resource leader. As such, it is imperative to track every step, every project and with confirmation, create a scorecard that tells a story and utilize collateral material along with highly effective decision-making tools.

     ✓ Partners – Critical to lean on your business leaders, HR partners, executive compensation, Office of Diversity & Inclusion, Talent Management, etc…as well as building a network of high performing external partners in search and research.

     ✓ Data & Technology – Can your HRIS system deliver what you want or will there need to be manuall contribution? For example, how do you measure diversity in the candidate pool? Or differentiate external/internal search? What about a CRM, ATS, Video platform?

     ✓ Learning & Review – Never stop learning or reviewing your current process, technology, etc…Push the envelope with your team, technology and marketing partners…always be asking, “What can we do better?” Conduct weekly reviews, maintain an open door policy, ask outsiders for an audit. Book Club. The street is long and wide for constant review, learning and adjusting.

In a future article I will discuss in detail the wide path of potential value propositions when this function is successfully implemented but safe to assume they include increased cost savings, stronger relationships with key senior leaders along with improved metrics and experiences.  

So now what? Daily what will the function/team “stand for”? What will be their guiding principles? A few for which I have believed strongly:

     ▪ Demand and expect excellence with everything while at same time reminding that we are human.
     ▪ Operate as One. You are a team and will succeed and experience challenges together.
     ▪ Hold each other accountable to the standards established.
     ▪ Serve each other with Excellence in everything you do, Transparency, Fun and Fairness.
     ▪ Deliver a Wow experience to everyone with whom you interact.
     ▪ Be a contributing member to Talent Acquisition and Human Resources.
     ▪ Enjoy the journey, each other and what you do!

I have witnessed first-hand the success this function can bring to an organization, Human Resource and Talent Acquisition leadership. It fits any size organization and any leader. We would be honored to learn how we can serve you as you seek to be great; expanding your tools, credibility and respect both within and outside your organization.