"Talent Acquisition is Hard!" Resourcing Your Recruiting Team

July 11, 2022

Close-up of foosball table.

A new search entrepreneur said something I’ll never forget at a webinar roundtable discussion:“Talent acquisition is hard.”  He had been the hiring manager for the majority of his career and was now helping recruiting firms with research services. He said this with an air of authority, yes, but also exhaustion.

He said he never knew how time consuming and challenging identifying and engaging talent was.  He’s right.  The hours it takes to identify all the candidates aligned with a search is mind-boggling.  And that is only the first of many steps to get to a hire.   

I won’t get into the recruiting process here (but look for that in future blogs!).  Today I want to discuss how to properly resource talent acquisition so your organization can achieve consistent hiring results. Let’s explore some ways to enhance your talent acquisition capabilities.

Search Operations Coordinator

You’ve hired an internal recruiter.  You now believe the amazing resumes will start flowing in, your hiring managers will have a plethora of top candidates to choose from, and your organization land those unicorn uber-talents who will drive new company growth.  You’re all set, right?    Unfortunately it never seems to roll-out that way.  Things are better with a recruiter for sure, but there are still gaps.  What’s going on?

A single internal recruiter can make a big difference and elevate a company from the post-and-pray days, but a well-resourced and supported internal recruiter can move mountains.

That’s why successful companies pair their internal recruiters with a Search Operations Coordinator (SOC).  One SOC per 2-3 recruiters can really elevate your internal recruiting game.  Qualified SOC’s bring stellar research and email marketing chops.  They assemble candidate target lists and execute the communications plan.  SOC’s also help with clerical work like scheduling and contract management, freeing up your recruiters’ time to manage candidates and the entire hiring process. 

Recruiting Software

Ultimately, most recruiting is a high-touch, person-to-person endeavor, but software assistance can aid in capturing data, managing the process, and communicating to the candidate audience.  

Ask recruiting professionals about their software support tools, however, and you’ll get mixed reviews. That’s why it’s important to thoroughly evaluate and vest applicant tracking systems, candidate sourcing and tracking tools, and LinkedIn membership options before adding them to your toolkit. 

Outsourced Support

There are a myriad of off-shore recruiting process consultants on platforms like Upwork and Fiverr, as well as dedicated companies who provide this support.  Your mileage may vary, but if you find a strong virtual sourcer their impact can be significant.  

Know exactly when you need help

Understanding the scenarios when a third-party recruiting partner is required can save time, ensure the entire eligible candidate pool has been approached, and free up your recruiting staff to focus on other easier-to-fill hires.  There are three common scenarios when a third party recruiting partner could enhance your internal recruiting team’s efforts.  

When certainty is required:  Leadership, critical account, and strategic lead roles often require knowing you’ve approached the entire eligible field and that your candidate pool is a thorough representation of the leaders that are available at that time.  Retained search firms are the best fit in this scenario.  

When the hiring load is just too high:  Knowing your internal talent acquisition (TA) team's capacity and engaging a search firm to fill in the gaps can help keep your TA team happy and productive — keep hiring times down.  Contingency search firms are the traditional go-to, but more and more search firms are now using a retained search strategy for all levels and delivering quick, productive results.

Niche & tight talent pool searches: Typically difficult-to-fill searches are a good reason to engage a third party.  Finding those niche recruits that your TA team doesn’t typically hire regularly or filling a functional role with a tight talent pool is a great reason to engage a niche recruiting partner with experience in those spaces.  Consider using a retained approach so your partner is focused on closing the search quickly.  

Understand the costs of not hiring quickly

Few organizations realize the true costs of not hiring quickly.  There can be significant opportunity-loss costs to your organization by not having that employee in place.  Understanding the delta between your TA expenses and lost revenue/opportunity resulting from a slow hiring process is crucial.  That number can represent the budgetary level you need to additionally fund talent acquisition.  

Thank your currently under-resourced TA team

As a third-party recruiter, I understand how difficult the internal recruiting function is.  Be aware of overloading your TA team with internal meetings and unrelated tasks.  Time in meetings is time away from recruiting and candidate engagement work.  Remember what our new search entrepreneur said, “Talent acquisition is hard!”.  Thank your TA team every day, and remember to ask them what they need to be successful.  

Drop me a line. I am always happy to jump on a call and talk through these issues with you and how to implement them successfully. 



Photo by Pascal Swier on Unsplash

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