Optimizing Your Talent Acquisition In 2021 (Part 1) | Hacker Noon

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Are You Doing Everything Or Nothing?

There’s a saying that corporate recruitment teams do everything except hiring. It’s a sad but true situation, and sometimes it feels like there’s no way to fix it. During my experience, I worked both with recruitment agencies and corporate teams. The truth is — you can double the internal team’s efficiency in a month if the only thing they concentrate their efforts on is sourcing and hiring.

My “Favorite” Meetings

But, there is a big but! I spent half of my professional life on unproductive 1-hour meetings, which could be summed up in a 5-minute chat. Corporate talent recruitment is different. There are “vital” meetings, big community related and massive organizational projects. Some of them are hidden behind the “increase the hiring efficiency” curtain. Most of the time, they do the opposite.

If you go on and start canceling all the unnecessary meetings, they will go crazy. They’ll say you don’t come to important conferences and label you an “asshole” or something similar. The most crucial time is your team’s time, so every TA leader can attend these meetings to understand whether the team should be there or not. Take one for the team, and it’s ok!

The TA Function

Talent acquisition is about finding the best talent for the company, period! Stop thinking that you have to have one-on-ones with everybody in the company so they can feel more involved. That will harm your numbers and your company’s growth.

Here, I will help you to understand which meetings are vital: the ones with hiring managers to discuss their openings.


That’s all.

I’m not speaking about monthly syncs etc., they’re fine. I promise you can delete 60% of the meetings that involve your team, double your hiring capacity, and not give a single f*** about the labels some people might put on you.

Most monthly/weekly meetings have the same agenda; some updates are not worthy of a session. You can try to introduce a rule that you won’t participate in discussions that don’t have an agenda sent prior.

Talent acquisition is a complicated business. The way that your work is being evaluated is a number. How many positions have you managed to fill in a certain period? Nobody will say, “Wow, you have done amazing initiatives and great projects.”

The New Talent Acquisition

Posting ads and waiting is gone, “people personnel” is over, the traditional HR function is dead, but these are the good news. The best companies try to disrupt the old talent acquisition model. The new talent acquisition has to work like a sales/marketing department, and it must look good and fresh. Great TA starts with an employer brand.

You have to look cool and modern to attract the best talent. It’s harder for more prominent companies to do so, understandably. People want to brag about their workplace. They want to take pictures and make TikToks from their office and share it on their social media. That’s the reality of the current talent market, and you have to deal with it. Candidates are always right. It must be easier for them to talk/reach out/apply to you. Do you want the best talent? Adjust!

Simple Processes

Often, we make unnecessary processes that only occur once or twice and never again. Do you need processes for that? No. You can identify such cases with rarity. Everybody can develop complex processes. Keeping it simple is the work of the genius. You should not develop policies based on exceptions. HR already has lots of reasons to be hated, don’t add another one.

Data-Driven Talent Decisions

It’s challenging to build a data-driven interview process. But if you want, you can dive deeper into the candidate’s selection science and cognitive abilities. Then you’ll do a cultural interview to understand whether it’s the best candidate for the role and the company. Right now, what companies do is write feedback and then sit around the table and say, “ok guys, what are your thoughts on this candidate.”

Racism/sexism/ageism exists, but sometimes they’re not factors that people unconsciously choose the candidate they associate with themselves. Sometimes it’s about familiarity. This is why companies have to invest more in selection science and increase more non-subjective data in the hiring process.

Big Projects and Resistance

People hate changes, especially when after that change they have to do something more. Cut out big TA projects. They don’t work. Want to try something new? Pick a team with a great lead, do some alpha/beta tests. If that works, scale it. Sometimes you will fail, not a big deal on a small scale, but the other teams will come to your door begging the same change when you are successful. Great TA is about continuous daily improvement, not massive projects.


To be continued…

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