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4 Steps to Turn Recruiters into Talent Advisors

Finding, attracting, and hiring the right people is still one of the best ways for firms to forge a competitive advantage, but a new work environment requires a new type of recruiter

While finding and putting the right employees in the right positions is one of the most crucial parts of a company’s success, only 40% of applicants to a job actually fit the profile that managers are looking for. The suitability of candidates has declined in recent years, and it is now twice as hard to fill vacant positions as compared to five years ago, according to CEB data.

What’s more, every unfilled position costs a company $365 per day, so companies’ recruitment teams need to find quicker ways of identifying and recruiting the people their colleagues are looking for.

But to do this corporate recruiters must also acquire some new skills and experience. Successful recruiters now actively influence staffing decisions with their in-depth knowledge of talent requirements and expertise in labor markets. The most effective – recruiters CEB dubs as “talent advisors” – create 2.5 times more impact than the traditional recruiter versed in company processes, and with a flair for simply hitting prescribed deadlines.

Talent advisors take four factors into account when they create a recruitment strategy.

  1. Market-driven sourcing: Talent advisors are able to determine what the labor market looks like, what the supply of talent for a particular job is likely to be in a certain region, and the skills that are in short supply in the company.

    This then allows hiring managers to tailor their sourcing strategy to the talent pool, and the way it changes over time.

  2. Brand to influence: All good recruiters have the ability to find the right people and build relationships with them. But talent advisors also ensure that potential applicants clearly understand the company’s brand promise and what is expected from them.

  3. Assessment use: Technology already dominates recruiting, especially in the form of HRIS systems, email, job boards, and recruiting websites.

    Talent advisors frequently experiment and try using tools outside that they’re not comfortable with so they know to use the right assessment tool at the right time.

  4. Recruiter empowerment: Recruitment systems must be designed in such a way that recruiters are able to spend less time managing candidates at the start of the hiring process and more time with serious candidates at the final stages.

4 Ways to Create Talent Advisors

While most companies agree that the recruiting function must evolve from providing operational hiring support to strategic recruiting guidance, fewer than 1 in 5 recruiters today are proficient as “talent advisors”. To transform their recruiters from being order-takers to becoming far more useful business partners, those running recruitment functions should do four things.

  1. Provide context: Recruiters are swamped. If companies want them to become talent advisors, they must help them see how getting the right talent is tied to business outcomes in the long term.

  2. Demonstrate impact: Talent requirements must be framed in context of a company’s internal needs and the external job market. Recruiters are then encouraged to have a comprehensive view of the job market and how external factors can affect hiring processes.

  3. Stakeholder support: Recruiters are motivated if they know what’s working and what’s not. Companies can create talent advisors by getting various stakeholders to provide consistent feedback on what they are looking for and the kind of candidates they are seeing.

  4. Talent assessment tools: Only recruiters who can competently handle various types of recruiting technology can make it work for their company and become talent advisors. Most recruiters will already have a technology base and companies must help them grow it.


More On…

  • Talent Assessment

    Learn more about CEB's work on creating talent advisers, and the importance of talent assessment to creating a modern recruiting function.

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