Talent Advisers: The Future of Recruiting

Talent Advisers: The Future of Recruiting

by Pamela Wasley, MultiBriefs

New hires in your company today should be ready to deliver more efficient processes, creative solutions and a quantifiable impact on your business. As part of the hiring team, you’re responsible for bringing in candidates that fit the bill.

But according to CEB, a best practice insight and technology company for corporate performance, the quality of newly-hired employees has actually decreased in businesses, dropping 17 percent since 2009.

Along with the hiring manager, it’s likely that your company’s recruiter or recruiting team shares the responsibility of hiring quality employees. In order to hire great employees for your company, you must employ talented recruiters to get those candidates in the door. With the quality of hires on the decline, strategic hires are more important than ever.

In today’s evolving recruiting landscape, companies are seeking to employ talent advisers — the next-generation of recruiters. These folks take recruiting to the next level by becoming more embedded in their company’s strategic business goals, the surrounding business landscape and the local pipeline of job seekers.

These talent advisers are the bridge to impactful, effective employees at your company.

Talent Advisers 101

The distinction between talent advisers and the recruiters of today is that talent advisers possess deep business acumen and are skilled in strategic hiring for the team as well as the company. They tend to think more big picture than a recruiter; they strive to solve for the company its current and future needs when hiring, using their highly-developed networks and relationships with company leaders.

This means a talent adviser can not only bring in a great employee for the position that’s open, but also make a hire who will have an impact on the business for years to come.

While there’s a difference between the two, both a talent adviser and a recruiter have some similar skills. For example, both must be process experts — those who can navigate the recruitment process internally with stakeholders with the tools they’re given, like a software system and other frameworks. They are also pipeline managers, responsible for reaching out and maintaining relationships in the labor force and matching external or internal candidates to positions.

According to CEB, the best-performing recruiters are both strong pipeline managers and strategic advisers, qualifying them as talent advisers.

In today’s world of recruiting, only 35 percent of hiring managers believe recruiters effectively influence business decisions. But talent advisers have the skills of a recruiter with a mind for understanding the business and how to strategically hire employees who will positively impact the company’s goals.

Because of this, talent advisers are a key piece to employee happiness, company growth and business success. Even though they may not have the highest salary in the company or hold the most senior title, their importance cannot be overlooked.

Think of a talent adviser as human representation of your company’s mission and vision. They understand business fundamentals, your business model, position in the marketplace and more.

Today, a recruiter may not get as involved as a talent adviser when it comes to understanding the broader landscape of your industry. However, this is exactly what sets a talent adviser apart from a traditional recruiter. A talent adviser’s deep understanding of the business and surrounding landscape gives him/her the ability to strategically advise hiring managers on which candidates might be the best fit for the team as well as the company, in the short and long term.

Today’s recruiting landscape

In opposition to a common misconception that recruiting is pretty easy these days, recruiters are struggling to keep up with the changing business landscape. One challenge recruiters face constantly is the sheer volume of applicants, which has increased 169 percent per requisition since 2007. As great as that sounds, having more applicants doesn’t always equate to an increase in qualified applicants.

There also isn’t a lot of movement in the employed labor force. While it’s common to secure a new position before leaving your old one, employed talent is more passive than ever before. CEB reports that people are staying in their companies where the stock and company benefits are attractive, and because of this, there’s a lot of noise in the applicant pools of today that’s not delivering results for companies that need to fill open requisitions.

The changing business landscape and weak applicant pools pose a real challenge for the traditional recruiter.

If they aren’t in tune with their company’s business goals — and, more specifically, the goals and needs of the specific hiring team for the present and the future — it becomes less likely a recruiter is able to place the right candidate in the right role. Workforce requirements are changing constantly, and a recruiter needs to be able to anticipate and adapt to change when it comes to open requisitions and the skills required.

However, talent advisers likely already understand the changing business landscape, and a weak applicant pool doesn’t faze them. A talent adviser’s job is to always be networking and have an applicant pool to pull from for open requisitions, beyond the folks who directly apply. The challenges that can slow down a recruiter are merely bumps in the road for talent advisers, as they have a different skill set that lends itself to thriving in these conditions.

The recruiters of tomorrow

While you may be lucky enough to have a recruiter who possesses the skills and attributes of a talent adviser, only 19 percent of recruiters today are considered qualified as talent advisers. Companies will have to put some effort into finding recruiters who are highly skilled in pipeline management and strategic consulting with your hiring managers.

According to CEB, there isn’t a standard experience or job history that makes talent advisers stand out. In fact, companies today are assessing prospective recruiters by asking them to demonstrate the capabilities needed to do the job.

One such company, Hertz Europe, has implemented a “show me” model for evaluating and choosing recruiters to ensure they have the potential to be (or already are) a talent adviser. By adding a demonstration component to their interview process, the candidate is given a realistic job preview through navigating unrealistic hiring expectations, time constraints and executive presentations.

On the surface, this might seem like a time-consuming process that isn’t scalable. However, the implementation of this system reduced their search firm spend by nearly $1 million over the last 12 months.

If talent advisers are the recruiters of tomorrow, companies should be actively training their current recruiters and seeking talent advisers who will bring up the quality of the folks being hired at your company.