28 Aug 2019

Dear All,

I recently had the opportunity to participate in a Round Table Conference in Bangalore, which was attended by Leaders from 30+ organizations. Many of the distinguished Leaders spoke about their journey in setting up new businesses, the challenges & opportunities, and shared their key learning.

Interestingly, most of the speakers spent dis-proportionate time talking about the challenges to attract the right Talent for their organizations. They firmly believe that the ability to source, attract, assess, hire and retain a Talent is the Key to Most of the problems.

I take this opportunity to share my thoughts about the Talent Acquisition Function in HR and the Key Challenges/Opportunities:

1. Talent Acquisition is undoubtedly one of the most important functions in HR.

2. As HR Professionals, we should feel proud that the organization trusts our capability & intent to bring the Right Talent in an Organization.

3. The Business Understanding is the Key. As HR Professionals/Recruiters, we must completely know our Business.

4. Do we have the best people from our teams to do the job of a recruiter? Unfortunately, the answer is NO. If we truly believe that 50% of the job is done only by getting the right talent on-board, then why do we compromise by assigning the job not to our best people?

5. Many HR Professionals see their career progression in moving from Talent Acquisition to HRBP/Total Rewards/D&I/Talent Management/L&D/etc. You rarely get to meet HR Professionals who would wish to move from other roles to Talent Acquisition.

6. It is high time we must understand that the real contribution & support to business is our ability & success in providing the right talent for any role.

7. How many of our Recruiters passionately care for “Quality of Talent” Vs “Hiring KPIs – Like Number of Closures, Time taken to Hire, etc”? If you are truthful, then you would accept the fact that the process & intent gets compromised.

8. Most of our CHROs, would always prefer to hire Recruitment Leaders with hard-core Recruiting Backgrounds. If any Senior HRBP applies for any Recruitment Role, most likely he is not considered suitable even for a face to face interview. Why is it so? This has to do with our Mind-Set. We have started believing in Ready-Made Solutions and the Aversion to Change/Experiment. Don’t you think that a person who started her career as a Recruiter and then moved on to do several roles as HR Generalist and other specialized functions in HR, is equally equipped if not better equipped, to take up the responsibility of Recruitment Leader. High time to introspect and do what is right!

9. The key areas to train our Recruiters:

i) Business Understanding: The recruiters are the brand ambassadors, hence they should be trained well about our businesses, industry, competition, etc. It is impossible for a person to start any search for a talent without a proper understanding of business.

ii) The Ability to Speak & Relate in specific Domain/Technology: The recruiter’s job is not just about doing “CONTROL F”. She/he should considerably understand Domain & Technology. This requires continuous training and investment in our people.

iii) Sourcing Techniques: One of the most important tools of a Recruiter is to be adept at using the right sourcing channels like Job Portals, Search Consultants, Social Media, and Networking.

iv) Consultant Farming: We cannot be working in isolation, without Search Partners. We can work with the best available search partners, but it is equally important to help new players join the business and serve us as Search Partners. It is like building and training your external partners, who can support you 24*7.

v) Training to Evaluate: There are very few organizations which give the training to their recruiters for conducting interviews. This is a “Must to Do” activity. In fact, the recruiters should be the custodians to check the sanctity of interviewing standards in any organization.

vi) Resource Management: Let me share an example and the context. I see my recruiters do several job postings and simultaneously share the hiring mandates with search partners. After a thorough study I found that for every job posting the recruiters had received hundreds of applications, but after the first few pages of the responses, nobody is concerned to explore. This means that we are limiting the sourcing pool to identify the right talent. Also, we have the ownership to respond to the applicants and then de-activate the job postings. The learning is that we should be able to appropriately manage our time, tools, and all the other resources.

vii) The Ability to Proselytize: I strongly feel that the recruiters should be good at converting. We need to finally offer the job to the best/right talent and get her/him on-board.

The Conclusion:

If we talk about Strategic Partnership with Business, then let’s not shy away from giving them the Best & Right Talent required to incubate and sustain the competitive edge in the business. Let’s not look only at our KPIs & Dashboards and focus towards “Raising the Bar” and creating “AUKAT”. We should take Pride for every single Hire.

I genuinely see the opportunity to re-define the way we look at Hiring Function in any organization. How far in our teams are we able to cascade the same vision, capability and passion? What better to do than creating the pool of right talent in an organization?
A CEO has rightly said – “There is nothing beyond than empowering the Business with the Right Talent.”
Request everyone to forward the article and share your views.

Best Wishes,

Anand Jha
Vice President – HR, Coffee Day Group

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