Keys Points for Hiring Strategic Minded Talent Acquisition Professionals

Today I researched how many national job openings there are posted for strategic minded HR leaders, HR Business Partners, Talent Management and Talent Acquisition professionals. I was flabbergasted at the amount of companies choosing to take their recruiting and talent management to the next level. Amongst all the noise in the HR space, business leaders are listening and realizing that their organization is only as good as the people inside it.

For certain, the word is out that companies who need to compete for business and market share also need to have an HR professional on the inside who thinks strategically and can fully execute an innovate, effective and efficient talent strategy. Companies today are requiring their internal Talent Acquisition Director create and implement key recruitment strategies and execute a highly effective employee selection and corporate hiring process. They are expecting the same person to be a maven at sourcing candidates, initiating and continually improving new hire on boarding for employees of all levels as well as understand and influence key workforce planning strategies.

Beyond the skills of sourcing talent, hiring only the best and brightest talent, coaching and mentoring Management in adopting a Talent Mindset these same highly skilled and greatly in demand HR professionals are also expected to process day to day HR paperwork.

Is it me, or is something off? Who is writing these job descriptions? Are these companies interviewing HR professionals, Talent Acquisition leaders and VPs of HR or grabbing generic job descriptions off of Monster.com? In 25 years of Recruiting and working hand in hand with several hundred HR business leaders I have yet to see one human who can do it all, flawlessly. In companies where there is one key player holding down the HR fort, there is almost always a large budget for HR Consultants, Executive Search, Contract Recruitment and temporary HR support.

If the HR business parter is strong at sales oriented functions like recruiting, stimulating employee engagement programs, HR Management consulting and employee retention; they typically are weak at the HR Administration side of the house and vice versa. If they are not ‘weak’ they almost always complain that spending their time on these type of functions interferes in their ability to play to their strengths. What amazes me is that this day in age business leaders are still missing some basic instincts about human beings and what makes them tick on the job.

Would an astute VP of Sales hammer on his number one sales producer for not being on time with her sales reports? (okay maybe that’s a bad example) Still, I think you get the point.

Proactive candidate Sourcing (not through the job boards), Interruption style Recruiting, Engaging, Persuading, Consulting, Business Thinking, creating HR Strategy, developing programming are all functions that require dynamic communications, creativity, risk taking and dominance to some degree. Filing HR paperwork, checking references, filling out forms, maintaining files, reporting, benefits administration and documentation are functions that require conscientiousness and attention to detail. Rarely is all of this found in the same person. Your high Dominant and Influencer person will almost always struggle with the highly methodical, routine work. They will do it last, at times forget about it then rush to get it done and if not supported, they might make costly mistakes.

There are two sides to HR – One being the Creative, Strategic and Solutions side and Two being the compliance, process and systematic side.

If you are lucky enough to find someone who excels at both, wonderful. However, if you are like 90% of the HR and Business leaders you will need to hire two types of people. One could refer to it as hiring both the yin and the yang types of people. If you simply can not afford that, you might need to resort to hiring an average producing hybrid type person. If that is not the answer either, then you might want to consider outsourcing the high level strategic aspects of the role to an HR Consultant or outsourcing the administrativia to a company like TriNet, Algentis or Administaff.

The whole point is HR is a critical function in every company that depends on the right people executing their business strategy. When hiring Key Contributors for Critical HR functions it’s important to have realistic expectations and articulate specific measurable results for the role, it’s very challenging to do that when the role is all over the board. It is important to note that Industrial psychologists when studying peak performers report that most highly effective employees are focusing on 3 maybe 4 key result areas at once and they also report that most employee’s productivity breaks down when they are spread too thin and their skill set is continually diverted in multiple disciplines.

I am ecstatic to see the HR Job market heating up and even more excited to see that companies are finally taking steps and actions that honor the statement “people are our greatest asset!”