Children all over the world (and the young at heart) are busy writing their letters to Santa Claus.
That jolly dude who lives up north and delivers packages to millions and millions of children in a single night, with the help of a team of reindeer (and most likely a GPS).
I don't have children myself, so I've yet to have the opportunity to use Santa as inspiration to get little ones to behave. Professionally speaking though, as talent acquisition (TA) professionals, we could all learn a thing or two from Santa's methodology.
If Santa can categorize millions of (in essence) performance data points into one of two categories - naughty or nice. Perhaps as TA professionals we should take a play out of his book and ask ourselves...
Which list is your talent acquisition program on this year - naughty or nice?
Here are a few simple questions you can ask yourself to find out.
Question 1: Are your internal customers happy with your talent acquisition program?
Quality of hire trumps all other talent acquisition metrics, right?
However, quality of hire is only a spoke in the internal customer satisfaction umbrella. From my experience, in order to fully satisfy hiring decision-makers, so much more than the end result of the search needs to be taken into consideration.
Do your hiring decision-makers view your talent acquisition team as trusted advisors to the business - advocates of promoting only the elite talent that your organization needs to change the game? Or do they view your recruiters as cost centers that simply coordinate the delivery of warm bodies?
Are your hiring decision-makers satisfied with the sense of urgency that your talent acquisition team exudes?
Do your recruiters provide their insight as to why they feel the candidates they are promoting for interview are (potentially) the best people for the job, or do your hiring decision-makers feel that your recruiters are simply throwing spaghetti at the wall in an attempt to see what sticks?
Question 2: Are your candidates happy with your talent acquisition program?
I refuse to believe that a war for talent exists.
Do you know why?
Ultimately, all of the power lies in the hands of the candidate.
No matter how much money organizations spend on advertising, tools, or people, once an offer is made, the decision to join an organization is owned by one party and one party alone: The candidate.
A candidate's decision is often influenced by:
Their engagement with your talent brand.
Do your preferred incumbents really WANT to work for your organization or have you noticed that you have a lot of offers declined?
The experience you have provided during the courtship process.
Does your recruitment process demonstrate an appealing view of what life at your organization looks like, or do you stumble your way to an offer and hope your candidates don't notice?
The value a future at your organization could provide them.
Do your preferred candidates have a clear picture of what their future at your organization could look like, or are you painting a picture of them pushing the same button, year after year?
Question 3: Is your talent acquisition team happy with your TA program?
Recruiting can often be viewed as a thankless job. When I first started my career in the talent acquisition realm, I was instructed that "you're only as good as your last placement." That sentiment has stuck with me ever since. Frankly, as much as I agree/disagree with that sentiment in principle... I use it as a driving force.
To me, the true blueprint of a happy and successful talent acquisition professional is one that has the following in spades:
Do your recruiters truly act as champions of your talent brand, or do they execute at a transactional level by focusing on the low hanging fruit and the path of least resistance?
Do your recruiters have access to the resources and training that they require to be successful, or have you asked them to find countless needles in countless haystacks; armed with nothing but a pair of tweezers while wearing a blindfold?
Does your talent acquisition team fully understand how your organization defines "success" as it relates to hiring, and do you share with your recruiters when their recruits perform at a game changing level?
These questions, while simple in principle, are very important questions to ask, and answer honestly.
If you've just been hit with the sudden realization that your TA program is about to receive a big bag of coal this Christmas...
Fear not! One potential solution is simple. The common thread between all of the points I have listed above is clear:
Don't be afraid to ask for feedback.
From your internal customers, your candidates and your recruiters.
Take that feedback, absorb it, and action it. If you do, maybe, just maybe...Santa will bring you that shiny new bike next year.