What new skills do Talent Acquisition professionals need to succeed in a world where retention is a priority?

In a recent episode of Talent & Growth, we sat down with Tim Sackett, who is the President of HRU Technical Resources. 

We spoke about everything TA related – retention, how TA impacts HR, and additionally what skills TA professionals need in their toolbox to make an impact on recruitment beyond just standard hiring.  

We’ve picked out our top three highlights for you below – we hope you enjoy them. 

What skills do TA professionals need when looking at retention?  

“I think they have to be better at the data side. We have so much data disposal at our hands, and we don’t pay attention to it.  

Obviously, the technology you use can help you. So, if you get in and start using some machine learning technology, and bring talent pools into one data set, it’s going to help you to be better. I think part of this is just to be a fan of data and be willing to dig into it.  

We see more and more, especially on the enterprise side, where talent leaders are hiring business analysts, data analysts, they’re really starting to figure out “hey, we actually have really dynamic data that we should be paying attention to”. I think the other piece is that you have to start thinking like a marketer!” 

What top-line advice do you have to get people started? 

“I think one is to sit down and have a conversation about retention with HR and hiring managers. If TA is leading that conversation, or, you know, inviting people to the table, that’s the best thing to do.  

Also, measuring your progress. I’m a big believer in that – things that are more specific to accountability and outcomes of individuals. I think we do too many soft measures around compensation for our leaders, that when they build them at the beginning of the year, they almost always already know that they’re going to get the bonus.  

A great example for TA is hiring manager satisfaction or days to filing a role, when both of those measures have almost no impact on the success of TA. Just because you hire someone faster or slower, doesn’t mean that person will be better. It has no correlation to success.” 

Do you feel like right now is a real opportunity to become a strategic partner to a business working in TA?  

“Yeah, I constantly tell people that I believe talent acquisition has actually stepped over HR in terms of respect and responsibility within the organisation. If I sit down with most CEOs, all they want to talk to me about is talent. And not because that’s my background, it’s because if I talk to them just one on one, they say “hey, we need more talent, we need to increase our talent, we need to do all this stuff” – they don’t consider that to be HR to them. HR is benefits, and it’s learning.  

Recruitment to them is also like marketing; it’s strategic, and they want to be very close to that. I definitely believe we see more and more of these organisations hiring a chief people officer, we’re going to have someone that takes care of all the people and our employees.  

But, we also need someone who is super strategic and can be good at actually attracting talent -  and that’s talent acquisition.” 

You can listen to the full episode here.  

On Talent & Growth we speak to talent leaders about the challenges they face and their solutions for attraction and retention. If you’re interested in hearing about how companies are building a more diverse talent pool, how you can attract top people from the big players, ways to create a more inclusive interview process or learn about the latest and greatest automation software to make your life easier, then this is the podcast for you.

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