TL; DR Get ahead of the game and hire a Talent Acquisition Manager early in your company’s lifecycle.
We often hear that “people are your most important asset” and numerous surveys show “hiring” to be at or near the top of the list of things that keep founders awake at night, yet few of them commit to making attracting, hiring and retaining the best talent a priority by hiring a dedicated individual, such as a Talent Acquisition Manager, early in their company’s lifecycle.
Most seed stage companies can scale to 20 employees through a combination of the founding team’s own network, investor networks, outsourced agencies and job boards. However, once you have reached Series A or have plans to hire more than ten people into your organisation it’s key that you bring in a Talent Acquisition Manager. Here’s why:
It lets your execs focus on the day job
There’s no easy metric to measure when people are being pulled in too many directions. It is something you just need to get a feel for. How are we spending our time? You can maybe ignore initial complaints, but if your top team is spending half of their time recruiting (when it is 5% of their job description) it is probably time to get serious and hire a specialist.
This is not to exempt them from the process. In a candidate-short market your senior leaders should clear their diaries to meet new people. If they don’t, you can bet your competitors will.
Control the process and improve your employer brand
Bringing your talent acquisition in-house allows you to run an efficient and organised interview process. Without a dedicated resource, cracks can quickly appear – too long gaps, not getting back to people – it all affects how your company is perceived in the marketplace.
It also gives you back full control over the candidate experience. The Talent Acquisition Manager will know your culture inside and out. They will know the founders and the work environment. They can establish close links with marketing and your brand on social media. All of which makes building campaigns and speaking to prospective talent a whole lot easier.
Manage External Resources
Every scaling company relies on external resources.
Spoiler alert: Your agency spend won’t reduce to zero overnight. You’ll probably still need one or two you really trust. Sorry!
A dedicated talent acquisition professional can find, evaluate, negotiate and manage those relationships – taking pressure off the founding team. Utilising tools like LinkedIn and Haystack to their full potential requires time, effort and SPEED. Tech candidates of today demand real time (or close to real time) feedback.
Access to Data
You’re a data driven company right? Of course you are. Bringing your talent acquisition process in-house will give you full visibility of what works and what doesn’t and accurate metrics around time-to-hire, cost-per-hire and interview-to-hire ratios. Tracking the sources from which you’ve hired can help inform future campaigns and where to spend your dollar.
Build your own talent pool
There’s an important difference between recruitment and talent acquisition. Recruitment is about filling vacancies. Talent acquisition is an ongoing strategy to find specialists and leaders for your business. The areas with the greatest skill shortages, like software development, require a thoughtful, long-term approach that can only be achieved by managing it yourself. It is an always on, 24/7 approach that is needed.
Saves Money (long term)
This could be a blog in itself, but, for now, let’s leave it at this should not be the primary reason to hire a talent acquisition team – particularly in the short-term. It will certainly free up management time and reduce agency spend, but the bigger benefit will be in the added value it brings to your talent acquisition overall. Bigger cost savings will be seen from year two onwards.
A top Talent Acquisition Manager will also save money by reducing churn by taking responsibility for the areas of onboarding and retention in their control.
Give them the tools they need to be successful
Disclaimer: It is not enough just to hire a Talent Acquisition Manager and sit back and wait for the headcount to rack up with top class talent. They will need full access to company resources, subscriptions that give them the ability to build relationships with candidates on an ongoing basis and senior leadership to commit their time to interviewing in order to maximise their productivity. You will need to invest and be invested in their success.
So, there you have it. Hire people to hire people. Making a top talent acquisition professional, often the unsung hero of an organisation, a priority can seriously accelerate your growth.