Here is talent acquisition in a nutshell: We SOURCE candidates by searching platforms like LinkedIn or CareerBuilder. We then SCREEN those candidates over a phone call, Skype or face-to-face. We coordinate an INTERVIEW between the candidate and the hiring manager. We EVALUATE each candidate and determine the best fit for the organization and role. Along with hiring manager and team, we SELECT the top candidate(s) and generate an official offer letter.
Early in my career, I was taught to represent talent acquisition as if I were a general manager of a professional sports team – think Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, Ozzie Newsome, Ryan Pace and Bill Belichick. Talent acquisition professionals do the same thing that these GMs do; they look for a particular set of skills.
When a potential candidate possesses those skills, it’s our job to do everything in our power to attract him or her to the organization we are representing. However, these particular skills are only the first piece in our search and can be irrelevant if the candidate has poor character, a bad attitude or lacks professionalism. A hiring manager isn’t solely looking for a basic CPA professional or .Net developer, he or she wants to hire someone who is smart, driven, can think outside the box and can represent a firm with integrity.
We have the unique challenge of finding the people you sit next to every day and potential future leaders of a company. Rest assured, we don’t take this challenge light-heartedly. As the saying goes, “a company is only as good as its people.” It’s our responsibility to be “The Gatekeeper,” and be sure that we don’t let the wrong people into the organization.
The recruiting landscape is very unpredictable but the best recruiters most likely live by the credo of “Hope for the best, but expect the worst.” People are not products and they are not services. There are no guarantees when working with potential candidates, so you need to have a short memory and high motor to go through the process all over again when someone turns down an offer.
Despite some of the struggles one inevitably faces in talent acquisition, we all grow to love the feeling of helping someone find a job and helping a hiring manager fill a void on his or her team. Ultimately, what drives us is simple: success.