Strategic Partnerships: How and Why There Is a Need to Future-Proof Your Talent Acquisition Strategy

Anna Stenbeck’s presentation cut to the bone “right away” by describing what is and isn’t strategic talent acquisition. One of Anna’s first data points that she shared stated that sixty-one percent of hiring managers believe that talent acquisition professionals have a low to moderate understanding of their roles.

Additionally, as pointed out by Anna, confusion seems to be the norm where hiring managers and recruiters aren’t aligned and do not clearly understand what each other does.  Across the industry and among many recruiting professionals that I’ve worked with, misalignment between management and talent acquisition seems to be a common problem that we all face.

What is the effect of a misaligned, complicated, and inefficient talent acquisition strategy, you may ask?  Off-hand; mistrust, wasted time and effort, and performance suffering due to missing out on top talent are just some of the adverse effects. In my opinion.

After, Anna shared how an ineffective recruitment strategy impacts management, talent acquisition, and their organization. Anna’s provided tried and true suggestions for addressing this void between talent acquisition and management, and ultimately how to future proof your talent acquisition strategy.

First, understand your narrative? What is a Recruiter? As Anna said it best in her presentation, “you fill roles.” Recruiters need to understand their value proposition and ensure others within your organization know what talent acquisition does and how that benefits management and the entire organization.

Secondly, be proactive. It takes partnership and teamwork for a company to move away from reactionary recruitment to strategic recruitment, where hiring managers are engaged and committed to attracting and retaining the best talent.  As talent acquisition professionals, we need to activate our management teams by engaging them in the process and ensuring they have skin in the game.

Thirdly, be proactive, join client meetings, business development reviews, operational meetings, etc. In order to be a strategic partner, Anna spoke to the importance of understanding your organization’s business at an in-depth level. By truly understanding what your company does, you’ll better find the right talent and present the company to potential candidates in a more effective manner.

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Also, being proactive will open doors for you that were not previously available. Anna spoke about a situation where she attended client meetings to learn more about the company. After a while, her operations team asked her to present to their clients. Then clients began asking Anna’s operations team for her to brief in their meetings. In this scenario, Talent Acquisition moved from being a cost center to a revenue-generating center. This is the epitome of strategic talent acquisition and partnership.

Activities that distinguish strategic talent acquisition are discussing and presenting talent market analysis data to operations teams—being proactive and meeting with operation teams to understand their current and future business needs, and offering suggestions on how talent acquisition can help them accomplish their goals through hiring.

Anna ended with a few points that illustrate the process and the outcomes we are all seeking in talent acquisition: being proactive leads to increased hiring ability, which leads to diversity, leading to efficiency, leading to a better candidate experience, and ultimately to a better talent acquisition offering.

Future-proofing your talent acquisition strategy required being proactive, partnering with your managers, understanding your organization at an “SME” level, and leveraging data to help your organization make informed decisions. Many people talk about making sure talent acquisition get’s a seat at the table within an organization; Anna’s presentation provided the blueprint for doing just that!

Junius Currier is Technical Sourcing Team Lead at Chenega Corporation, an Alaskan Native government contractor providing innovative solutions for federal, DOD, and commercial customers worldwide. He has spent the last several years recruiting and sourcing in the cleared space. Previously, Junius spent several years recruiting and sourcing in the industrial and commercial construction engineering space as a Sr. Talent Acquisition Specialist for ColonialWebb, a Comfort USA company. 

Junius has numerous recruiting certifications from AIRS (ECRE, ACIR, CIR, CSMR, CSSR, PRC, CMVR, CDR) and is a SourceCon Academy graduate and possesses an Open Source Intelligence certificate from Ulster University. Junius is passionate about the Talent Acquisition and Sourcing community and enjoys networking, contributing, and mentoring others passionate about the profession.