04/20/2016

Talent Acquisition

I’ll help you excel at talent attraction and engagement. Then, together we’ll get the right people on board.


My own rudder and a “north star” seem to always be working behind the scene, guiding me in the direction of my core interests:

  • to help organizations become healthy and more attractive places to work
  • to help employers get and keep all the right people on board
  • to help people find and stay connected to the best work for them

Getting all three to work in unison – within one company – is why so much of my work is done at the intersection of Marketing and Talent Acquisition. It’s also one of the big reasons why I launched TalentSum (http://talentsum.com). Read this blog post and this blog post or this blog post to learn more about TalentSum.


Last Engagement

The owners of a leading technology firm engaged me to launch a brand new talent acquisition function so they could expand past their initial wave of employees. I worked with them to establish a strong employer brand and compelling value proposition, launch an attractive career site, and build out all content and messaging related to the effort.

In addition, we set up a brand new approach to identifying, screening, interviewing, and assessing candidates based on fit across values, culture, performance and skills/performance required to succeed in each role. We also implemented a whole new recruiting program, complete with all new interview processes and scorecards and all the necessary recruiting technologies, stages and workflows, and recruitment/hiring templates and document kits to improve their ability to attract, identify, engage, hire, and onboard the right people.

Their new talent acquisition / recruiting program was up and running within a few weeks, allowing them to quickly begin to recruit candidates and hire new team members. After everything was set up, I jumped in to help source/recruit candidates and hire/onboard new employees. Since then, I’ve been brought back in to serve as their outsourced head of talent acquisition. This relationship is ongoing.

The Engagement Before the Last Engagement

The owner of a $5M professional services firm engaged me to build up a new employer brand and set of true value propositions where none existed. The goal was to create a clearly defined and authentic message to help inspire existing employees and attract high-potential candidates into the company.

This was especially challenging because (for the most part) top competitors already had “category-cued salience” – meaning when people thought of this industry a few top competitors always came to mind. The company also had no prior foundation to build on – no past efforts were ever initiated.

I began the engagement by listening to the company. I interviewed executives inside the company to better understand the challenge we were facing. Then, I met with top employees to better understand what they liked most about the company, why they joined, and why they continue to stay committed. I made sure to ask the right questions so I could uncover positive and negative associations with the company. I even evaluated the competition to learn more about the mindshare they each were trying to control.

Once I had the right data, I analyzed all findings and began to build up the true employer brand, a clear set of employer value propositions (EVPs), and key attributes to share with the market.

The company brand is the perceived emotional corporate image as a whole and it should be internally and externally consistent; “We are who we say we are”. Uncovering the true brand takes time and there are no short-cuts, but once completed everything around it falls quickly into place. The single best way to move a new branding initiative like this forward is to limit assumptions and start fresh with new internal discovery.

Once we had a new (and authentic) employer brand in place, I moved to build up a set of true value propositions, and content and messaging around the brand and EVPs. We defined the key values and benefits that potential candidates would gain from connecting to the company. I helped the company better articulate how they were different and stood out from their primary competitors. And I helped to steer brand messaging and content to speak clearly and directly to the right-fit active and passive candidates the company wanted to hire most.

In the end, we had a new, true employer brand centered on four main pillars, a set of six clear (agreed upon) value propositions, and core messaging we could use across career sites, job content and social to help the company stand out in the crowd, attract and engage more of the right people and improve commitment over the long-term.

The project was expanded a few times (ATS implementation, sourcing support) and ultimately developed into an outsourced business partner-level service with the firm. This relationship is ongoing.


Prior Engagements

The owner of a $30M firm (as part of a larger effort) engaged me to improve in-house recruitment capabilities and set up a new applicant tracking system (ATS) in order to increase efficiency in recruiting and hiring and to ensure consistency and compliance in the recruitment and selection process. I helped the company evaluate the need, select and implement the right system for their needs, develop position descriptions, structure a new recruitment flow plan, and implement a better approach to attracting, engaging and hiring talent. As a result, the flow of candidates applying for jobs increased by almost 800% and the stage was set to improve “right-fit” hiring outcomes.

The head of talent acquisition for a $500M+ global manufacturing firm engaged me to help the company restructure talent acquisition around a more strategic approach. I held weekly/monthly advisory sessions, met with their team to improve partnering with their marketing/creative team, and helped them to identify and design a number of talent acquisition projects to improve their organization-wide talent attraction and sourcing efforts. We continue to hold monthly strategy sessions and continue to work with them on a regular/on-going basis.

The owner of $50M firm engaged me to double the size of their government accounting contractor base. Others were unable to shape the kind of deal they needed to succeed, and so the owner called me to see how I could help. Within a few weeks, I joined them to align internal resources, and began to attract, source, and hire a large team of contractors and consultants. As a result, we were able to staff up the organization, shorten time to fill, and reduce cost of hire for the company by almost 300 percent.

The owner of a $6M firm (as part of a larger effort) engaged me to identify obstacles holding recruiters back from achieving success. Having enough data was not the issue – they had over 10 years of data. The real issue was interpreting the right data and drawing the right conclusions and actionable insights to guide the team toward optimal outcomes. As a result, I was able to develop a clear set of actionable insights, set up a best-practice roadmap with new activity goals for the recruiting team, and improve recruiter close rates by more than 250% compared to year prior.


Visit my latest venture, TalentSum to see the scope of talent acquisition work I do. Or start a confidential conversation with me.

 

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