A Few Home Truths For People Looking For Talent Acquisition Leader Roles

We’ve put together a long-list of candidates for two international Head of TA roles over the last week and as part of the process, I’ve also posted on social media -“let me know if you’d like to be on the long list for EME Head of TA role?”.
Here are the things I’ve learned so hopefully they are useful to anyone of you out there who might be looking for a TA leadership role:

 There are absolutely loads of TA leaders looking for career opportunities
  • If your LinkedIn profile is poor you will simply not get an interview. A Head of TA role is as much about marketing as it is about filling jobs. No picture, description of your existing role or achievements? Simply no hope of getting an interview; you look the opposite of savvy and will not be taken seriously;
  • If you’ve got no profile outside your own organisation you’re at a disadvantage. Get blogging on LinkedIn, for trade publications and more. Enter and win awards. Get to the conferences (HR Tech World in particular is my choice). Get on the speaking circuit (The FIRM, Inhouse Recruitment Network and Recruitment Events Company are all good places to start) and get your direct reports doing the same; it’ll all come back to you positively;
  • Do NOT accept the way you’re currently doing things. Marginal gains every week will make a massive difference to your team’s performance. Technology and best practice are evolving weekly. Keep up. I recommend some of the recruitment-focused Facebook groups as excellent sources of new ideas.
 Sector experience is sometimes an advantage and sometimes employers deliberately want experience from an alternative industry
  • If you’re in a different industry to that which you’re applying to, highlight why that’s an advantage but also clearly show the parallels;
  • Talk in metrics people will understand easily – reduced time-to-hire, cost-per-hire, increased quality-of-hire, market positioning, awards.
 If you’ve got agency-only experience, you won’t get this role. I recommend:
  • Approaching a company you know who doesn’t yet have a TA function, creating a role and doing a brilliant job there first;
  • Applying for roles a level below your current pay grade to get the in-house experience;
  • Moving into an RPO and running an account for a year;
  • A sideways move into running recruitment for the agency you already work for.
 If you’ve got a generalist HR background, you won’t get this role. I recommend:
  • Approaching a company you know who doesn’t yet have a TA function, creating a role and doing a brilliant job there first;
  • A sideways move into TA in the business you already work for.

And if moving on out isn’t happening for you right now, here are some of the trends I’ve seen emerging which you might emulate:

  • Turn your TA team into a profit centre and make sure your bonus is linked to performance and uncapped;
  • Turn your TA team into a separate Ltd company with you as an equity participant;
  • Provide service to other employers and not just your internal customers.

Image: Shutterstock

This article first appeared on LinkedIn on the 11th of April, 2017

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