Assessment to ensure success in Talent Advisory

Thanks to Mary Poppins we know the recipe for the perfect sitter; you must be kind, and never bitter, help us with math and book reports, might I add, eat my shorts. Wait, that’s the Simpsons…

The recipe for the perfect recruiter is harder, because one size doesn’t fit all. No two organisations and recruitment teams are the same, so how do we know what really makes someone good at their job?

Metrics are a solid start; number of roles filled, time through the funnel, longevity within the role for placed candidates, etc., but these don’t tell the whole picture and can depend on many factors outside the control of the recruiter.

Taking it further, how can you ensure the best recruiter is paired with the right hiring manager? How do we know who will be best suited to a particular department or role within the team? It’s statistically likely that the best pianist in history never even got to see a piano, let alone learn to play one.

As we move deeper into a world where recruitment encompasses internal and external talent, data driven decisions, influencing hiring managers to look at alternate sources or candidates, workforce planning, and the need to be able to utilise predictive hiring platforms, recruiters’ skillsets are changing. Fast.

Boiling it down, best fit leads to best outcome, for the individual, the team, and the organisation; best be sure you’ve got a plan to deliver this.

To better understand these new roles and requirements we’ve been speaking with talent leaders about what they have in place, or in plan, to stay ahead of the change. Across the conversations we’ve identified a series of patterns; attributes that, if developed across a team, will stand all the members in the best place to succeed. These attributes move beyond recruitment to talent advisory, and cross over into business partnering.

Traits, the innate attributes that make us up, are hard to change, but with practice and experiential approaches they can be developed. 

The key traits we’re seeing for talent advisory are:

Creativity, the ability to produce original and innovative ideas and solutions, to adopt points of view outside the usual parameters.

Collaboration, the ability to work effectively with two or more people towards shared goals.

Insightfulness or acumen, conscious awareness and understanding one’s own thinking processes and understanding of complicated problems, people or situations that can be used on new problems.

Hard skills are things we can all learn and develop through structured approaches and are key to measuring our performance. While many skills are required for recruitment and talent advisory our conversations uncovered that the softer skills were more in demand, particularly from an understanding and development perspective.

The one big standout was Sourcing; the capability to develop and implement effective tactics that attract both passive and active candidates while proactively utilising recruitment tools, search engines, and other sources to identify candidates that match the mandatory and preferred position criteria.

Sitting in the overlap between Skills and Traits are our Competencies, the ways we do what we do successfully. This is where we saw the bulk of the desired attributes for talent advisory.

Analytics, the ability to find patterns across situations that are not obviously related, and to find key or underlying issues in complex situations.

Customer Orientation, the ability and willingness to determine the wants and needs of the customer and to act accordingly, taking the organisation’s costs and benefits into account.

Influencing, the ability to, in an honest, respectful, and sensitive manner, have an impact on the behaviours, attitudes, opinions, and choices of others.

Leadership & Mentoring, working co-operatively with others, being a part of a team, and assuming the role of leader of a team. This means working together effectively with interdependent goals and common values to foster a collaborative environment that mentors and coaches team members.

Market Intelligence, the ability to understand the macro market for a particular skill and position where your brand and value proposition fit in this context.

Strategic Thinking, intentional and rational thought process, focusing on the analysis of critical factors and variables, that will consider changing environments, opportunities, and challenges of the future.

Your list may not look the same, but I’m guessing you see a lot of your team in the above. Not every person on the team will excel in every area and, perhaps, they don’t need to. Understanding the range of attributes within your people means that you can align the right person to right action at the right time. Having trouble with that one hiring manager who demands a unicorn every time and never makes a timely decision? Bring in your key influencer to bring them around. And bring your weakest influencers to the meeting to learn and develop.

Given the overlap with traditional Recruitment, Internal mobility, and HR Business Partnering the Talent Advisor is an interesting role. Right now, it may not be suited to your organisation, or you may already have people covering much of the position. The consensus from our conversations was that this is the way the industry is moving, and leaders are working now to ensure they can bring talent advisory into their teams.

As usual it feels like we’re on the cusp of huge changes within recruitment.

As usual technology is a key driver.

As usual it’s all happening amid an unprecedented amount of boom and bust within the job market.

This is our usual… but, unusually, it feels like this time, we’re prepared for the change.

If you’re interested in setting your team up for success as talent advisors, or simply looking to benchmark your team across the thirty traits, competencies, and skills that make up our industry we’d be delighted to help. At TCS our assessments are designed for recruiters, and don’t rely on averages from irrelevant data sets. We help organisations Identify key attributes, development needs, and design experiential development programs to quickly improve business outcomes.

Visit or email to start a conversation.

Want to learn more about the assessment tools required to ensure success in Talent Advisory? Join us at the Talent Advisory Conference in Melbourne on Tuesday 16th March where Simon will be presenting his session, It’s time to Evolve.

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