Evaluating Internal Talent Acquisition Departments | VIDEO 11
Hi, in this video I want to talk to 2 groups of people. The first is department managers – executives in companies that manage a function, engineering managers, supply chain directors. The second are VPs and Directors of HR who may have internal talent acquisition teams.
To the first group, the department managers, I want to explain to you how an ineffective internal talent acquisition team can cost you your bonus and hurt your career. To the second group, the VP of HR, I would like to explain how an ineffective internal talent acquisition team is increasing your turnover, specifically, increasing your turnover in the exact people you want to keep.
Let me start by talking to you about 3 people that we spoke to in the last 6 months, all of whom we placed in positions, and all of them were anxious to get out of their current environment. One was an engineering manager, one was in supply chain and the third was in accounting. All were the kind of people companies want to keep. Thirty-five to forty year olds, good degrees, obviously been promoted a few times, with the prospect of them being promoted more. All 3 wanted to leave for the same reason.
They each managed a department of 6 to 8 people. Each of them had 2 to 3 openings in their department that had been open anywhere from 3 months to a year. None of them could get any candidate flow from their internal acquisition team. Whenever they complained, they were told they were not being good team players. And they were told that they weren’t good team players by the 23 year old talent acquisition people.
Now, if you are a manager in that kind of situation and your IT department, for example, had software that was unable to run for 2 hours a day for 3 months, you’d get something done about it. Or if you are a department manager and your electricity wouldn’t work, so your staff was unproductive, you would be talking and screaming to the maintenance people.
Yet, for some reason managers in this situation are just expected to grin and bear it. Now, why is that bad? Because every one of those people has goals for the year. And, if they are managing a department that is understaffed, through no fault of their own, they are not going to reach those goals. What makes it worse is if you’re supposed to have a 6 person department that is now a 4 person dept, and that lasts, it’s soon going to be a 3 person department because somebody in that department is going to get tired of working hard to make up for the 2 people that are not there.
From a line manager standpoint, understand that sitting there and passively accepting an ineffective department that supports you is eventually is going to hurt you. And you should speak up to the VPs of HR that are right now very angry at me for blaming everything on them.
I don’t blame you, and I think frankly, I don’t blame the talent acquisition people. I think there is a seductive message that is given to people in these situations that technology is going to solve all their problems. That this super-duper website with this special screening software is going to provide the perfect person and this is going to be very, very easy. It is wrong. It’s not the way recruiting works.
Recruiting is hard, I know I’ve done it for 40 years. It’s easy to believe that this website and this ad is going to work or this software package is going to manage our candidate flow better. None of that is accurate. I can tell you that for a fact. Most of the talent acquisition departments in major companies are understaffed and underfunded.
I’ll give you an example. We reached out to a fellow who managed a business unit here in the Delaware Valley where we are based. His unit had 8 professional jobs open and you can tell from the ads how long the jobs had been open. These jobs were open at least 6 months. They are the kind of jobs we fill on a daily basis. So, we approached him. The first thing he did was reach out to his corporate talent acquisition person. That person is 1,500 miles away and he asked if he could use an outside source to help fill these jobs. She said no, of course. She said no to a Vice President. She seems to be able to do that, and she just re-ran the same ads.
So, I looked, I did a little dive into the organization. She was the department. One person and that company had about 65 open jobs spread throughout the United States. One person can’t do that. But I am sure there are some supplier somewhere of software or advertising that has weaved a seductive net and explained to somebody that if they just invest in this or that, one person can fill 65 jobs throughout the United States. One person can’t do that. But, I am sure there is some supplier somewhere, of software, of advertising that has weaved a seductive net that if they just invest in this or that, that one person can fill 65 jobs throughout the United States. Heck, I can’t fill 65 jobs throughout the United States and there is nobody that has filled more jobs than me.
So, these departments are basically set up to fail. If you as a VP of HR and want to make that decision, you have to fund the department appropriately. Either with staff or with resources like ours that could strategically come in and help on specific roles.
If you are a manager, what you need to do is push back in a very polite and professional way. When your talent acquisition person says to you, “give me another chance on this job, I know I can fill it.” Ask them how? What are they going to do? If they go hum-a-na, hum-a-na, hum-a-na, then you know you have a problem. If they say, “well I’m going to rerun this same ad I ran, but I’m going to run it on another website.”
How is that going to help? You’ve got to do a little push back because candidly its your future. If you are going to do a good job as a manager and director, you expect support, much like you probably give your people support. Push back, ask questions.
If you are that VP of HR and you’re not so angry at me now that you have walked away from this, please connect with us. We can be an effective and affordable source for your team and augment your team as needed. You could lease us for a project and get these jobs filled. Keep these people that are leaving because your talent acquisition department is underfunded. We can work together with a partnership so that option exists too and I hope you take it.
So sorry for being so blunt. I hope you have gotten some good advice out of this. If you are angry at me, you can let me know that. You won’t be the first person and I’m sure you won’t be the last. But once again, you know where we are, Right Recruiting in Blue Bell Pennsylvania. Thank you.
Music by Ema Grace | “Check Them In” http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Ema_Grace/~/Check_Them_In
Creative Commons Attribution License — Changed only to shorten for need.