80% of CEO’s state attracting the right people into their business as THE most important issue right now. Put to one side market conditions, funding, and business models—if you don't have the right people focused on the right areas, you won't succeed. This makes talent acquisition one of the most critical functions of your business, and by extension, makes your talent department the core of your success.
Put more simply, to build a world-class company, you have to build a world-class talent team.
Some founders feel that you need to hire a team starting with recruiters and then adding a Head of. By using this approach they can get hiring off the ground quickly in essence having a “hiring MVP" (minimum viable product).
Some founders feel in order to get this scalable, you're going to need a team, and to build that team, you need a leader first so advocate having a Head of in place first.
Why can’t you have BOTH! Well in truth you can. Get a Head of Talent and a team in place without hiring by outsourcing to a recruitment business that carry the cost of these hires, have an inbuilt knowledge of recruitment and can be put in place with an inbuilt knowledge of your business and culture quickly.
Most founders will use accountants to do their accounts, will use a managed service office or coworking space to house their business, and will outsource any legal requirements. You get my point, Talent Acquisition and recruitment are no different. Bring the expert in to help you scale enabling you to focus on the skills that you and your team bring to the party to facilitate that growth.
However when choosing to outsource to a recruitment business you need to look at the individuals that will be on site working for you as much as the business they work for. Yes you are choosing a supplier but treat their staff like they will be your staff and ensure you get the right people for your business.
More than likely the Account Manager aka your Head of Talent will be on site with the delivery team sitting in the recruitment companies office so it is vital that this - “Head of” person has certain skill sets. One of the benefits of outsourcing is that the recruitment company will have processes, systems, teams but this person needs to integrate and implement them into your business.
Process is important
Your outsourced head of talent's job is to implement processes that sustain that momentum without letting the train run off the rails. For a person to take on that responsibility and succeed, they need to have experience building things from the ground up. So to have someone that has implemented a bespoke offering at previous companies is a bonus.
At the same time, they can let the process stall things so the ability to go outside of the process whilst keeping that process in their mindset is vital. Process has to be balanced with the delivery mindset. You have to take into the account that you are introducing a process which people in the business are not accustomed to. If you don't flex from that process you will get resistance and the acquisition of talent into the business will be stifled.
Board Level Interaction
Talent sits within every department, every goal, and every strategic decision a company makes. As a result you want your head of talent to be able to deal with board level discussions. Your outsourced head of talent, as a result, needs to be able to make decisions that take into account a variety of factors—your business model, the personalities of different stakeholders, and your current financial state, to name a few. Having an individual who has done this previously gives you a huge benefit mainly because you know you can leave the talent function to them and get on with the running of your business. We recently placed a new MD into a construction firm. The very first Board meeting that was called Tandem was invited as the importance of the Talent function was identified. Tandem were then able to advise on best practices straight from the get go.
Strong-Willed, But Collaborative
Change is difficult to implement and stakeholders will always have an element of “we have always done it this way”. However the benefits of outsourcing this function is that the individual will have worked in many organisations, will know the talent lifecycle expertly and will be able to advise what changes need to happen, what process needs to be implemented, spot what is working in some areas but needs a different approach in other areas. Recommending these changes in one thing, however the ability to own, implement and be the talent stakeholder is another. Make sure whoever is taking this role has the gravitas and soft skills to implement the changes.
Not a quick Fix - Sunset Agreement
The first month of having the outsourced talent partner on board should really be a fact finding role. Understanding how the company operates, reviewing the entire talent lifecycle. You can't implement the correct process until you have reviewed what needs to change. Any company trying to implement an out of the box solution is worth staying away from. Get something that fits with your business, with your culture.
Only when you have analyzed the existing process, implemented the new talent discipline can you as a client work with your outsourced talent partner to put in a fit for purpose service level agreement and some smart targets. One of these may well be to plan for a sunshine agreement. This is when you use the outsourced partner as part of your agreement to build your internal function and walk away at the end of the contract leaving you with a fully functioning internal talent team. Some may say the best of both worlds.
Get in touch with Dan Huckle or Sam Jenkinson to discuss how this may be achieved in your business