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Cat herder. Mind reader. Order taker. No, these aren’t the ways talent acquisition professionals can make an impact, but these are the roles other people in the organization expect them to play, according to Kara Yarnot, founder and president of Meritage Talent Solutions, based in Washington, D.C.
“There are so many things you’re expected to do in your job, irrelevant of your job title,” Yarnot told attendees of Meritage’s TalentBlend conference for talent acquisition professionals held April 27-28 in the Washington, D.C., area. “I challenge you to ignore your job title, whatever it is, and think about how you can truly make an impact for your company, move forward and get noticed in your organization.”
Make Use of Data
Yarnot said HR and talent acquisition teams have gotten good at “being data gatherers and data reporters.” But many still lack the confidence to present solutions or make decisions wholly based on data. For example, when a recruiter posts her organization’s jobs on several different job boards, she can work with online recruitment vendors to find out how many views, clicks and applications those job ads are generating. Then she can take the data and report it to the head of talent acquisition or HR.
But Yarnot is urging talent professionals to “take it to the next step,” even without being asked to do so. “Give them your recommendations on decisions the company should make for the future, based on the data you have collected. Let them know that job board A generates a lot of views and clicks and continuing that relationship would be great for building awareness of the company,” she said.
Maybe an organization doesn’t need more views or clicks, but what it does need is more quality candidates. “Using the data as support, let the decision-makers know that more investment should be provided to job board B, due to the higher rate of candidates that make it to the interview stage,” Yarnot said.
People will start to take notice, she added.
Know What Drives Your Business
The business drivers for every organization will be different. Knowing and incorporating them in presentations to decision-makers is another way to set yourself apart, Yarnot said. What drives success at your organization? “Is it the ability to acquire other companies for growth, the need to keep costs down, or is it quality people?” she asked.
A little sleuthing may be necessary to find the answers. If your company is public, “read every annual report to get the narrative of what is happening,” Yarnot said. You should also read every press release and set up Google alerts for each mention of your organization, to stay knowledgeable.
Privately-held businesses will require a little more digging. “Make a best friend in the finance department,” she said. “Talk to them, take them out to lunch, bring them the data you’ve collected and ask their opinion about it.”
And then tie the first two steps together. “If you present data and analysis along with a stated business goal and solutions—making a direct connection between what you do in talent acquisition and how it impacts the business—then all of a sudden you will stand out,” she said.
Look Outside for Ideas
Yarnot said that one of the best things talent professionals can do is attend industry conferences like TalentBlend, “where you’ll find people with similar challenges and different solutions you haven’t thought of. You’ll get a view of the bigger picture,” she said.
She also recommended keeping up with resources like the
Harvard Business Review, professional content from websites like the
Society for Human Resource Management and
ERE, and influential blogs like
Fistful of Talent.
“You see what somebody else is doing. You go back and gather data, and then drive a decision that gets you there and is tied to a business goal. If you do these things, it will make a tremendous difference, raise you up, give you more spotlight and, yes, even more work,” Yarnot said.
Roy Maurer is an online editor/manager for SHRM.
Follow him @SHRMRoy
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