4 Key Issues Facing In-House Executive Talent Acquisition Teams

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In the December edition of HR Grapevine magazine, David Grundy, CEO at Invenias provides his expert insight on 4 key issues facing executive talent acquisition teams

Executive talent acquisition is the highly specialist sourcing of candidates for executive, senior or other highly specialist positions in organisations. These tend to be positions which historically are more difficult to fill, requiring significant time and devoted attention as the person appointed will have a profound impact on the organisation.

In-house executive talent acquisition goes further than just identifying the best talent, it involves an in-depth assessment of internal candidates and a benchmarking exercise externally. It is about the capturing of insight and industry knowledge and using this to build a comprehensive picture of the best talent available both internally, in competitive organisations and across different industries.

If your organisation is looking to increase your in-house capabilities, maybe alongside a partnership with an executive search firm, there are several issues to consider.

1. Ensuring diversity of hires

When reviewing hiring outcomes, diversity is a common bench marking tool, a trend reflected in the Invenias In-House Executive and Strategic Hiring Trends Report 2016. However, diversity should not be viewed simply as a tick box exercise, but as an opportunity to increase innovation, skill-sets and productivity within a workforce. In addition, organisations that embrace diversity are often viewed more favourably by candidates and future clients.

How can you ensure diversity when recruiting for senior roles? Increasing the breadth of your sourcing channels will serve to increase the diversity of candidates. However, the real value comes from a deep knowledge and understanding of this diverse talent pool and the top senior level candidates available. This valuable insight provides the opportunity to increase diversity of hires through a more comprehensive picture of candidates’ personalities, experience, education and thought processes.

2. Raising awareness of your organisation and brand

Raising the awareness of your organisation and brand should not be a challenge for an in-house team, instead, it should be viewed as an opportunity. You’re in a unique position as you can influence and build upon the employer brand yourself. If you can’t attract the top talent, you can question why, assess the way your organisation presents itself and make improvements. Another significant benefit to in-house talent acquisition is the deeper insight and understanding of the requirements of your organisation. When hiring for key roles, there will be several necessary core skills and attributes but as an internal team, you will truly understand the future aspirations of your organisation, and ultimately, will be well placed to find your perfect candidate. This deep knowledge and understanding of your organisation’s culture is essential to the process of building a comprehensive picture of your talent pool.

Tiffany Raymond, Director, Leadership Recruiting, Tesla Motors

3. Buy in from key stakeholders

Key stakeholders within your organisation may have invested significant time in developing trust in external executive search firms and may therefore be reluctant to move away from these long-term relationships. As an in-house talent team looking to expand and develop your in-house capabilities, what can you do to encourage the buy in of those in charge? Of course, the quality of hires delivered will have a key role in championing in-house executive talent acquisition.

Investment in better tools and technology will help foster a more collaborative, transparent and engaged search process with busy hiring managers. Software that allows agile reporting and performance metrics that can be shared quickly and easily with senior management will further strengthen the case for in-house teams. This transparency should lead to a more streamlined process, understanding of your team’s capabilities and performance and ultimately a stronger and more successful search outcome. If you can demonstrate the value of your in-house function, the buy-in of key stakeholders will naturally follow.

4. A lack of suitable technology

Often in-house executive talent teams are faced with resource limitations. Investment in easy to use technology that allows quick and easy data capture brings real value, drives adoption and ultimately enhances talent intelligence. Better technology will increase productivity through less time spent recording, validating and categorising data, freeing up time for more valuable tasks. In addition, the ability to map and leverage data for multiple purposes will further enhance a team’s productivity. Technology that allows the instant capture and sharing of data, allows for mobile working and promotes collaboration and communication with those involved throughout the hiring process.

Moreover, technology that provides a consolidated view of data and has easy to use, agile reporting will enable an in-house team to demonstrate the value of their team’s performance.