TANGO Partners Perspective – April 2022
Talent Acquisition. . . Knowing the roles!
Benjamin Freedman, CEO
There is a common misconception that Talent Acquisition is a function of Human Resources. However, just as you would not consider Development to be a function of your Finance team, this is not the case. If you consider their overarching goals, your Development team and your Talent Acquisition team are both sales functions. Development is responsible for bringing funding into the organization while TA’s responsibilities lie in bringing people into the organization. Once each team has achieved their goals, management duties are then passed to HR and Finance respectively.
It is not uncommon for small teams to wear a plethora of hats. Organizationally, Human Resource professionals are often tasked with Talent Acquisition duties. This begs the question, if this is true in the HR space, why aren’t Finance professionals responsible for creating and implementing the organization’s fundraising strategy? This is because the Finance team has neither the skills nor the time to do so.
Circling back to HR and Talent Acquisition, let’s think about all the things HR must do:
- Ensure employee engagement and alignment to the business goals
- Coaching and mentoring management
- Career pathing and career development
- Culture development and maintenance
- Compliance and reporting
- Benefits administration
- Managing employee relations
- Managing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives
- Overseeing compensation
All of these functions equate to maximizing the employee experience once people are hired and on the team. This is again similar to how Finance works to maximize the fiscal resources once they are brought into the organization.
The role of Talent Acquisition is to create and implement a robust strategy aligned to the overall business strategy of the organization. The goal of this strategy is to ultimately identify and engage qualified individuals to join the organization as team members. This requires skills most closely aligned with a sales function.
Talent Acquisition must:
- Market the organizational brand
- Engage passive candidates and educate them on the organization and potential opportunities ensuring they are excited to be considered for previously unknown positions
- Negotiate terms and conditions for people’s investment to join the organization
- Build long-term strategies for candidate pipelines, future hiring needs and the overall growth plan to align business strategy with hiring strategy
Considering these functions of Talent Acquisition, which are similar to those required of a Development Team, it is important to ask why this becomes a Human Resources function. Ultimately, it comes down to cost and a lack of understanding of what Talent Acquisition is. This becomes an issue when the function falls under Human Resources as the team lacks both bandwidth and the proper skillset to truly be successful.
In terms of cost, an organization may make the argument that there are not enough hiring needs to warrant an FTE for Talent Acquisition. To that I would inquire about your growth strategy and have a discussion to determine if employees are aligned to programmatic and overall organizational growth. I would also ask how you are building your employer brand to attract the best talent when you do hire. And if ultimately an FTE is not warranted, I would highly recommend the use of a consultant who specializes in Talent Acquisition both for tactical implementation but also for compliance and strategy.
As you are thinking about organizational structure and defining roles, it is important to consider not only team capacity but also effectiveness. An organization that places their employees in the roles that best suits their skillsets sets them up for success and increases retention and referrals. As it relates to Human Resources and Talent Acquisition, please remember that the team that brings in your revenue is not the same team that manages it. Just as the team that brings in your employees should not be the same team who manages them. In order to successfully grow your organization, it is imperative to differentiate the two.