The One Thing Most TA Leaders Miss When Creating Real Change

Our Hiring Managers just won’t give us feedback, or give us interview times. My recruiters just won’t use our ATS or our CRM. I can’t get our executives to understand our brand isn’t what they think it is.

I had an F500 TA leader tell me last week that their biggest issue was not finding candidates, or getting qualified talent, it was simply we can not get our hiring managers to give us interview times. They desperately want and need talent, we have thousands of openings, but they won’t prioritize hiring, so we lose great candidates.

In the Talent Acquisition industry, we see a constant churn of TA leaders. Mostly they get fired because they are ineffective in creating the change they promised when they were hired. At least once per month, I’ll have some well-meaning TA leader reach out to me and ask me this question: “How do I continue to hire, using our broken processes and systems, but also build the new system and processes that I’m supposed to do?”

That’s the catch 22, right?

I wish I had some silver bullet answer for them, but I don’t. There’s no ‘one’ answer for this problem, but I think there are some core pieces to the answer that have to be met:

1 – You have to have an executive, or critical function hiring manager, who will be your champion when you break out your plan of change.

2 – An understanding by you and your team, that hiring as we know it right now, will not continue, and for a bit, we’ll probably get worse and some people might hate us, in the short run.

3 – Change only happens when you actually make change happen. (Damn, I should put that on a t-shirt!) 

The Final Step? 

You stop doing everything people are used to you and your team does. You create tension. You might just stop hiring altogether. Send a note out to your hiring managers explaining that Talent Acquisition is broken. To fix it, we have to blow it up. So, for the next 4 weeks, you are all on your own for hiring. Have fun!

Create Tension! 

The only way you’ll get lasting change is if others feel your same pain. Understand, when you stop hiring, you might just have a hiring manager who will be just fine hiring on their own! They don’t need you. If you and your team got killed in a bad ropes course team building accident tomorrow, let’s face it, the organization would still hire and move forward.

But, you’ve created tension and now you can build something new that will be “the” way you’ll be hiring moving forward. Maybe that is a rules-based approach where every single screened candidate sent to a hiring manager needs a 24-hour turnaround on feedback and also if a manager has you work on their opening they give you pre-assigned interview slots, etc.

If they don’t play along, you don’t work on their stuff.

Might you get fired? Yes. Of course. Might you get fired if you don’t change? Yes. Of course. Damn, isn’t Tension great! Also, why it’s really important to have an executive champion, who buys into your plan!

Every single TA Executive/Leader I speak with actually knows exactly how to fix their problem. Their real problem is they want to change, but they want to do it without adding Tension. That is where they fail.

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