No, this blog is not suggesting that you conduct yourself in a manner unbecoming of a respectful talent acquisition professional, but it is suggesting a way in which to step up your game for full lifecycle recruiting. A more touchy feely approach, in the metaphorical sense, may well boost your reputation as a talent acquisition professional.

Getting to Know You

One of the primary goals of talent acquisition, quite obviously, is finding and courting top talent. But this talent must be a long term investment. Like the real estate broker who understands a client’s lifestyle and commuting habits to locate the perfect property, talent acquisition requires understanding individual hiring manager preferences. Does Steve need an IT candidate who can work independently or one who is comfortable working with a dynamic group? Does the CEO appreciate the type of CFO that will call him out for firing the company’s top sales manager? Get to know the “people”, not the “KPI’s, and your talent acquisition will be a whole lot easier. An article on “ERE.Net” by Morgan Hoogvelt describes her experiences meeting corporate recruiters at expos and conferences, with poor communication skills and no formal talent acquisition training. She explains that a more personal approach to full lifecycle recruiting, by a motivated, trained professional, will make the recruiter and the company stand out from the rest. It is all too easy to rely on “LinkedIn”, “Facebook”, and recruitment screening software, while you lose the personal touch. But, remembering Joe’s birthday or sending him a house warming gift may well earn you higher longstanding status in the corporate recruitment world.

By “touchy feely”, I refer to the approach that you take to talent acquisition and full lifecycle recruiting. Do you sit a candidate down and immediately put them through a battery of tests? Do you merely gather a list of attributes from the hiring manager that are relevant to the job without an in-depth meeting to understand what the manager really wants? Talent acquisition certainly entails mundane administrative tasks, but what about the more intangible tasks such as getting to know your hiring manager and candidate; what about understanding their personalities, quirks and characteristics, not just their job titles and responsibilities?

The classic image of yesterday’s talent acquisition professional as an executive professional, sitting in a prefabricated office building, hunched over a keyboard, shuffling through a pile of resumes, is outdated. Today, that image has changed to that of a fun, charismatic personality; someone who poses unique, thought provoking questions; someone who is excited to get to know you and who is there to help you explore your passions.

Touchy feely, refers to actively listening to your candidates and hiring managers as part of full lifecycle recruiting and responding to what motivates them; understanding their passions and their peeves. Your approach determines your brand image, and through your actions you can project a culture of caring about people, not just filling positions. Your brand image is important.

Get touchy feely with your talent acquisition, build a long term relationship with your hiring managers and your candidates and be there to help that CEO find that new CFO. Talent acquisition is all about building and nurturing relationships to increase the influence and impact that have on your company’s brand.

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