The Dying Craft of Talent Acquisition

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Dheeraj Lalchandani
May 18, 2023

Evolution and Innovation have always been critical to our survival in a world where “Change Is the Only Constant”

Consequently, the need for highly-skilled tech talent triggered a similar transition in the talent acquisition industry, with inbound recruiting tactics becoming highly ineffective.

Companies were forced to shift gears and embrace outbound tactics to combat this dilemma and acquire the talent they need.

This transition toward outbound recruiting marks a major milestone.

Recruiters were tasked with a big challenge: hiring tech talent.

But Talent Acquisition Community wasn't prepared

  1. Recruiters took up roles and responsibilities far beyond what they were accustomed to;  
  2. The workload increased substantially.

It wasn't over yet…

  1. None of them had any technical knowledge or academic training, which was essential for hiring engineering talent.
  2. They were suddenly hit with terms like Java, Python, API...all of which they need to comprehend and understand if they want to scout and screen top engineering candidates.

And businesses on the other hand kept struggling;

  1. The tech talent shortage was increasing rapidly.
  2. Businesses kept struggling not just to find skilled engineers, but also skilled tech recruiters who can assist them fill open positions with qualified engineers.

It seemed like quite the paradox!

Where did things go from there?

Businesses decided to take an innovative approach to tackle the paradox.

Here is what they did:

  1. Hired an army of internal/external recruiters with limited/zero experience in tech hiring.
  2. Redesigned their outbound recruiting process to reduce dependency on recruiter screening capabilities, hence minimizing training needs for tech-hiring personnel.
  3. Recruiters were trained with the tech-related keyword knowledge, necessary to locate qualified candidates in databases like LinkedIn, Monster, Indeed, & others.

This was key, as engineering teams already had too much on their plates dealing with interviews and simply didn't have the capacity for additional training.

Looks perfect right? And it should work flawlessly. But, it doesn’t.

This initiative was supposed to improve recruiters' tech hiring skill & knowledge, but it didn't. Rather, it failed massively.

Let me tell you... why?

  1. Recruiters were armed with technical keyword understanding, but businesses didn't train them on how to screen profiles beyond just keywords - which would have been a real game changer!
  2. Screening was left up to hiring managers or engineering teams.
  3. 75% of their time is still squandered on mundane, repetitive activities like:
  • Reaching out through emails/calls/texts (script provided by organizations);
  • Scheduling interviews & reminders.
  • Test Scheduling
  • Collecting feedback scorecards; etc.

Apart from that:

  1. Recruitment operation tasks were incredibly draining and time-consuming, leaving no room for recruiters to upskill.
  2. Neither companies nor TA experts made any significant efforts to inspire or deliver the necessary knowledge for growth.

Consequently, the TA community was unable to upgrade themselves.

Root Cause…?

I believe one of the core reasons Talent Acquisition teams have lagged behind with upgrading their tech hiring skills is largely due to businesses maintaining a "Cost-Center" mindset.

Talent acquisition and human resources have always been seen as cost centers rather than growth drivers. This mindset has cost businesses billions of dollars already. Which has led to-

Rise of TA Robots

The lack of skilled talent acquisition professionals is having a major impact on recruiters' roles, forcing them to become -

“Nothing but robots repeating scripts and performing mundane tasks”

Without knowing what candidates have done or will do in their new jobs, it's impossible to have meaningful conversations about their work or provide valuable input on competence and fit.

Hence, I argue that the craft of talent acquisition is dying.

The art of hiring top talent should be saved.

What Now...?

Finding top talent in a business is difficult yet essential.

Imagine Talent acquisition like sales acumen combined with data analytics knowledge—it's like blending the science & art of math and magic!

This craft always fails without both pieces functioning together.

In a world where "talent" rules, talent, executives must be empowered enough to find top talent for companies.

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