…. why the highest-performing TA Directors and TA Managers use Talent Research

Last week I had a conversation with a senior TA Manager (let’s call him Tom) in a large and broadly successful company. He is an experienced TA professional but he was struggling to get candidates and fill a senior level vacancy. The Hiring Manager was (as they do) being particularly challenging. Added to that, there was a requirement for diverse candidates. So far, so familiar.

Tom had a list of names from a combination of sources – a database (not fully populated or updated), previous searches, and some research Tom and a colleague had done on LinkedIn. There were some good potential candidates, and some good conversations had taken place, but more focused work was required.

One of the problems Tom admitted to was that he simply didn’t have the time to carry out the necessary ID of potential candidates, nor to reach out effectively and speak to them. He had a number of open roles to fill, and he was feeling under pressure from a number of hiring managers and stakeholders. Again, a familiar story.

All of which made the clearest possible case for using dedicated, focussed research support from a partner like Henley Research, as I pointed out. Our team could provide the necessary focus and expertise, plus devote the time needed, to find these great candidates.

Tom agreed. But he acknowledged he had a problem giving us the work. In fact, a number of problems. If he were seen to need external assistance he might be seen as failing in his role. He couldn’t easily authorise a budget for such research. And if Henley were to find some great candidates within a week or two (and Tom acknowledged we probably would) wouldn’t that further shine a light on his unsuccessful efforts?

In our experience, this is an all too familiar scenario. And what is the outcome?

  • The company spends often months with a role unfilled, losing profit, efficiency and momentum as a result
  • Hiring Managers get frustrated and TA’s reputation suffers
  • The TA team feels unfairly pressurised and demotivated
  • Overly simplistic metrics like “cost per hire” override everything else
  • And quite often, the very best candidates are never found because nobody has the time (and often the skill sets) to access them

It is only the best organisations and the best TA professionals that use external Talent Research as part of their everyday work, using firms like ours as partners to ensure they deliver their objectives.  There are many reasons this works, too many to list here, but in summary:

  • You get to find the best people
  • Roles can be filled quickly
  • The candidate experience is excellent and your employer brand is enhanced
  • It costs you less money in the end.

We’re still talking to Tom and the role is still open. We’re talking to Tom’s boss too and hoping that, like the really high-performing TA Directors and Managers we deal with, they will find a way to partner with us on this search so we can enable them to get the job done.