Talent Acquisition for the new Super AGILE World

How is talent acquired for making movie? Director and producers meet and discuss the plan and quickly start meeting people who are right for the movie and sign them up. Talent comes together and stays together until the common goal of making the movie is achieved. Once the movie is made, they go their ways!

This is how future entrepreneurs and companies will acquire talent for their projects: Quick, Agile, Short Term, Target focussed, professionals who equip themselves and stay relevant!

How do artists attract work?

  • Visible talent display – reducing the need for several rounds of interviews
  • Connections – trust is contagious!

Talent of the future will need to acquire these skills: superior display of talents and staying connected with idea generators and talent aggregators . LinkedIn is helping talent do that but it needs to be adapted more widespread!

For companies to achieve what film fraternity has achieved they will have to: 

  • Get out of the paradigm that employees in payroll are more trust worthy and closer to company’s mission than contingent staff
  • They will need to accept to see more talent turnover and will have to drop their bench
  • They need to find cheaper ways to find talent … lots of it!
  • Find ways to empower talent more quickly and make transitions more smooth
  • Have technology play the role of integration
  • Flexible company policies

What will drive this evolution? Of course, Market volatility!

Successful RPO Partnership by Organizational Goal Alignment

RPO (Recruitment Process Outsourcing) engagements often fail because they fail to synchronize with business goals. While the whole organization aligns its strategy to changing business goals, RPO partners are often dwelling in transactions and seldom attempt to understand impact of changing business goals on their engagement leading to them being seem as a disengaged partner who needs constant direction and hand holding. For a RPO partner to engage on strategic level, it’s imperative to have in-depth understanding of its process and set their process levers aligned to business needs. This is only possible when RPO delivery metrics are aligned to business metrics which in turn are aligned to business goals and a manager constantly engages with all stakeholders to ensure everyone complies to changes needs. This effort will have in coupling recruitment performance to business performance. This blog deals with how we reached a seamless integration of goals to achieve a highly strategic engagement with our client.

Understand Parameters You Control: Often RPO partners work on number of resume that needs to be pushed on top of recruitment funnel to ensure open positions close. But companies often have much more leverage than the number of resumes sourced. On a broad level, these could be your recruiter quality, Recruiter numbers, Screening capabilities, Scheduling capacities, Sourcing methodologies, Partners and so on! On a more work level there are several leverage points such as number of work days in a week.

Calibrate Parameters to Business Outcomes: One must monitor each of these parameters and measure their impact on recruitment performance such as recruitment cost, TAT, quality of hire, early attrition etc. Effect of the recruitment performance should be calibrated against business performance parameters. These business parameters may be business attrition, Training performance, performance ratings. The business parameters are extremely company dependent and should be discovered for every company.


The company may already have understanding on how business parameters affect business strategy and thus the business goals.

Constant Management of Alignment: Some RPO partners do the above points however they fail to systematize the constant attempt of aligning RPO activities to changing business goals. Consistent communication and regular meetings with business leaders allow understanding of changing business needs and goals and these should be backed by actionable that are measured and demonstrated to leaders as a feedback. This constant tweaking rationale should be communicated to the team in order to ensure the changes are seen as a requirement to ensure client observes the RPO engagement as a competitive advantage.

Top Three Benefits of Strategic Alignments:

  1. The company as a whole becomes more agile and stays competitive which is need of the market in todays rapidly changing business environment
  2. The RPO partners often are directed by several client SPOCs. This sometimes results in changing actions that are not aligned. Goal level alignment results in actions in right direction.
  3. Often continues improvement hits road blocks when it comes to changing process at client end. However when changes have definite positive results on client objectives, change is better accepted.

Although I wrote this blog, the idea isn’t mine. I dedicate this blog to the very successful person who shared this concept with me and will remain an inspiration to me. 

Challenges of today’s RPOs

Having served as Marketing Manager in RPO companies, I have always been closely listening to my clients. Some appreciated our work and others didn’t. But top three challenges they all would fret about are these:

1. Pumping in resumes: Recruiters at RPO companies are under pressure to fill positions. This pressure is directly felt by the recruiters and some times they pump resumes to hiring managers without scrutinizing them strictly. This results in hiring managers wasting their precious time rejecting resumes that shouldn’t have come to them in the first place. This frustration builds over time and creates a general feeling among hiring managers that the RPO team isn’t capable. Creating such an impression can only lead to the RPO team loosing their contract over time because of noise in the business.

2. SLAs that dont align to Business Success: I find this happen so often that RPOs have grown to ignore any concerns raised in this direction. RPOs today continue to sign on simple straightforward SLAs and grading their performance top class by benchmarking themselves with competitor RPO companies. Clients generally stay puzzled why they are still reeling under the pressure of War for Talent. Slowing hiring manager start feeling that their RPO partners are not truly their partners in success and the partnerships begins on its journey downwards until the SLAs show the result.

3. Being Strategic Partner: Companies typically rely on their recruitment teams to provide them intelligence on talent. When recruitment is outsources, this intelligence stops to flow and this over time bothers the hiring managers. Recruiters who were earlier working as talent advisor, are no more available for advice and RPO partner is more focused on their process, SLA and filling jobs rather than helping hiring managers in manpower planning etc

How Do We Fix These? 

Although the problem seems complicated, the solution is quite simple, Go above and beyond.

Going above and beyond in submission quality would mean ensuring recruiters get face time with business to truly understand the unsaid in job description. Training recruiters on importance of ensuring tight scrutiny of profile before submission, holding recruiters accountable by strict audits and management truly demonstrating their concern on the parameter…when management truly cares about something, it percolates down.

Going above and beyond in SLAs would mean holding meetings with client’s training departments to ensure they are happy with the incoming talent, ensuring hiring manager satisfaction is measured and hiring manager is involved in challenges faced in talent acquisition, ensuring there are quarterly meetings with finance to check cost and productivity targets are being met. Repercussion of RPO’s work is measured by various departments and expectations should be managed across.

Going above and beyond in being a talent advisor is to join the hiring managers in their annual planning meets, providing them market intelligence, benchmarks, showing them positive impact of the SLAs on business output and being available for a quick chat whenever required. To achieve this end, RPOs need to go beyond SLAs, beyond contracts, beyond what’s said… to the place where client feels the RPO and its effort and its contribution in business success.

ZMOT, Key to Successful Talent Acquisition

ZMOT for Talent Acquisition
ZMOT for Talent Acquisition

Talent acquisition has become synonymous with selling. Corporate and product brands have been paralleled with employer brand and decision journey of both a job seeker and a purchaser has been paralleled. This blog intends to bring the concept of ZMOT to Talent Acquisition and enumerate the benefits of adopting the new science to ensure companies with war for talent.

What is ZMOT?

A decade ago, marketers advertised their brands in mass media and instigated the people to check out their brand and products in the stores. The first experience of the product at store was called the first moment of truth. At this point the buyer trys to check if the product lives upto the promise made in the advertisment.  Once the buyer purchases the product, while using it, he again scrutinises the product to check if the product lives upto the promise made in the advertisement. This is called the second moment of truth.

Drawing parellels, in talent acquisition, when a candidate gets the offer letter, its the first moment of truth. Candidate at this point will try to check if the work offered will live upto the promise made by the recruiter and the hiring manager. Once he joins the company, he experiences the company first hand and will again scrutinize the company to check if the company lives upto the promise. This would become the second moment of truth.

ZMOT stands for Zero Moment of Truth and Google introduced this term to explain the phenominon in this decade where people before they go to stores, check the product out in digital platforms. And having experienced the product online (ZMOT) then they go to store and experience the first moment of truth.

This phenominon is true with candidates as well where they check the company and the job opportunity online before they get offer. ZMOT study conducted on job seekers revealed that on an average, a candidate will check with 14.5 sources before deciding on First Moment of Truth, an offer. Therefore we could say that companies loose their candidates even before they identify right candidate, resulting in loosing of War for Talent.

In order to prevent this from happening, companies need to ensure they communicate positive aspects of working for the company, the company EVP, proactively on channels that talent trust; Facebook, LinkedIn, Career Page. But this isnt sufficient. People trust people and thus companies need to create platform where their employees could connect with target talent and communicate good things about the company and its EVP.

In conclusion, companies need to recognise the presence of ZMOT and take positive steps to build communication channel and content to ensure its target talent pool hears good things about the company and its accurate EVP from all sources. Doing so would allow it to build good employer brand and win war for talent.

YES! Even HR Needs Analytics…Nuts and Bolts of HR Analytics

Blog1“Of course they need”, is your answer isn’t it! If it were common wisdom then why so few companies have ventured into it? Kouros Behzad, SAP’s director for line-of-business HR says “It’s not that it’s any more important today, it’s just that the tools enable you to do this work better.

Yup, you got it, although its common sense to have it, the technology caught up only now. So we could NOW expect several companies to capitalise on technology to adopt HR Analytics. But what really is HR Analytics? Definition says: synthesis qualitative and quantitative data to make predictive insights and decision making support to the management of people in order to achieve business goals. In simpler terms, HR has levers that influence people such as compensation, training etc. These levers need to be calibrated to know what action leads to what result. This is possible only by measuring action on levers and its result. Once this is done, a strategy needs to be put in place for tactical team to perform tactical actions to tie into HR strategy, which ties into business strategy, which results in achieving target.

So are there challenges to achieving this? you are right, there are:

  • HR professionals are not number savy and thus change management would be tough
  • Practices in HR are not standardised and structured and thus consistent data collection is a challenge
  • Different types of data; most data are categorical and not ratio. This makes analysis complex.
  •  Legacy systems and excel
  • Lack of definitions; recruitment TAT could mean different to different people. In fact companies have different definition within their offices.

But in spite of these challenges, HR analytics would gain momentum because it sets a clear line of sight between HR interventions and bottom line profitability, providing that link between people management and business result.  This would help CEOs demonstrate benefits of investment in analytics technology and change management.

Please share your views on the same; especially keen on knowing level of adoption of analytics in your HR team.