Have you ever wondered if you are getting the full value and benefit of working with a talent acquisition specialist? Have you ever been curious if you could be getting more from your partnership?

If you are having these thoughts already, then your answers should probably be, “no” and “yes”. As disheartening as that sounds, don’t be discouraged. There is a way to get every bit of the incredible value talent acquisition specialists provide to their clients. However, there is one little secret you need to know first. The difference between just using these services and gaining their full value is you.

Consider any product, good, or service you purchase for either your professional or personal purposes. If you want to fully enjoy and appreciate a boat, you need to actually use it. To gain satisfaction from a great meal, you need to either physically go to a restaurant or prepare the food yourself. This is even true with our relationships. You get the most value from your family when you spend time together. Participation is required, sometimes you just need to know how.

In this article, we’ll outline what talent acquisition specialists do for their clients, the benefits these services can provide, and (most importantly) detail what you can do to gain the most value possible.

What Talent Acquisition Specialists do For Their Clients

Step one in realizing the advantages of working with a talent acquisition specialist is to understand what these individuals do for their clients. Contrary to common terminology, a recruiter is not the same thing as a talent acquisition specialist. Recruiting is just one part of what they do.

Recruiting is the process of filling a vacancy. Teams recruit athletes to fill their roster. In a corporate setting, recruiters work to fill open positions within their organizations. While critically important to the growth and productivity of an organization, the process is reactive, driven by an existing need.

Talent acquisition is a holistic approach to managing human resource talent. These services include planning, sourcing, recruiting, evaluating, and hiring top talent. And the professionals who work under the title of talent acquisition specialist are the ones who facilitate the entire process.

Even when hiring organizations seek out their services to help them hire fresh talent, there are a host of functions talent acquisition specialists perform.

  • Define the search criteria based on required capabilities, competencies, personality, geography, and compensation.

  • Leverage search criteria to generate the largest pool of viable candidates possible.

  • Act as an advocate to convey and clarify your brand image and message.

  • Reduce your level of risk for prolonged hiring processes, bad hiring decisions, accepted counter offers, and buyer’s remorse from candidates or hiring managers.

The Value Talent Acquisition Services Provide

Step two is to understand the value behind these functions. It’s hard to know if you are getting the full benefits if you aren’t aware of the possibilities. The clearest way to describe the full assortment of services is that talent acquisition specialists help organizations solve their hiring challenges to find their perfect-fit hires. The value of these services lies in how they accomplish this.

Expert advisor

Talent acquisition specialists become personalized advisors providing guidance and consultation where needed to help their clients improve their hiring processes. Whether it’s a candidate search that is out of scope or an internal hiring process in need of consolidation, they are experts in understanding how to most effectively find hidden talent, uncover candidate potential, reveal potential hazards, and maximize hiring efficiencies. Their expertise can help you hire with confidence.

Dedicated resource

There are two ways talent acquisition specialists provide value as a dedicated resource. The first is they act as an extension of your team allowing you to delegate the work required to source and evaluate candidates for niche, specialized, and otherwise hard-to-fill positions.

The second way is they are a source of information and insight on labor market and industry trends. Your organization has become an expert in the products and services you provide. This is where you spend your time and focus your efforts. The labor market is where talent acquisition specialists spend their time and the information they continually gather is something they willingly share with their clients.

Trusted ally

You probably already know there is a wide range in the level of service between recruitment agencies and other employment services. The same can be said about recruiters and talent acquisition specialists. However, you can always spot the good ones because they will be working for you, not a commission check.

As a trusted ally, talent acquisition specialists ensure you are only seeing the best quality candidates for your business needs. Further, they will frame your organization and career opportunity in the best possible light.

Reliable gatekeeper

Skilled talent acquisition specialists know how to preserve your time from engaging in empty searches and reviewing low-quality candidates. They will also protect your organization from making bad hiring decisions. Only the best candidates with real potential of becoming your next perfect-fit hire will be presented to you for consideration. These professionals also know how to guard against counter offers and how to prepare candidates for making an important decision to join your organization.

How to Enhance the Value of Your Talent Acquisition Specialist

Talent acquisition specialists and the services they provide can add a lot to your growing organization. However, the question remains, how can you get the most value from their help and support?

Remember the little secret we shared at the beginning? The difference between simply using these services and fully gaining their value is you. Full participation is required to gain the most value from a talent acquisition specialist. It's also your third step in this process. Here are six ways to do that.

1. Provide clear insight into your business and hiring needs

Ignore the temptation of thinking that your talent acquisition specialist already knows everything about your organization, marketplace, and customer base. The truth is they don’t. They know what is happening in the labor market and changing trends in workforce preferences. But unless they have worked with you directly before, they don’t know your specific needs and goals. At least, not yet. Bring them up to speed and provide them with an arsenal of information so they can represent you in the best way possible.

2. Get your team involved

Make sure anyone who will be involved on your side of the hiring process as well as who your new hire will be reporting to meets your talent acquisition specialist. This simple step provides a tremendous amount of insight for them. Regular interactions with other members of your team reinforce your company culture and brand identity. Your talent acquisition specialist uses this as another layer in their candidate evaluations to determine potential fit into your organization.

3. Be prepared

You may not have everything completely defined at the start, and that’s okay because your talent acquisition specialist is there to help. However, take the time to at least outline your internal hiring process. Think about who will be involved, how many interviews you may need, and your timeline for making a hire. (Side tip, think about vacation schedules too, and how that might impact your hiring process.)

Then make sure your team is prepared to make a hiring decision when the time comes. Consider what your specific needs are, how you will evaluate candidates, and who will make the final hiring decisions. Even if your process has some gaps, the more prepared you are at the beginning, the more your talent acquisition specialist can help you refine and clarify your needs and process.

4. Engage with your talent acquisition specialist

Skilled talent acquisition specialists know it can take a moment to clarify the scope of your search. Your feedback is essential.

Candidates may present unique opportunities and variables you haven’t considered yet. Others may have requirements for making a career change. These are questions your specialist will need input on. Clear and quick feedback is essential.

Reviewing the results of interviews with candidates helps clarify if and how strategic changes are needed in your search project. Candidates are also looking for feedback and next steps. Honest feedback is essential.

Stay engaged in the process with your talent acquisition specialist. You shouldn’t have to wonder about the progress of your search project, and neither should the specialist you are partnering with.

5. Be responsive and timely

This is similar to the point above, but here consideration should be given to your response time and availability. It will be incredibly challenging for your talent acquisition specialist to schedule interviews and strategy meetings if you or other members of your team are unresponsive to communication or have limited time to conduct interviews. Delays in the hiring process hurt your image and business perception in the mind of a candidate, and only raise feelings of uncertainty, fear, and doubt.

6. Listen to their advice

When you partner with a talent acquisition specialist, you are gaining a resource, advisor, ally, and advocate. Listen to what they are sharing with you and take their recommendations seriously. This doesn’t mean you have to follow everything they say blindly. You still know your business needs best. However, they know talent acquisition best. It’s why you hired their services in the beginning. Trust their expertise.

For any partnership to work well and benefit both sides there needs to be participation on both sides. You can, and should, expect the very best service and support from your business relationships and vendors. However, make sure you are also getting the very best value for your investment. Your involvement is the key.

To learn more about working with recruitment firms access this resource guide below.

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