You have made a variety of hires, but a high percentage of them have left the business within six months, providing timely and financially costly. The cause? A broken talent operation. With the right talent strategy, you’ll be able to acquire talent that contributes and challenges thought for growth and align with your culture & business values, ensuring Quality of Hire. 

In this piece, we will dive into practical strategies you can implement to improve, optimise and measure the quality of hire and enhance your recruitment processes. 

If you have any direct questions about how you can optimise your talent operations, you are welcome to schedule a free drop-in session with our Co-Founder Nath who will answer any questions you have.


What Are Talent Operations? (And What Does a Talent Acquisition Manager Do?)

Talent Operations lays the foundation for successful hiring processes from the job being approved to the management of the entire recruitment process, employee onboarding and retention of employees. 

Having a stable Talent Infrastructure & Operation that involves the entire leadership organisation feeling informed and empowered by the metrics and data coming from the operations will show the successes and the weak points. Talent Operations allow continuous evaluations and development to ensure your business is driving forward better experiences and an efficient Talent Acquisition department and is seeing success in attraction, retention and growth of the people you hire.

What’s critical here is to ensure recruitment efficiency, that every single hiring process across your company is operating at the highest standard and that there’s a huge amount of consistency to ensure you are making the very best hires.


What Does A Talent Acquisition Manager Do?

Talent Acquisition Manager, Talent Acquisition Lead, Senior Talent Partner… Why are they important? Their role is more than being your In-House recruiter, they are the catalyst in gaining your most valuable asset, your internal team. They play a critical role in understanding and embodying the culture and values of your business. They bring the minds of leadership to evaluate the difference between good and great when attracting and onboarding talent. 

Their objectives also extend past just hiring the right person for the role. They need to ensure that the experiences of candidates hiring managers and founders are at the highest levels and that all documentation, metrics, processes, scorecards etc are in place to ensure that the quality of hire is maintained and the cost per hire is minimal as well as maintaining all other talent metrics are at ahead of the industry standard. 

Let’s not forget, onboarding and supporting this. Whilst the hiring managers will drive this, Talent Acquisition Managers are there to support to ensure best practices and a great experience for the new employee and that they firmly integrate and are set up for success in your organisation. If you set them up for success, their journey to success becomes a bit more fluid when it comes to measuring the quality of hire and retaining them. If it doesn’t work out, your talent partner is the person to evaluate to spot the gaps and look at ways the talent operation can avoid the same mistake twice. 

What do they do? They cover more than just recruiting, they are your strategic advisors and implementation consultants. 


Strategies For Streamlining Your Recruitment Process

You want to create a comprehensive hiring playbook that allows everyone involved in hiring, currently and in the future, to refer back to. This lays the baseline blueprint your business can follow and improve as you grow and should cover from the point of a new position being approved through to onboarding and even recommendations of future tooling that is on your radar. 

Your playbook isn’t written once and then put in storage, it’s constantly evaluated below are a series of checkboxes that you can tick off as being included if you are creating your playbook for the first time: 

  • New role assessment and approval process.
  • Steps to define timelines of hires via the headcount plan.
  • Links to job description templates. 
  • Links to candidate collateral and any candidate or hiring manager-specific documentation along with why and when they should be utilised. 
  • Management of the entire recruitment process. 
  • Assessment and Evaluations formalised along with best practices to ensure effective scorecards for interviews. For example, value-based questioning and SLAs along with what to include when writing evaluations. 
  • Interviewer training programme. 
  • Candidate experience initiatives. Feedback loops, when to send them content, and how to keep in contact with candidates to ensure they are consistently informed. 
  • Talent attraction, nurturing strategies and DE&I strategies. 
  • Talent metrics, what they are and how they will be utilised. 
  • Offer stage and the process. 
  • Approach to the onboarding of candidates.
  • Ramp-up/probation periods and the responsibilities of Talent and Leadership.
  • Tooling best practices. I.e. How to use an ATS effectively. 
  • New tooling recommendations that can be evaluated.


Implementing Effective Interview Training

Your organisation must have interviewer training for existing and new hiring managers.  You want to make sure that the entire interviewer team is on the same page, they understand what they are assessing to ensure the quality of hire and alignment to ways of working and the values.  

But, that’s not what interview training is there for, it’s also an educational piece as to what everyone involved should be doing to ensure excellent candidate experiences and to drive the ambition of the candidate to join your organisation. Things you can factor into your training are: 

    • Selecting the right interviewers: Ensuring they are on the same page as talent and the hiring managers and also that they are a diverse interviewing panel. 
    • Training on active and unconscious biases – How to remove these. 
    • Removing previous interview bias – ensuring interviewees don’t discuss or see previous scorecards until after they submit theirs. 
    • Basics on what you can and cannot say but also boundaries set up by talent to ensure confidentiality and focus during interviews. 
    • The different types of interview styles and when they are best used: Situational vs Behavioral vs Value-based vs Unstructured. 
  • Interviewing for skills vs potential.
    • How to interview, how much an interviewer should be listening and note taking.
    • The language used in interviews: Keeping them neutral and inclusive. 
    • The approach to facilitating needs and requests by candidates. 
    • How to give candidate evaluations and SLAs for submitting feedback. 
  • How to keep candidates informed. 
  • Showcasing your culture throughout the hiring process. 

The above list of bullet points are initial areas that should be covered, but it’s not all of them. As hiring becomes more complex there are many more points to be considered to ensure great interview experiences. 

According to Metaview, “38% of candidates are more likely to accept a job following a good interview experience and 49% of candidates turn down a job due to a bad recruiting experience”


Leveraging Technology for Recruitment Efficiency

Utilising technology for recruitment efficiency is important as it can be a support system for the talent acquisition team and your business. However, having multiple technologies is overwhelming so having a seasoned talent acquisition manager who understands when technology is needed will save money, time and stress. 

We can dive into some of the tools that will help with recruitment efficiency and operations. 

  1. Applicant Tracking System (ATS): Forgotten about or deprioritised in a start-up business but is so critically important. This tool allows Talent teams to be able to track interviewee journeys, store candidate data compliantly, view metrics, the job descriptions, enhance their careers page, drive nurturing campaigns and keep candidates informed which is fantastic. A great tool to consider is Ashby!
  2. Interview NoteTakers: There are other tools out there that can be super helpful with this. To have some fluidity in conversations, having an AI-powered solution that takes notes and shares the content with you afterwards in a structured way is a game-changer, especially if it links to your ATS, which Metaview does!
  3. Compensation Benchmarking: In a market where compensation fluctuates, getting real-time insights into market salaries across multiple business lines to inform salary forecasting, promotions etc. is critical. Having a tool that tracks this, helps a lot and that’s where Ravio comes in. 
  4. Sourcing Tools: Sourcing candidates is tricky and multiple channels can be utilised, notably LinkedIn. But when a platform is hugely congested, what else can you do? Consider platforms or tools that allow you to engage with talent across specific business lines and are advocates for diversity ensuring you have a wide and deep pool to fish in. Maybe something like Entelo.

But, having a great talent partner who is versed in the ways of old, such as X-Ray searching and the ways of new technology is a great way to ensure an effective talent operation.


Enhancing DE&I in Your Recruitment Process

For businesses to grow globally that workforce must have diversity in their workforces and ensure that every process is equitable and that there’s a huge sense of inclusivity from the very moment a candidate applies to a position to when they are hired and throughout their time in the organisation. 

You should be taking steps to ensure diversity, equity and inclusion is at the forefront of the business and you are taking the right steps to building a diverse workforce. You want to have a DE&I strategy by setting clear goals and aligning with leadership, hiring managers and employees to ensure you are all advocates for a diverse and inclusive workspace. Get those champions, including yourself pushing this forward. 

You may be thinking, “Where can I start to drive inclusive hiring?!”. How about job descriptions and sourcing? Having a talent partner will ensure that job descriptions are inclusive and that they are targeting a diverse range of candidates through the strategies they are implementing. Your talent team will put into place looking at underrepresented groups or ensuring that the number of “reachouts” and candidates that are entering the pipeline align with certain diversity metrics. 

How can you include DE&I in your recruitment process? Have a diverse interviewing team! 

We mentioned this earlier but having a diverse interview panel is extremely important, especially in industries that are weighted towards one or more groups of individuals. Not only will this heighten the experience of the candidate, but could be the inch that separates your offer from another. 

The additional areas you can evaluate are: 

  • Internships or Career Accelerator programs. The great sales reps, coders and leaders of tomorrow are looking for their first steps into your space and as long as you have the infrastructure, this is a great opportunity to acquire diverse talent. 
  • Look at the retention and development of your teams to ensure you are advocating for an equitable workplace where every individual has the same opportunity to learn, grow, be promoted and earn more.
  • External initiatives; Either have an initiative led by the talent acquisition team to engage with diverse communities through sponsorships, events and maybe volunteer programs. 

Great suppliers/partners; Have suppliers who are advocates for diversity, especially recruitment partners. The right partner will be an advocate for a diverse pipeline of candidates through communities and they too will have a passion for DE&I.


Creating an Inclusive Hiring Process

Inclusivity should be at the heart of your hiring practice from the very point at which a position becomes open. Some practical steps can be made to make sure that there’s diversity, equity and inclusion are at the forefront of everything that your talent function does throughout the hiring process and this can start at the creation of the job description that will be posted. 

You want your job description to be inclusive, use neutral language and encourage applicants from a wide range of backgrounds. Highlighting this at the bottom of the JD is a good start but you can also use a tool such as AdGrader. This will highlight whether your descriptions are inclusive or not, whether they are aligned more to one gender and ensure that the language you’re utilising is open and neutral. 

When looking at your entire hiring process, you want to make sure there aren’t any biases and that there is a consistent message and evaluation programme for all candidates who enter the process. And let’s not forget to make sure that the option is there to cater for any specific needs of candidates who require alterations to the process. Having a Talent Acquisition Manager, fractional or not, will allow you to have someone who can have the overseeing eye, look at the successes and where improvement is needed, through the data and experience feedback.


Measuring and Improving Recruitment Outcomes

Recruitment metrics are key here. They will help you to understand how your business and the talent team are cooperating and assessing the performance of your talent operation. We touched on the Quality of Hire at the start, but what about the other metrics… Your Talent Acquisition Manager should be looking at: 

  • Time to hire 
  • Time to fill 
  • Cost per hire 
  • Talents turnover 
  • Employee net promoter score
  • Internal mobility
  • Quality of hire

You should be able to measure the majority of the above in an ATS system, but some will be through formulas and assessments outside of it. You want to have a benchmark of where you want your stats to sit so that if you are falling short of the data, you can look at where the gaps are and drive process improvement.  

As a business, you should always be striving to be better and to ensure that you’re making data-driven decisions and always having the experience of every individual to heart when it comes to candidates, interviewers, hiring managers and senior leadership. So treating each business line separately when evaluating metrics for optimisation is a good approach as you can cater to nuances and have a tailored optimisation strategy. 

We helped Trustpath AI to get a successful hiring outcome by utilising data to understand the market and to tailor hiring processes for the founder to be able to assess and win fantastic hires into his business. 

Trustpath AI wanted to ensure they would get Quality of Hire with their founding hires. Some of the challenges that they faced were: 

  • Sourcing qualified candidates.
  • Assessment of the candidates to ensure they align with ambitions, culture, values and the mission. 
  • Market data into salary packages and how the new hires should be incentivised. 
  • Where to find the talent and what experience he needed for his hires. 
  • Locations to find the best talent with the required skills. 
  • Looking at skills but also potential in candidates. 
  • Securing his founding hires and an awesome team to build with!

Through our partnership, Trustpath was able to secure great individuals and we saw a 100% success rate across all hires. The individuals brought on had the experience and had been successful in previous roles, but they were also diverse thinkers and had ambitions to build something. We also supported advising on the recruitment process for each business line to make sure the core competencies were being assessed. 

We provided a vast amount of insights into the market, candidate feedback and compensation which allows the business to know where to find candidates next time they are expanding and that they have data to utilise in decision making. 


Ready to Optimise Your Talent Operations?

So we’ve learned what turn operations are, what the role a Talent Acquisition Manager plays and how to look at the best way to streamline your talent operations across the board from a hill start to cruising. 

Hopefully, you have gained some insights into DE&I how you can initially go about it and how useful a Talent Partner in your business can be in driving this, but also making sure your business is set up to measure metrics and make data-informed decisions, with the help of some software solutions. 

If you’re looking for a partner who has supported founders, implemented processes, understands that talent is unique to each company and can advise on tailored strategies, reach out to us.  We would be happy to have a non-committal conversation and hopefully provide some assistance in laying the foundations for successful Talent operation in your organisation. 

The Trifecta Talent Team