Key learning points when building Talent Acquisition Teams



When I was asked almost 10 months ago to help with our internal operations for delivery at Avancos, I was very excited for the new challenge of building a team around existing team members and developing a well oiled machine. My goal was simple. Find hungry, aggressive, and trainable people to join our team and serve our customers. As simple as it sounds, there were some unexpected bumps that turned into key learning points that might be helpful as build your teams.

  1. Timing: Aligning supply with demand is a challenge that most take for granted. Knowing when to hire and being able to hire are two diametrically opposed positions. Balancing the timing aspect of hiring by maintaining a pipeline of interested candidates who could accept an offer within a 1-2 week window was extremely difficult. This meant investing time to phone screen and have face to face interviews several weeks, and even months, prior to actually making an offer. Continuous recruiting and pipelining takes time and effort, but the payoff is well worth it due to being proactive vs reactive for the rest of the business. Part of being a leader in a company means that even though you constantly being pulled in multiple directions, you owe it to the company, your team, and yourself to dedicate the time to ensure future success.
  1. Assessing “hunger”: This is a key to hiring people in a commissioned role, especially with an “entry level” position. Sometimes we need to hire people that don’t have 12022014bexperience, but have the energy and aptitude to work on a team focused on production through individual and collaborative efforts. We do the regular interview process by measuring answers from competency questions, seeing if they are a cultural fit, and testing their skills. However, I like to test their interest and motivation by observing the most basic, yet critical actions on whether they follow up in a timely manner. For short term testing, it is as simple as asking them to take a day or two to absorb the information, then follow up with me to share their interest level in the position. As for long term testing, we pipeline candidates for potential hires with start dates weeks, if not a month or so in the future. As time passes, the candidates will be instructed to stay in touch or follow up, which we measure as a point of interest and motivation.
  1. Budget: Staying within a budget can also be a challenge when building a team within Talent Acquisition. This is another reason that Talent Pipelining is valuable as 2/3 of the candidates I interview will fall outside of our budget plans at any time. Thus investing the time and energy in interviewing becomes critical to keep qualified people and within budget close to you and your company. Weekly interviewing is crucial to keep the pipeline full and increase your ability to make hires when the demand calls for it.

12022014cIn addition, there are many types of assessment tools that can be used to help determine a candidate ability to fit within an existing team and your company culture. If you would like to know more, please reach out to Keith Shepherd at:

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