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How To Make Talent Acquisition & Recruiting Strategic

, | Jan 13, 2023 2:15:00 AM | By

Some organizations treat recruiters like order takers, while others prioritize talent acquisition as central to the company’s success. 

Our most recent guest on High Growth Matters, Julie Farr-Voller, Head of Talent Acquisition at Dataminr, shared with us exactly which side of the fence is more conducive to hyper-growth. We discussed how her team has elevated recruiting into a strategic function over the last 2.5 years under her leadership and the role Talent Acquisition (TA) plays on a global scale.

This blog has been adapted from that conversation and covers:

  • TA as a strategic partner, not order-takers
  • Critical employee characteristics when expanding into new territories
  • Empowering employees during global expansion

Don’t miss the full episode: How To Make Talent Acquisition Strategic

Talent Acquisition as a strategic business partner, not an order-taker

TA plays a critical role in building a business because they ultimately have the power to shape the composition of a workforce. TA can ensure that great talent is filtered into your organization, but only when the team is utilized correctly. When TA's skills and abilities are dismissed and used as an end to a means, talent acquisition can be less reliable, resulting in shakier hires that might not necessarily align with the organization.

According to Julie, TA must operate as a strategic business partner, offering insights, expertise and well-informed opinions. 

“We don't work for the hiring team. We work with them,” Julie says. “My team is empowered to push back on hiring managers — we don’t hire for X, Y, Z. We offer thought leadership partnership.”

TA can be particularly strategic when hiring globally or expanding into new countries. These professionals are skilled at finding great talent and navigating the nuances of different locales and cultures.


Critical employee characteristics for those first on the ground

Recruiting on a global scale can be difficult, but finding the first few employees to build your brand in a new territory is extremely challenging. If the wrong people are placed in these first-feet-on-the-ground positions, it can result in brand failure and damage the organization’s reputation for future expansion.

According to Julie, before you even begin a candidate search, recruiters must deeply understand the nuances of the territory you are expanding into, so that recruiting can adapt the role, benefits and expectations to address the locality and attract top talent.

For example, many countries can require a minimum of 3 months for notice and longer for hiring, while others can have a new employee working within a few weeks. Countries such as Denmark place a high value on family, and employment packages must reflect that. Various countries also have different mandated benefits packages. Without understanding each nuance within your target country, you cannot effectively attract, hire and retain top-quality employees. 

Fortunately, you may be able to find the information you need within the workforce or networked connections you’ve already built.

“Talk to your people,” Julie says. “Use the recruiting expertise you already have on the international side.”

Once the intricacies of the new territory are clear, you can begin your search for the first employee at that location. This TA task will likely look much different than others — candidates that thrive in these roles have a particular set of skills and characteristics.

“You really need an entrepreneurial mindset — people that are up for the challenge,” Julie says. “They must have the desire to be part of the chaos of a start-up. There are highs and lows, and they must be okay with that.”

Julie shared in detail what it takes to recruit and expand a team globally — especially when it comes to recruiting the right first people in a new territory. Tune into the latest episode of High Growth Matters to learn more.


Empowering employees with transparency (even when it’s not mandated)

There is one primary key behind empowering employees, regardless of location or organization size — transparency.

According to Julie, her team at Dataminr focuses on being transparent about each location, brand, employee expectations and pay. When recruiting, Julie says each candidate goes through a recruiter screening process before truly jumping into the candidate pool.

“During that call, we’re very transparent around salary expectations,” She says. “Even where it’s not mandated, we practice pay transparency to ensure expectations are aligned.”

Want to learn more about pay ranges and salary bands to ensure your comp is competitive and equitable? OpenComp offers several compensation services to serve your expanding business.

While pay transparency is crucial for a successful and positive candidate and hiring experience, it shouldn’t end once an employee is onboarded, Julie says. Leaders should offer the same level of transparency to existing employees to take the brand value and turn it inward, increasing overall growth, satisfaction and retention.

Julie shares some potent ways that Dataminr empowers existing employees:

  • Straightforward career pathing and progression
  • Access to a professional development fund
  • Diversity and Inclusion team that fosters a sense of belonging and authenticity
  • Robust Employee Resource Group network

Behind these tools and resources, you must have strong core values shared across the organization, regardless of size or location. Enabling a TA team to act as a strategic business partner rather than handing them hiring orders can help guarantee alignment between employee and employer and increase the odds of success in the challenge of global expansion.

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To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to The High Growth Matters Podcast on our website, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or just search for The High Growth Matters Podcast in your favorite podcast player.