With Singapore experiencing a talent crunch, companies are grappling to hire software professionals. Insanely high salary expectations, demand for work from home or hybrid model, and flexible work hours are making it difficult for employers to onboard technical talent with the necessary skill sets.
In addition to the above, there is the age-old conflict between the recruiter and the hiring manager - who should have the final say in the candidate selection process? Who deserves the credit for a great hire and who is to be blamed for a wrong one?
To overcome these challenges, companies need to reevaluate their hiring process. This includes an improved recruitment screening and selection process and reassessment of the role talent acquisition professionals play.
- Talent professionals have access to hiring techniques and data
- Heads of Talent Acquisition can set realistic recruitment expectations
- Recruiters know where to find the right talent
- Talent leaders can help with external as well as internal hiring
- By screening for soft skills
- Make sure the candidate is a cultural fit
- Evaluate candidates for essential job-related skills
- Keep themselves up-to-date
Why the decisions of the Head of Talent Acquisition matter
In most organizations, the recruitment process is designed in such a way that the talent acquisition head isn’t the decision maker. Instead, the hiring manager is the person who has the final say in hiring a technical candidate.
However, with years of experience dealing with applicants with different traits, recruitment heads are particularly well-equipped with the relevant data and insights. Therefore, their advice can be extremely valuable in the candidate screening and selection process.
Below are the reasons why recruitment heads should play a key role in the candidate selection process:
1. Talent professionals have access to hiring techniques and data
The head of talent gathers a lot of candidate data during the recruitment screening and selection process. Due to their strong professional networks, they also have access to the kind of salary, perks, and work flexibility options that the competition is offering. They are aware of the degree to which flexible employment is in demand in each city, state, and workplace. They will also have a general idea when the candidate is in demand and when it is unfeasible. Hence, they are the right people to assist in workforce planning and help with a smooth transition to a diverseworkforce.
2. Heads of Talent Acquisition can set realistic recruitment expectations
Often, companies underestimate the time and effort required to find candidates with the necessary skill set. And the lack of technical talent only makes things harder. There are open positions that stay vacant for months. This results in delayed or unaccomplished business goals.
Recruiters can provide businesses with an estimate of how long it takes to fill positions in particular regions by using past data. Employers can make better selections with the help of those insights. The organization may opt to change its search criteria or shift the search to a new location if a hiring manager learns from the recruitment team that it regularly takes months to fill specific positions or roles that demand a specialized skillset.
Recruiters can study the previous candidate's behavior and pattern and proactively make recommendations to hiring managers.
3. Recruiters know where to find the right talent
Employers today are seeing the value of involving talent specialists early in the candidate recruitment and selection process. They know that recruiters can offer current information on talent pools locally and across geographies. While hiring managers might be adept at assessing a candidate’s technical expertise, it is the Head of Talent Acquisition that will bring those top candidates to the hiring manager.
There needs to be a strong collaboration between the recruiter and the hiring manager right from the beginning of the candidate selection process. The Head of Talent Acquisition’s insights and the hiring manager’s technical knowledge will enable the organization to find employees with the relevant technical and soft skills.
4. Talent leaders can help with external as well as internal hiring
When the companies can’t find technical talent from outside the organization, they might turn to internal hiring. In such an instance, the head of talent is well-positioned to make recommendations to the hiring managers about existing company employees who possess the relevant experience, background, and ambition to learn new skills. They collect a wealth of information during the employee assessment process such as an individual’s ambition, potential, development areas, and how they see themselves growing in the organization.
How can Talent Acquisition Head make the difference
1. By screening for soft skills
Onboarding the wrong employee can be an expensive mistake for any recruitment professional. However, this is a mistake that is unlikely to occur if all the stakeholders involved in the recruitment screening and hiring process work cohesively and think strategically.
Heads of Talent Acquisition should be clear on the role offered and the must-have and good-to-have skills for the job. To make a wise decision, they should also know the questions they should ask during the initial screening for soft skills. This also means that your job description should be crystal clear so that only relevant applicants apply for the role.
2. Make sure the candidate is a cultural fit
Hiring candidates based on their technical capability alone is not enough. An employee with strong technical skills but poor compatibility with company values will eventually turn out to be a bad hire. Thus, along with the required skills and qualifications, talent acquisition heads should also identify whether the candidates are aligned with the company values and culture. To make this assessment fruitful, organizations should define, assess or reassess their company values and communicate them effectively to employees and job candidates. The job description should convey the company culture and values.
Undoubtedly, having good culture fit and excellent soft skills are great to have. However, you have to keep in mind that you are hiring software professionals and they should undoubtedly be technically proficient. However, what is written on their resume may not necessarily reflect reality. As Head of Talent Acquisition, you need to verify if applicants are as good as they say they are by both asking them the right questions and testing their skills using technical assessment tools. You need to reject those whose resume looks impressive but in reality they lack the necessary technical knowledge and ability.
4. Keep themselves up-to-date
The world of tech is a fast-moving one. Programming languages can catch on overnight, and become obsolete just as swiftly. Instead of resting on their laurels, they should keep themselves apprised of the latest developments and up-to-date with the latest trends in tech recruitment. They should constantly upskill themselves to stay aligned with the changing recruitment trends. They should know which skills to look for in applicants. They must also have a list of questions that they should ask to understand a candidate’s skills, motivation, and values.
Heads of Talent Acquisition have so much to offer beyond searching and shortlisting candidates. They can play a strategic role in bringing the ideal candidate for the job and finding someone who has both the desired combination of hard and soft skills. They can also judge precisely which person will be a cultural fit for the company.
At the same time, talent professionals need to upskill themselves and understand the pivotal role they play in recruitment and workforce planning. They should be confident and have the clarity to convey their feedback for the candidates to the hiring managers.
Indeed, only by working collaboratively can Heads of Talent Acquisition and hiring managers deliver results to propel the organization forwards and to the next level.