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How to build a great Talent Acquisition team

There is a clear correlation between the level of talent on your Talent Acquisition team and the level of talent in your company. So if you believe that talent will be an important differentiator for your business in the future, building a very strong Talent Acquisition department should be a top priority.

These are some of the things we look for when we recruit for my team.

Communication and listening skills

All recruiters communicate all day long. Great recruiters know how to adapt communication to the situation and communicate equally well with candidates, hiring managers and the wider HR team. You have to be able to listen and take in data, but also to adjust messaging to different candidates when you’re sourcing. You must be able to package and present the right information to stakeholders (not too much and not too little!), build great relationships with your organization and stay aligned with its needs. Members of a great recruiting team share knowledge with each other naturally and unforced.

Self leadership

Recruiters are usually rather busy. Great recruiters are busy doing the tasks that will create the most value for the company. You have to be able to prioritize and manage your time. You need to know when to say no and where to go that extra mile. Of all the attributes you need as a recruiter, understanding what to prioritize might be the most difficult thing. This competency comes from experience in understanding all elements related to recruitment, and often takes some time to achieve.

Curiosity about the organization

Great recruiters understand the business they partner with support. The better your understanding of the organization and its business, the better you will be at prioritizing, finding the right candidates, and understanding what information is the most relevant to relay back to your stakeholders. But most importantly: if you don’t understand your organization and where it’s going you will always be one step behind it. We don’t have time to be one step behind.  

True talent expertise

Good recruiters understand all parts of talent acquisition. Great recruiters can explain it to their stakeholders. At any given time you need to be able to act as your organization’s talent expert, to educate and advise them on talent matters. Use your position as the expert to create value and help your organization move forward!

Analytic & storytelling skills

A good recruiter understands the data. A great recruiter also draw the right conclusions from it and uses that as input for change. Great recruiters use storytelling so stakeholders that don’t have the same deep knowledge of recruitment data can understand the scenario, own it, and tell the story to others. Your analytics and storytelling skills will give your ideas wings and change will happen faster.

Collaboration skills – One HR!

A good recruiter works well with other recruiters. A great recruiter works well with the entire HR department, because Talent Acquisition efforts need to be aligned with the entire HR department, not just the other recruiters. You have to understand what part everyone else is playing, and support them. That way you’ll never make mistakes like make a promise that breaks the mobility policies, or give offers out of range. Better cooperation means fewer mistakes and cases of do-over. Recruiters in our team are HR Professionals, nothing else.

And finally – putting the team first

In the end, it all comes back to our leaders’ ability to build a group with the right composition and dynamics. Building a team is not only about the skills of each individual, but also about how they play together. A soccer team of 11 left-backs and nothing else will not be a great team even if they are the best left-backs in the world. Team first. Always team first!


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