4 Trends Driving Proactive Talent Acquisition

We at Teamable hosted Medallia’s Head of Global Talent Acquisition, Mike Podobnik and hirepool’s co-founder, Erin Wilson for a webinar discussing the Trends Driving Proactive Talent Acquisition. This blog post will review the major takeaways from their conversation. The full webinar is available on demand: The 4 Trends Driving Proactive Talent Acquisition.

In many organizations today, talent acquisition functions as a tactical, on-demand service that is initiated by hiring managers and plays a largely supportive role. This state of affairs represents a huge missed opportunity and belies a transformative change that is being driven by forward-looking talent professionals.

In this blog post we’ll explore the forces changing the recruiting profession and how leading teams are responding to and embracing them.

The Transformation of HR and Recruiting

  1. An Employee-Centric Approach

Historically, employees were viewed as the replaceable part of a business operation. Today, in a service-based economy that is driven by intellectual property and knowledge sharing, nothing could be further from the truth. Companies whose employees build, sell, and deliver the products and services that are the revenue drivers of the business have responded by transitioning from an employer to an employee-centric model.

Technology has enabled HR and recruiting teams to deliver responsive, personalized, and user-centric experiences to candidates and employees. However, technology has also enabled suboptimal behaviors. Social networks and outreach automation has allowed recruiters to spam in-demand candidates with irrelevant messaging and misaligned opportunities. This serves as a reminder that a turn to an employee-centric model supported by technology also requires recruiting leaders to upskill their teams. In many industries competition for talent is so intense that recruiting leaders have to ensure that the processes and approach build your employer brand and don’t tarnish it.

  1. A New HR Delivery Model

Today’s recruiters have access to data and insights that didn’t exist or were cost-prohibitive even a decade ago. Now talent professionals can get an accurate read on the talent pool in their geo and make educated planning decisions about the company’s ability to deliver on product deadlines and sales growth. This access to data is driving a shift in the talent profession from being a reactive to a strategic function and from a cost center to a revenue driver for the business.

It’s no longer enough for talent professionals to play an administrative role. In competitive industries, the talent organization becomes as strategic as product and sales in recognizing market trends, opportunities, and threats in an organization’s ability to build and bring their product to market. Helping set and align company goals across teams has to be a key component of any recruiting team as they are now a vital part of a an organization’s ability to execute on strategic goals.

Executing On a Modern Talent Paradigm

  1. The Values and Culture of Talent Acquisition

All great companies and teams have a set of values that define their culture and guide their decision-making on a day-to-day basis. For recruiting teams these frameworks are even more vital as the hiring decisions they drive have an outsized impact on the strategic direction, tactical execution, and cultural trajectory of a company. Adhering to a set of values is not easy when we recognize that the value and culture goals driven by a talent team often create difficult discussion and come at odds with the hiring needs of a team and the functional skill sets of a candidate.

This is why for any set of values to be effective they have to be clear, simple, and ingrained in every part of the hiring and talent acquisition process. Ensuring that existing employees and new hires alike will champion your organization’s values and drive the business forward is difficult under the best or circumstances and only harder when connected to painful vacancies.

However difficult it is to define and adhere to a set of cultural values, the consequences of consistently compromising on them is even higher. Case studies from startups to billion-dollar corporations show the negative impact of brilliant jerks, toxic culture, and compromised employer brands on a company’s ability to remain commercially viable.

  1. Driving Accountability

Talent execution often comes down to ownership and a big missing component has been pushing accountability all the way through from the department leader to to the hiring manager. Driving accountability beyond the talent acquisition team decentralizes decision-making and fosters conversations in team meetings, raising hiring as a priority across the organization.

For hiring teams struggling with tough plans, driving full engagement throughout the organization is one of the only ways to ensure that aggressive goals are met. It also drives communication, information sharing, and alignment. Team-wide conversations about hiring priorities help identify and clarify company-wide needs, redundancies, and priorities.

  1. Productizing Talent

Modern talent acquisition leaders need to act as product managers and see hiring managers as their clients. This means that recruiters can no longer blindly accept requests for open requisitions. It’s vital to implement a process of due diligence and a culture of information sharing to understand the real needs of the organization and how a team’s particularly requests fits with the broader strategy of the business, the existing budget, and the availability of talent in the market place.

This process will help hiring managers and department heads make the right hiring decisions to allow the company to pursue its vision and strategy. It will certainly bring up disagreements and difficult resource allocation decisions, but if done correctly it will also allow your company to take hiring from a monthly and quarterly plan to multi-year strategy.


It is an exciting and challenging time to be a part of the recruiting profession. As talent acquisition develops into a strategic, standalone function within HR the responsibility of being data-driven and aligning efforts across complex organizations will only increase. The proactive talent acquisition model is the future and we’re glad it is!

If you’d like to hear the full conversation between Mike Podobnik and Erin Wilson you can listen to the full webinar: The 4 Trends Driving Proactive Talent Acquisition.  

Recent posts

Ready to fulfill your team?

Achieve your business's strategic goals by building the perfect team with Teamable's complete talent solution