How to Be a Talent Advisor

Good news.  At Recruiting Toolbox, we’ve listened to hiring managers at hundreds of companies in 20+ countries, and almost ALL of them want their recruiters to step up and play more of a Talent Advisor role.  Bad news – it doesn’t “just happen.”  It takes real work and courage.  Below are free recruiter resources to help ensure you’re going beyond an order taker to play a more strategic role around recruiting strategies, process leadership, insights, and education.

Self diagnose: Am I doing the things Talent Advisors do?

First, review the difference between a transactional recruiter and a Talent Advisor.  Second, download this self-diagnostic to see where you have the biggest opportunities along eight dimensions used to evaluate talent advisor capabilities. And third, check out this blog post to learn about five signals that indicate you’re already functioning as a talent advisor.

Talent Advisor Diagnostic Tool
Quick Insight - Click Here

Reframe Your Thinking

Second, read a few key articles that’ll help you reframe how you think about your role.

Third, watch some recorded presentations filled with free recruiter resources to help you learn how to be a Talent Advisor.  A lot of this is focused on strategy and being strategic – but it’s done in a way that’s more realistic for a practitioner like you (versus some high-level consultant’s or academic’s recommendations).

At Recruiting Toolbox, we see recruiters as so much more than req fillers.  We’re on a mission to elevate our profession so that we’re all operating as Talent Advisors.

John Vlastelica, our founder, delivered a bunch of #1 rated presentations at conferences like LinkedIn TalentConnect, SourceCon, ERE, Unleash/HR Tech Europe, and RecFest, where he shares very practical best practices that he’s personally leveraged as a corporate recruiting professional plus best practices leveraged by Recruiting Toolbox clients. Warning: These presentations are PG-13 – he swears, sometimes a lot, so if kids are watching, wear headphones!

click to open

What is a Talent Advisor Infographic
Quick Insight - Click Here

How to be a
Strategic Talent
Acquisition Pro

How to Give Hiring Managers
what they Really Want:
Speed and Quality

How to Move From
Note-Taker to Leader in
Seven Critical Conversations

Talent Advisor Training for Corporate Recruiters

Custom Training

by Recruiting Toolbox

“I learned I needed to be even more strategic and consultative with my hiring managers, and – most importantly – how to do that. This wasn’t preachy training by some outside “expert.” You can tell he’s been in our shoes, and knows what it takes to help us elevate our roles. I can use the stuff I learned today!”

Sr. Recruiter, Expedia

Free recruiter resource: Recruiting Future podcast for talent advisors
Free recruiter resource: The Shortlist podcast for talent advisors

Talent Advisor Podcasts

How about some audio-only best practices?  Check out these podcast episodes that focus on hiring manager engagement and talent advising.

Setting Expectations

To effectively operate as a Talent Advisor, you have to be able to set and manage expectations, and then push-back when hiring managers are being unrealistic, right? Check out our advice on how to lead some key conversations with hiring managers.

Resources to bring external market insights into your hiring manager conversations:

Want more tools?  Check out what our own Principal Consultant Carmen Hudson has curated for you at RecruiterHunt.

Talent Advisor Training for Corporate Recruiters

Custom Training

by Recruiting Toolbox

“Feedback on the workshop was hugely positive. It was a fantastic refresh for some, new skills for others, but each person walked away from the workshop realizing that they can be better tomorrow as a recruiter than they were today because of this training.”

Electronic Arts

Leading the Interview Process

So much focus in talent acquisition is on sourcing.  In fact, ask a hiring manager what the root issues are to their problems, and you’ll hear “more candidates” 75% of the time.  But we know that to make great hires, we need to put just as much strategy into our interview process as our sourcing approach. Check out these resources below to get more strategic about the way you build and lead your interview process.

Misalignment is the root of all evil in recruiting. Alignment work is strategic work.
Free Recruiter Resource: The Hiring Manager Maturity Model

Are our Hiring Managers effective?

We’ve trained and led focus groups with thousands of hiring managers all over the world. As part of that work, we’ve seen hiring managers range from passive participants in an interviewing process who are quick to complain to full-on talent champions, leading workaround candidate attraction, interviewing strategy, diversity, selling, and training. What is the makeup of your hiring manager community? How do you make your hiring managers better? Check out The Hiring Manager Maturity Model to evaluate your current mix and identify how to create a culture of recruiting, where everyone operates as an extension of the recruiting team, for your company.

John Vlastelica: The 5 biggest lessons I learned from my smartest hiring managers

Our founder, John Vlastelica, recently shared 5 of the biggest lessons he learned from his smartest hiring managers while working as a TA leader at companies like Amazon and Expedia. You can either read the blog post, written by the host, Social Talent, outlining what he shared, or listen to the conversation with Johnny Campbell live, on the video here on this page.

Get curious.  Really curious.

Great Talent Advisors are curious.  And that curiosity makes them more valuable, more interesting, more insightful, and more aligned to the business needs. John Vlastelica wrote this article for LinkedIn’s Talent Blog, where he makes the case that curiosity may be the most important characteristic of great recruiters, and shares some of the key questions every recruiter should ask to get smarter.

How do we keep getting smarter?  Here are suggested blogs and newsletters to read to stay sharp on all things talent and business:

  • Global Technology, Startup, and Industry Updates, CB Insights

Non-talent-focused conference recommendations:

Free Talent Advisor Resources

Talent Conference recommendations (these conferences tend to focus on the hiring manager relationship more than others):

A Seat at The Table

It’s been the goal for recruiters for 30 years.  And Talent Advisors have earned that seat.  In this article, our friend and client, Amy Schultz in Australia, is featured by LinkedIn for her out of the box thinking about the idea of the table.  Are we now the table?

Stop Doing These 3 Things If You Want to Be Seen as a Talent Advisor by Hiring Managers

I have good news and bad news to share.

Good news, first. If you’re a corporate recruiter, I can say with pretty good confidence that most of your hiring managers want you to show up as a Talent Advisor. There’s pull — the business wants a strategic partner in you, they’re eager to partner, and they need a partner.

Now, the bad news.

We do all kinds of things that negatively impact the perception our business leaders have of us as a Talent Advisor. I’ll share three examples — all requiring small changes — that will have a big impact on how you’re seen by hiring managers.

Try harder is not a strategy

Looking for more Talent Advisor
best practices?

Hope you enjoyed all the free recruiter resources above! Looking for more best practices? Sign up to get our every week-or-two posts from our blog, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and connect with us on LinkedIn to get updates on best practice white papers, how-to guides, presentation content, and webinars/podcasts we like or produce.

Attend a big recruiting conference in the US or Europe, and it’s very possible someone from our team will be presenting there. We’ve delivered keynotes at conferences like Sourcecon, ERE, Recfest, Unleash/HR Tech, Smart Resourcing London, and Talent42, and regularly present breakout sessions at other regional and global events, including LinkedIn TalentConnect. So, if you’re planning to attend, ping us on Twitter to let us know you’ll be there!

If you’re part of a corporate recruiting team with at least 12 recruiters, check out our custom-built Talent Advisor training. It’s been leveraged by hundreds of recruiters at all kinds of companies, including Recruiting Toolbox client companies like Disney, Target, TripAdvisor, Nike, USAA, Hulu, Nestle, Salesforce, Autodesk, Activision, Thoughtworks, Northrop Grumman, Google X, and Atlassian.

If you’re part of a smaller team, or work as a solo recruiter, we have some of our best Talent Advisor training content online, available to purchase through our online training partner. It’s also good for companies with massive scale – companies like Intel, Uber, Oracle, IBM, and hundreds of other companies love our online Talent Advisor content. Contact us to learn more.

And, if you’re thinking – this is GREAT, but let’s say I’m operating as a Talent Advisor – now how do I get my hiring managers to be better at their jobs? We got you. Check out our guide to interviewing, and then check out our custom hiring manager training. 50% of our business is helping companies define their hiring standards/bar, and then building custom hiring manager training workshops, with a focus on sourcing and engagement, interviewing and selection, selling and candidate experience, diversity and inclusion, process leadership and speed, and more. Learn more about why companies like PepsiCo, Starbucks, Booking, Epic Games, Nubank, Dolby, Pokemon, Electronic Arts, Pinterest, and Target engage us – and trust us – to train their hiring managers and interviewers.