SmartRecruiters Blog
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Where To Invest in Recruiter Training Now

With so many ways to get recruiting wrong, how do you get it right? The growing influence of talent acquisition suggests that investing in recruiter training is one way for organizations to set themselves up for success. Josh Bersin listed “Cherish your recruiters” among his top trends for 2023.  He wrote,

Stop seeing them as just salespeople, and more as trusted advisors who can help decide if a candidate fits your culture, and arm them with powerful tools for sourcing, assessment, and selling you as a brand.

Josh Bersin in

We agree! Here are four reasons why investing in recruiters is a good idea.

  1. Improve business outcomes. A Josh Bersin Company study found that companies that invest in their recruiting team are 4 times more likely to be leaders in innovation and 4.5 times more likely to achieve high levels of customer retention. That’s a compelling reason to invest in your recruiting team!
  2. Expanded skillsets increase agility. The current decade has shown that change is the only constant. In just a few years, we’ve gone from mass pandemic layoffs to a talent shortage during the Great Resignation and back to mass layoffs again. When recruiters have a wide variety of skills in their toolbox, recruiting organizations can adapt more quickly to market changes. A diversely-skilled recruiting team can switch between activities such as sourcing, employer brand development, or assessment strategies as needs arise. Broadly-skilled recruiters who are experts in all things hiring become trusted partners to the business and add long-term value to your organization.
  3. A positive influence on candidates. Recruiters are on the frontlines of your employer brand; they’re selling your employee experience to potential candidates every day. A dissatisfied recruiting team can influence candidates in subtle ways, while a disorganized hiring team can influence candidates in not-so-subtle ways. Investing in recruiters and elevating their position in the organization helps everyone align around a positive hiring experience–which should translate into a positive employee experience because the right people are in the right jobs.
  4. Strategic positioning for talent acquisition. Empowered recruiters empower their leaders with current market trends, insight into candidates’ mindsets, and data that can both uncover roadblocks to meeting business goals and chart a path to business success. A strong recruiting team shores up a team leader, strengthening the value of their seat at the table.

4 Keys to Investing in Recruiters

What does an organization that invests in its recruiters look like? We spoke with Allyn Bailey, Executive Director of Hiring Success Services at SmartRecruiters, to come up with four key criteria of organizations that invest in their recruiting teams.

  1. Time for upskilling. If recruiters are at 100% capacity, there’s no time left for training, experimentation, or open discussions that could lead to better processes and insights. Recruiters’ capacity needs to be taken into account before implementing any training program.
  2. Ongoing training. What, exactly, do your recruiters need to learn to stay up to date? And what do individual recruiters want to learn? Whether it’s a monthly training session on a new area of recruitment or access to the latest classes on LinkedIn Learning or Social Talent, recruiters are at their best when they feel empowered to learn and discuss what they learn with peers. At Doka, a global formwork and scaffolding company, quarterly trainings help keep recruiters up to date.
  3. Career pathing. As with any role in your organization, recruiters need to know about options for advancement. Career path options will help direct their learnings—and development check-ins will keep their newfound skills with you instead of without you at another company.
  4. Access to modern tools—and the ability to experiment. Advanced recruiting organizations pilot new tools when new situations arise and sunset old tools when they become too cumbersome. Investing in a flexible ecosystem for hiring enables recruiters to adapt to the market so that they can ensure a great candidate experience while attracting the most qualified talent in the current age, not an age long past.

Essential Skillsets for Recruiters in a Strategic TA Function

Expertise with activities such as sourcing, employer branding, and interviewing are a given in recruitment. Allyn Bailey drew our attention to three additional skill areas that will help your recruiting team shine in their ability to become strategic partners to the business. A seat at the table for a talent acquisition leader hinges on a recruitment team that’s good at these three things:

  1. Assessment process. Candidate assessment is the heart of the recruitment process. Exploring new ways to assess candidates through screening questions, AI- and game-based quantitative assessments, and capturing qualitative answers to interview questions helps recruiters strengthen their company’s ability to hire best-fit candidates. 
  2. Data expertise. Leading with data is a requirement for any strategic talent acquisition function. Recruiters need to be able to report on their own activities, contextualize results, and determine the next steps in an informed way. Those newer to reporting may need to start with understanding what data they need to collect to make decisions, how to collect that data, and how to manage that data effectively. Read 6 Steps to a Talent Acquisition Reporting Strategy to learn more.
  3. Talent analytics. Analytics backed up with labor market data allows recruiters to look across industries, skillsets, and locations to identify sources of talent. This type of intelligence is vital to operating a strategic TA function because it helps leaders come to the table with data-backed insights that can buck long-held assumptions.

A high-functioning recruiting team is just one aspect of leading a strategic TA function. For a deep dive into all the components, download our latest ebook, created in partnership with Allyn and the SmartRecruiters Hiring Success team.

Lee Ann Prescott

Content marketing lead for SmartRecruiters