Q&A: Building a Successful Talent Sourcing Strategy with Mehek Bhatia

Every week, we schedule our weekly 1:1 with our readers. Want to be featured in an upcoming edition? Click here to introduce yourself.

This week we’re in conversation with Mehek Bhatia, Account Manager-TA, at TopHire.co. We talk about the Setting up a Head-Hunting Team.

The interview is edited for length and clarity.

Q- How can companies effectively define talent requirements and establish clear objectives for deciding whether to have an in-house team or outsource their headhunting process?

From an talent advisory perspective, when it comes to hiring, there are two approaches for companies. In the early stages or when resources are limited, relying on referrals is crucial. Building a founding team requires identifying exceptional individuals who can contribute significantly to the company's growth. Referrals from trusted sources or connections within the network prove valuable in finding these "unicorns." As the team expands, the pressure to find top talent may ease, but hiring the best remains a priority. Outsourcing to an agency becomes an option when a company seeks to tap into a broader talent pool beyond personal networks. However, when forming a founding team, relying on referrals is typically preferred over outsourcing to ensure a solid foundation. Ultimately, the hiring strategy should align with the company's specific needs and available resources.

Q- What are the key steps involved in setting up a talent sourcing or a headhunting pool from scratch?

Setting up a talent sourcing or headhunting operation from scratch involves several key steps. Here are the main considerations:

1. Define your objectives: Determine the purpose and goals of your talent sourcing team. Understand the specific skills, experience, and qualities you are seeking in potential candidates.

2. Acquire a growth mindset: Look for individuals who possess a growth mindset, meaning they are willing to go the extra mile to learn new skills and adapt. This quality is crucial in a rapidly evolving industry like HR and recruitment.

3. Assess hard and soft skills: Evaluate candidates' previous experience and expertise in relevant fields, such as working with specific companies or handling recruitment process outsourcing (RPO). While hard skills are important, also pay attention to soft skills like enthusiasm, drive, and willingness to contribute to the team's goals.

4. Adapt and expand criteria over time: As your team and operation grow, the criteria for hiring may evolve. While enthusiasm is important at the beginning, as the team matures, the focus may shift more towards tangible accomplishments and proven skills.

Remember, these steps provide a general framework, and you should tailor your approach based on your specific industry and organizational needs.

Q- What are some effective strategies for building a strong Talent Network and pipeline to support the sourcing for headhunting efforts?

Building a strong Talent Network and pipeline for headhunting efforts requires effective strategies for identifying and approaching passive candidates. Here are some practices to consider:

1. Actively engage on social media: Being active on platforms like LinkedIn can help in building your professional network. Interacting with industry professionals, sharing relevant content, and participating in discussions can increase your visibility and attract potential candidates.

2. Expand your network beyond your immediate industry: Connect with professionals across various industries, not just limited to your specific field. This broader network can provide access to diverse talent and unexpected opportunities.

3. Focus on quality over quantity: When approaching passive candidates, take the time to build rapport and pitch your company effectively. Tailor your messaging to their interests and needs, showcasing the value and growth potential your organization offers.

4. Switch into "sell mode" for unicorn candidates: If you come across a standout candidate who seems like an excellent fit, switch gears and actively sell your company. Create a compelling case for why they should consider joining your organization, highlighting its unique selling points and growth prospects.

5. Leverage referrals and personal connections: Utilize your existing network and encourage referrals from colleagues, friends, and industry professionals. Recommendations from trusted sources can attract high-quality passive candidates who may not be actively seeking new opportunities. The talent pool you build with these passive candidates can be utilized for long-term hiring requirements

6. Maintain long-term relationships: Building a talent network requires nurturing relationships over time. Stay in touch with potential candidates, even if they are not currently interested in making a move. Regular communication and periodic check-ins can keep you top of mind when they are ready to explore new opportunities.

Q- What are the success stories that people want to learn from? What key metrics do talent sourcing teams track to measure their impact and success within the organization?

When measuring the success or impact of a talent-sourcing team, there are several key metrics and practices to consider:

1. Number of hires: This is the most tangible metric that directly shows the team's ability to convert candidates into successful hires. Tracking the number of hires attributed to the sourcing efforts provides a clear measure of impact.

2. Time-to-fill: This metric measures the time it takes from initiating the sourcing process to filling the position. A shorter time to fill indicates efficiency and effectiveness in identifying and attracting qualified candidates.

3. Candidate quality: Evaluating the quality of candidates sourced is crucial. This can be assessed by measuring the percentage of candidates who advance to subsequent stages of the hiring process, their fit with the role and company culture, and the feedback received from hiring managers.

4. Candidate satisfaction: Tracking candidate satisfaction and experience throughout the sourcing and hiring process is essential. Collecting feedback from candidates can help identify areas for improvement and provide insights into the team's effectiveness in building relationships and providing a positive candidate experience.

5. Hiring manager satisfaction: It's important to gauge the satisfaction of hiring managers with the candidates presented by the talent sourcing team. Regular communication and feedback from hiring managers can help measure their perception of the team's effectiveness and ability to deliver suitable candidates.

6. Diversity metrics: Assessing the team's success in sourcing diverse candidates is crucial for promoting inclusion and diversity within the organization. Tracking diversity metrics, such as the percentage of diverse candidates in the pipeline and hires, can help measure progress and identify areas for improvement.

7. Cost per hire: Analyzing the cost incurred to acquire each new hire can provide insights into the efficiency of the sourcing process. This metric considers expenses related to sourcing channels, tools, and resources used by the team.

8. Employee retention: While not directly attributable to the talent sourcing team, monitoring employee retention rates can indirectly reflect the quality of hires made. Higher retention rates suggest successful sourcing and recruitment efforts.

Overall, a comprehensive evaluation of the talent sourcing team's impact should consider both quantitative and qualitative metrics, focusing not only on the number of hires but also on the overall candidate and hiring experience, diversity, and long-term success of the hires.

Q- What should be done when a candidate backs out before onboarding? Should backup candidates be considered during the pre-boarding period, or is it recommended to explore other options?

1. Clear communication: Maintaining open and transparent communication with candidates and hiring managers throughout the entire process is crucial. Setting clear expectations, providing timely updates, and offering feedback, even if it's a rejection, can contribute to a positive candidate experience and help build a good reputation for the talent sourcing team.

2. Continuous improvement: Regularly evaluating and analyzing the talent sourcing process is important for identifying areas of improvement. Collect feedback from both candidates and hiring managers to understand their perspectives and identify any pain points or areas where the process can be enhanced.

3. Training and support: Providing training and support to the talent sourcing team members can help them improve their skills and reach their targets. Offering guidance, resources, and mentorship can contribute to their professional development and overall success in attracting and sourcing top talent.

4. Collaboration with stakeholders: Foster strong relationships with hiring managers and other stakeholders involved in the recruitment process. Collaborate closely with them to understand their needs, align sourcing strategies, and ensure a smooth and efficient hiring process.

5. Stay updated: Keep up with industry trends, best practices, and emerging sourcing techniques. This will help you stay ahead of the competition and adapt your approach to attract top talent effectively.

Do you work in HR? Email janhavi.jain@springworks.in and Let’a Talk!

Powered by beehiiv