Can an external recruiter really partner effectively with an internal Talent team? I’ve questioned this on so many occasions.

I’ve spent many years providing targeted recruitment campaign work to leading software start-ups and the trend over the past few years is for even the rawest VC backed software company to build out an internal Talent team as soon as possible. Initially, as a supplier to this fast-paced market, I was nervous, thinking “damn (or another expletive), now we have to compete with an internal

For a while I kept seeing these Talent teams as the competition, driven by a desire to cut us out of the game. I feared they had an agenda so hell-bent on cost savings that they were not just the competition, they were the enemy at our gates.

Then, with a pause and a moment for reflection, it became apparent that I shouldn’t view the TA teams as an obstacle but as a partner. The software industry desperately needed better QA and recruitment best practice. To attract talent in the already overly noisy market was a challenge all vendors faced whether large or small and in the main this was being left to Hiring Managers, Execs who simply didn’t have the time to fully engage a candidate through a journey. It is this journey that is the most important factor in attracting talent (it never really comes down to a few K on salary).

I realised that no matter how ’embedded’ we were with our clients we were never a true representation of them, that we didn’t have the same impact and ability to nurture a candidate through a process of what I describe as pre-onboarding. So, having this specialist in-house skill to partner with, whose primary focus was attraction and engagement of talent, was win win. The TA teams we work with understand the value we can bring in acting as a qualified extension of their activities. And by turn, we see their role in the ‘candidate journey’ process as mission critical. The best TA teams see that our reach and approach, and commitment to transparent processes can accelerate their time to market, whilst enhancing brand enormously.

So, with a positive outlook I now embrace working with TA teams. Not all mind, as there are still some that don’t grasp the partner first approach, that still see us as the ‘enemy’ (I’ll try and address this in a future post). But I’ve had some great TA team experiences, and long may it continue….

Anthony Little