Bridging the Gap Between HR & the Rest of the Business

I hear it all the time as a Talent Acquisition Consultant & Advisor. When talking with HR/Talent leaders about their Talent strategy and how it aligns to the larger corporate goals & objectives, there is often a gap — a big gap. In fact, in most cases the Talent strategy is not factored into or aligned with corporate objectives at all, creating gaps in HR’s ability to effectively to deliver on the strategy and leaving C-level executives frustrated that the overall business objectives & growth initiatives are potentially missed – in large part due to talent issues, or more importantly, lack of talent.

Last year, I co-authored a white paper on how the importance of aligning the HR/Talent strategy to the broader corporate objectives. Without alignment, HR is often left out of the corporate discussions & budget planning to ensure growth and success & the ability to fund hiring initiatives suffers. As a result, the critical support needed to deliver on open positions and the ability to find the right talent pool often falls short.

CEOs identified talent supply and retention as their No. 1 “hot button” issue in 2016, and talent shortages are cited as one of the primary constraints on corporate growth.

This issue was also examined in a recent Forbes publication, “Are You There, HR? It’s Me, Business.” In it author Sylvia Vorhauser-Smith points out the steady decline of the “human” side of HR and the continual shift to reliance on technology in order to fill the talent gap. However, I would argue that this isn’t necessarily a strategic move – as she eludes to in her article. If anything, the heavy reliance on technology can create more gaps in the talent strategy, as the technology (in most cases an Applicant Tracking System) is only as good as the recruitment process that has been put in place. Without the right process, the ATS becomes a “catch all” for job applicants, but it doesn’t necessarily drive the right candidates through the process. In order to create a successful recruitment and talent strategy, three things need to occur.

First and foremost, HR has to have a seat at the Executive table and play a role in the corporate objectives. If the HR objectives align to the corporate objectives, more times than not, a company is going to have success and drive growth.

Second, HR has to have a flexible, strategic hiring strategy in place to respond to the changing demands of the business throughout the year. This is often a combination of the right recruitment technology, internal recruitment support, and augmented support through a trusted recruitment partner.

Finally, HR has to fight for the necessary funds and budget needs in order to make their strategy successful. Often times when a company starts to lose financial momentum, HR is the first to feel the pain through budget cuts & restraints. By restricting HR’s ability to find and hire the right talent to drive growth – in essence a company is stunting it’s growth. HR has to stay strategic in their conversations with company executives, no matter what.