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| 2 minutes read

The Strategic Recruiter

‘Talent Advisor’.  ‘Strategic Partner’.  ‘Talent Consultant’.  Whatever title you want to give it, organizations are expecting recruiters to function in a different capacity than what has traditionally been the norm. Whereas, historically, the role of the recruiter had been to find, attract, and screen candidates as well as shepherd the interview process and negotiate offers, now they are expected to be ‘ambassadors of the brand’, bring ‘market insights’ to bear, and ‘amass talent pools in advance of need’.

In the talent-scarce world in which we must operate, I think this shift in recruiter accountabilities is positive and one which will give organizations moving in this direction an advantage in today’s competitive market for talent.  That said, companies cannot simply drop these new responsibilities into the laps of their recruiters without addressing three critical elements which will enable the success of this new role.

Skill:  As the titles suggest, these new accountabilities elevate the role of the recruiter from tactical to strategic.  Organizations must determine the skills required for this new role and take inventory of the skill level of each of the recruiters on the current talent acquisition team to identify gaps.  From there, the gaps need to be addressed through training, reallocation of resources, or replacement.  Additionally, compensation may need to be considered as one might expect that this elevated role warrants an increase in pay.

Capacity:  A mistake I see too many companies make is that these new responsibilities become additive to a recruiter’s existing workload.  If a recruiter is expected to be 100% dedicated to ‘filling jobs’ and their performance is measured, in part, on this productivity, how can they possibly meet these goals if they are given additional, strategic responsibilities which reduces their capacity to ‘fill jobs’ to something less than 100%?  Organizations must either find ways to open capacity to absorb new, strategic responsibilities (technology can help with this) or adjust the goals by which recruiters’ performance is measured. 

Tools:  In order for a recruiter to achieve success in this new role, s/he must be provided with the necessary tools to bring value.  This is where technology plays a major part in enabling recruiters to showcase strategic capabilities.  If the expectation is to ‘bring market insights to bear’, how can a recruiter do so without access to an analytics platform such as LinkedIn Insights, Gartner’s Talent Neuron, or Claro Analytics?  If the business wants recruiters to build relationships with candidates to ‘amass talent in advance of need’ how can this be done well without a robust candidate relationship management (CRM) platform such as Avature, Phenom or Beamery?  These are just two examples of technologies which will bring the ‘strategic recruiter ‘concept to life.  More strategic accountabilities will require additional tools.

This change in the role of the recruiter represents a dynamic shift in the talent acquisition operating model.  As recruiters take on these new responsibilities, adjustments to the roles of other elements of the model may need to be made.  This is the future of the recruiter.   Ensure you take the steps necessary to make these new ways of working successful.

Companies cannot simply drop these new responsibilities into the laps of their recruiters without addressing three critical elements which will enable the success of this new role.


candidate attraction, diversity equity inclusion, employer brand, future of work, recruiter skilling, reskilling, talent acquisition