If ever two teams should work closely together, it’s talent acquisition (TA) and the C-Suite, because simply put: You are who you hire. Unfortunately, however, it doesn’t always work out that way.
Silos exist in many organizations. And when TA is left to operate without close integration with company leadership or the goals of the organization, this can inadvertently contribute further to divides that might already exist across departments.
Organizations that know who they are and hire accordingly are better positioned to avoid this issue, presenting a united front to candidates and employees.
Take Amazon, for example. Almost everything Amazon does reflects its leadership principles. CEO Jeff Bezos likes this kind of meritocracy, famously publishing the company’s three guiding interview questions in a letter to shareholders back in 1998.
Here’s what other organizations can learn from this level of alignment:
The C-Suite side
Let’s start by unpacking the C-Suite’s role in this relationship. As mentioned earlier, TA represents the heart of the business: the people. And just who is responsible for the success these people bring to the organization? That’s right — the C-Suite.
Ultimately, organizations aren’t about the product or thing they do. They’re about the people and the story they tell. Tesla is an excellent example of this, as a company made famous for its electric vehicles.
The thing to note here is that Tesla didn’t invent the electric car. Heck, they weren’t even the first to market — William Morris of Des Moines, Iowa beat them to the punch nearly 130 years ago.
The company’s fame comes partly from its marketing, from teams of people who worked hard to differentiate Tesla and make it seem chic, even without a paid advertising budget.
There is a direct correlation between the work people do, and how quickly an organization can meet its business objectives — something that the C-Suite can easily visualize.
But helping them understand the strength of this connection takes additional work: Drilling down to show the potential overlap of operations and accounting, IT and customer service and so on. Organizations that get the power of the bonds built by TA tend to get other things right, too, ultimately creating an employer brand that’s both in-demand and authentic.
The Talent Acquisition side
TA comes at the C-Suite from a different perspective. They want the experience of the C-Suite’s leaders. They want to collaborate around when, why and how the organization hires. They’re looking for insight around what’s already there, what’s working and what’s not.
Sure, the individual hiring managers can provide some of this information — but what TA needs is the 30,000-foot view. They need to know how the people that they’re recruiting and hiring are serving the organization’s overall business needs. Are these the right people doing the work?
TA inherently understands the value that people bring to the organization. But without a line of sight into the collective impact of these hires, they’re bound to continue the same strategy. That won’t serve anyone in the long run.
Reaching across the aisle gives TA the power to make smarter decisions, while bringing the C-Suite into the process.
As a result, TA gains the higher-level information it needs to improve and advance, and the C-Suite learns who does the work. And rather than stay locked away in an ivory tower, the C-Suite moves front and center, just like CEO Tony Hsieh’s desk at Zappos – right in the middle of all the action.
Bridging the gap between talent acquisition and the C-Suite works to knit the organization together. It prioritizes intent and feedback, involvement and alignment. It keeps teams close, emphasizing the people who drive the organization forward — rather than the people overseeing only the outcomes.
There’s more to success than the numbers you see at the end of the quarter, and it’s important to remember the hours of work that go into creating those numbers (for better or worse).
Through the symbiotic relationship between talent acquisition and the C-Suite, the C-Suite benefits from embodying their workforce, personifying the values and ideals it expects of the employees that TA hires.
That also helps to make TA a directive of the C-Suite, one that goes beyond functional competency to promote your culture and employer brand — a win for everyone involved.
William Tincup is the President of RecruitingDaily. At the intersection of HR and technology, he’s a writer, speaker, advisor, consultant, investor, storyteller & teacher. Find him on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.
The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Indeed.