Insanity, Indulgences and Reflection; Tips To Assess Talent Acquisition

The most dichotomous month of all the great months is December. The Yin vs. Yang of the human experience comes out in great force.

The Yin

December is the month of insanity: including cramming 8 weeks of year-end work in one month and making sure all your friends get a swell photo card of your kids posing with a Christmas goose.

December is the month of indulgences: including stuffing your face in a loaf of pumpkin bread or pouring that extra shot in your eggnog.

The Yang

In an interesting twist of fate December is also a great time of reflection. December is a time (sometimes bittersweet) where we naturally assess both our blessings and failings of the current year. We embrace both nostalgia and the future.  It’s a natural inclination, perhaps set in our very DNA.

Since this is a natural month of reflection it is also the perfect time to reflect on your talent acquisition efforts, your team, and your successes. It’s a time to assess your great wins and failings. In addition it’s a time to embrace the standards of our profession in tandem to the future of a great new world of work.

Here are some things to keep in mind as you reflect on your talent acquisition work:

  1. Audit your team like you would audit an individual. Talent acquisition is a people business. So before you get out your clipboard with standard measures of success, look at your team’s successes holistically including from an individual team member standpoint.
  1. Reflect on the value your team felt they brought. The Marcus Buckingham Company says there are two questions you need to ask your team to assess engagement: On a scale of 1-5, did you work within your strengths this week; On a scale of 1-5, how much value did you provide last week. The answers to these questions are powerful.
  1. Get a little Zen with it. Assessing metrics is important (see last bullet point), but this is the time to also reflect on what your team’s passion and purpose is. People naturally excel in areas they are passionate about. Passion puts people in their “flow”. Purpose ties work to a greater good, a meaningful outcome. This too compels humans to work in their “flow”. Flow = accelerated results and more engagement from your team.
  1. Reflect on how well your team connects with others. And I mean all others (candidates, hiring managers, other recruiters). Here are two Deloitte surveys that may inspire you to focus on connection: The Global Human Capital Trends Survey 2016 and The 2016 Millennial Survey (Winning Over The Next Generation Of Leaders).
  1. Use a Net Promoter Score (NPS) to measure how loyal your stakeholders are to your talent acquisition team. NPS measures loyalty. Not satisfaction. Not execution. LOYALTY. Lack of loyalty is a sign of neglect. If someone is loyal to you (or your team) they will go to the ends of the earth for you. If a hiring manager is loyal to you, you’ve hit nirvana.
  1. Reflect On A 21st Century Team. This starts with technology. HR Technology includes Human Capital Management Systems, Talent Acquisition Platforms, Performance Suites, Analytics Software, Video Interviewing Platforms. I’ve written on this many, many times. These help save time and connect people. If you haven’t invested in technology, I just don’t even know what to say. It’s bad. It turns candidates off and makes modern workers cringe. And some tech is cheap. Money isn’t an excuse anymore.
  1. Reflect on your social presence. You never have a second time to make a first impression. Many first impressions come from your social footprint, including what people say about your company online. What do candidates say about you? Do current employees recommend you publicly? Do you have a social presence? The #1 reason someone believes your company is worth a look is because someone has recommended it.
  1. Reflect on Insanity. Where on the insanity scale did your team fall? I think some insanity is really good. It pushes your limits, stretches your abilities, gets results. However, there is a tipping point. Let’s not breed the gang from One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest please.
  1. Reflect on Indulgences. How much fun did your team have over the year? Did you schedule time to have fun, to celebrate wins, to get to know one another better?
  1. Reflect on all your standard metrics. Are they the right ones, do they measure items that push your company forward? You know the drill.

So, as December proves, there is a yin and yang to everything. Hopefully this list will help you achieve a holistic view of your team’s abilities, needs, and successes. Then after you reflect a while on this – go to your pantry, pull out that rum/brandy/bourbon and enjoy your eggnog.

This post is sponsored by the recruiting pros at Jobvite, who, each month, let FOT write about a topic that will help recruiters raise their games via continuing education. Be on the lookout later this month for the FOT video series called “No Scrubs”—also brought to you by

FOT Background Check

Dawn Burke
Dawn Burke is an HR Leader, speaker and writer, specializing in new HR practices, engagement and workplace culture.  Her HR career has spanned the last 20 years, most recently serving as VP of People for Birmingham, Alabama's award-winning technology company, Daxko. That’s right – the very DAXKO that our very own KD is an alum of, because there are only so many people in the big B’ham who are worthy of a VP of People title. A true Generalist, she’s done a little bit of everything, but recruiting and training is where she gets her mojo. She’s based in the good ol' blogging capitol of the south, Birmingham, Alabama, where you can frequently find her listening to the Beatles and REM, watching Breaking Bad reruns (and Snapped and Dateline), enjoying serious amounts of coffee (and cheese, but not together!), dreaming of where she will travel next, and wondering how in the world this theatre grad ever got into football or HR…Check out her blog at or talk to Dawn via emailLinkedIn, Instagram or Twitter


  1. Sam says:

    Great take on the most insane month of the year. Reflection is a necessary thing during December – but why not reflect year-round?

  2. Dawn Burke says:

    @sam too true– yes, reflection year round is a great practice. High performance teams should want to reflect often —

    Thanks for the comment!

  3. Deepak says:

    To know more about hiring for startups Please join our webinar
    Webinar on successful recruitment strategies for startups. Everything you need to know about hiring recruiting for a startup. We will discuss factors such as current trends, different stages of startups, cultural fit, and the benefits of hiring an intern.
    Register now:

  4. Neha Arti says:

    Great write up!

    If you like to know more about successful recruitment strategies for startups, kindly join our webinar.

    Register now:

  5. Acreaty LLC says:

    Acreaty LLC is an award-winning Staffing Services provider to deliver top talent-strategy for your end-to-end Recruitment, Staffing & quick hire needs. We offer fully customized Recruitment functions from sourcing to the successful placements within businesses of all sizes.

Trackbacks for this post

  1. Insanity, Indulgences and Reflection; Tips To Assess Talent Acquisition - Aim Blog
  2. Insanity, Indulgences and Reflection; Tips To Assess Talent Acquisition – True Wage – Salary Data, HR Blog

Comments are now closed for this article.

Contact Us | Hire FOT to Speak | About FOT