Why does Talent Acquisition Continue to Fail at Total Employment?

Tim Sackett Business Development, Contingent Workforce, Culture, Don't Feed the Vendors, HR, HR Vendors, Leadership, Managing People, Talent Strategy, Tim Sackett, You Want Me To Pay For What!?

Think about what Talent Acquisition is truly responsible for in most organizations:

  • Full-time employee hiring
  • Part-time employee hiring

Now, think about every kind of worker who might be in your organization at any one time:

  • Full-time FTEs
  • Part-time FTEs
  • Temporary employees (admin, hourly worker types)
  • Contract employees (IT, Accounting, Engineering, etc.– high-level, white collar project work)
  • Consultants (1099s, state of work folks, high-level experts who are on site assisting in areas an organization doesn’t have expertise in)
  • Vendor support (employees from a vendor on site doing some sort of work)

Total employment of an organization is taking every hour of work that needs to be done to accomplish the work that the organization produces. Talent Acquisition owns all those hours – every hour that is worked and paid for comes out of the budget in some line item.

If your TA team can’t fill an IT position your CIO is going to go out externally and fill those hours with a contractor or a consultant, or bring in a vendor’s employee and build those hours into their annual service contract. Regardless, those hours and resources are being paid by the organization.

In really simple terms, a fast way to get your arms around total employment is to go your IT and Security teams and get a list of every single person who has access to your systems and facilities and just start asking questions. What you’ll find is the majority of the folks that show up on those lists are full and part-time FTEs of the organization. Then, you’ll find a big group of other folks that you have no idea who the heck they are!

At this point you just start asking questions:

  • Who is this person?
  • Why does this person need access to our facility?
  • Why does this person need access to our systems?
  • How is this person/company getting paid?
  • Why are we paying them?

Why will you dig into all of this? Because TA Owns total employment!

What you’ll find is that you have leaders who are costing the organization money that doesn’t need to be spent, but it’s being spent and no one is saying or doing anything about it!

“Oh, yeah, well ‘you guys’ (the TA team) couldn’t find what we needed so we brought in a specialty firm to do this work.”

Really? Try me!

I find most TA departments are under-resourced when it comes to headcount and technology, but millions of dollars are being spent by leaders to get around TA – and it’s been happening for decades because the TA team simply ignores all of these ‘non-employees’ walking around the organization! Do you want more resources in TA? get your arms around your total employment, and you’ll be able to clearly argue why you deserve and need those resources.

Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t mean you should eliminate, or will eliminate, all of this spend. For sure, some you will, but every organization has a need, at a certain level, for part of their workforce to be contingent. What you’ll find, though, is that in most organizations, right now, this has gone unchecked for so long that it’s become a free for all.

Talent Acquisition is failing at total employment because we aren’t taking charge of our own function.

We have this narrow belief that our job is to just hire full and part-time employees. The reality is the function of TA is to ensure that the organization is staffed properly at every level. It’s not the job of a leader to make that unilateral decision on how to best staff their department. TA is the workforce expert and should have heavy influence over this decision!

How are you getting your arms around the total employment in your organization? Do you have any idea how many people are actually working for you right now, in all the various capacities a person can work in these days?