Building a Mature Talent Acquisition Team, with Bersin by Deloitte’s Robin Erickson

September 15, 2016 at 11:36 AM by Kathleen de Lara


As hiring needs evolve, how you master candidate engagement becomes your competitive edge. Part of that mission is having a strong employer brand. The other part is understanding what your team needs to build a sustainable, efficient recruiting and hiring strategy.

Growing an optimized talent acquisition team reaps long-term benefits for orgs – to start, improved recruiting, leadership, and financial performance. What does that mean for your team?

We spent time with Bersin by Deloitte* Analyst Robin Erickson, PhD to learn about the company’s recognized talent acquisition maturity model, her research findings on the current state of talent acquisition, and the impact of stronger relationships between recruiter and hiring managers.

Can you share some background on Bersin by Deloitte's Talent Acquisition Maturity Model? What prompted researchers to build this model and how can it impact the way organizations develop their own talent acquisition teams?

The Bersin by Deloitte maturity models were developed to help HR leaders understand the underlying dynamics of their organization and the skills, capabilities, tools and systems they need to mature as an organization. The Talent Acquisition Maturity Model provides descriptive information about the stages of growth typically associated with talent acquisition maturity and enables business leaders to understand their current state as well as the next set of skills, capabilities, tools and systems they will need to advance. Maturity models can also help organizations tell the story to stakeholders of how an organization’s people processes and business results are correlated and assist in gaining buy-in at the highest levels of strategic decision making.

Talent teams vary in their capabilities – from reactive, tactical recruiting to high-impact talent acquisition that is fully optimized. What's the issue with reactive talent teams?

Organizations that are least mature generally engage in reactive, tactical recruiting. Often this approach means that recruitment is done locally by HR generalists who are “order-takers” for hiring managers. Their “post and pray” approach means that recruitment exists solely to fill positions as they become available. There is no recruiting strategy or defined processes for recruitment and the candidate experience can vary with each interaction. The talent acquisition leaders at organizations that operate at this level tend to face a number of challenges such as influencing significant hiring decisions, making a case for better technology or resources and establishing recruiting as a center of excellence.

Based on your research, what are some interesting and shocking findings you're learning about how organizations are hiring and building their teams?

One of the most surprising findings from our research was that the top driver of talent acquisition performance is developing strong relationships between hiring managers and recruiters. A strong relationship between hiring manager and recruiter is four times more influential than 14 of the other performance drivers (out of the 16 our research explored). These relationships can result in smarter hiring decisions, increased productivity and a greater perception and value of talent acquisition as a whole in the organization.

We also found that high-impact talent acquisition can improve both overall business and TA performance outcomes—making the business case for investment in talent acquisition very compelling. If you’d like to find out how much improvement is possible, be sure to join us for the webinar on September 20!

Startups are booming, yet may be regarded by candidates to lack the organizational structure one might find at larger companies. Are startups’ talent teams at a disadvantage in attracting the best people because of this perception?

At the start of our talent acquisition research, we hypothesized that organization structure, size, and global reach would predict talent acquisition maturity. We were surprised to learn that none of these factors actually predict talent acquisition maturity. So startups that are smaller, have a limited global reach or lack a centralized structure are not necessarily at a disadvantage in terms of talent acquisition maturity. What startups do need to consider, however, is how they craft their candidate experience and employment brand to ensure that they are not at a disadvantage. Continuously managing the organization’s brand by scanning and updating third-party websites can give talent acquisition leaders greater insight into the organization. It is also important to monitor, survey and continuously improve the candidate experience.

Robin also hopped on the line with the Hiring On All Cylinders crew to chat about what’s to come for her webinar in our Talent Powerhouse Series.

Tune in to hear Robin and the team discuss:

  • How talent acquisition teams can use Bersin by Deloitte’s maturity model to adequately use research and data to drive talent acquisition decisions
  • The different hiring and business challenges orgs face as they progress through different stages of maturity
  • Why a majority of teams are missing out on potential talent benefits

Have you saved your seat for “Optimizing Your Talent Acquisition Function”? This webinar is approved for 1 HRCI recertification credit toward PHR and 1 SHRM CP credit. See you there!

Recommended articles:

Kyle Lagunas on Why Talent Teams Aren't Tracking Recruiting Metrics
The Evolution of Talent Acquisition with GitHub's Maisha Cannon
Recruiter: The Strategic Talent Partner

* As used in this blog, "Deloitte" means Deloitte Consulting LLP, a subsidiary of Deloitte LLP. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.

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