Am I operating as a Talent Advisor?


[This blog post first appeared on the LinkedIn Talent Blog in March 2020]

There is so much pull from the business leaders for us as corporate recruiters to be Talent Advisors. They want more. This is good - the alternative, when they want less from us, is bad for us and our companies (but maybe good for the bots!).

My team and I here at Recruiting Toolbox are engaged by world-class companies to help elevate their recruiters to Talent Advisors, and as part of our work, we assess how effectively recruiters engage and influence hiring managers. No surprise, we've observed many common denominator behaviors from the recruiters who were considered Talent Advisors by their business leaders.

We converted some of our findings into a Talent Advisor Diagnostic Tool that's designed to help you self-assess how you're operating today.Talent Advisor Diagnostic Tool-1

Download the Talent Advisor Diagnostic Tool here.

Now, is it realistic, with a heavy req load, that a corporate recruiter will do ALL of these things perfectly, for every req or hiring manager? Of course not. Most corporate recruiting teams run lean, and not all reqs require the same level of market insights or sourcing strategy, for example.

But, if you're seeking something tangible to use as a gap analysis and guide to evaluate yourself or your team against the high Talent Advisor expectations executives and hiring managers have, this may help. Am I operating as a talent advisor?You'll notice we describe the Talent Advisor role more around what we DO versus just listing out a bunch of competencies. Why? Because being a Talent Advisor requires action. When hiring managers describe what they want from a true Talent Advisor, they speak with the end in mind - they want more speed, more quality, more diversity. Of course they want us to have a more consultative approach, to be able to set and manage expectations effectively (and push back if they're being unrealistic), to have excellent business acumen, and bring insights about the external market to our strategies. But none of that knowledge matters if we aren't able to translate it into what they really want: speed, quality, and diversity.

OK, so let's say you download this, self assess, and decide you have opportunities to deliver more value as a Talent Advisor. What now? We got you. :)

  • Read our article from LinkedIn's Talent Blog about getting curious. It describes the kind of things you should dig into to improve your credibility and effectiveness as a Talent Advisor.
  • Listen to this 25-minute podcast from Matt Alder in the UK, where he asked me the keys to engaging hiring managers in the recruiting process. It focuses a lot on influencing skills, including reframing out conversations and role.
  • Watch this recorded presentation I gave at the LinkedIn Talent Connect conference in Fall 2019 - I talk fast and share 9 things our clients and colleagues are doing that are ACTUALLY strategic. I'm proud to say that - despite my excessive swearing :) - I tied for the #1 rated session that year. It's a very tactical, "How to be a strategic talent acquisition pro" presentation. (Warning: This is PG-13, so don't crank the volume up if children are present.)
  • And if you're a TA leader, thinking, "I'd really like to bring in a consultant who can help develop my recruiters into more effective Talent Advisors," check out our custom, onsite, Talent Advisor training workshops. Don't have a big enough team to justify the expense of onsite training? Just want something for you, as a manager of a recruiting team, to help you more effectively engage the business? Check out our 2-day public workshops for corporate recruiting managers: Recruiting Leadership Labs. They're offered a few times each year in the US, and about every other year in Europe.

As recruiters, we can be so much more than req-filling machines. The business wants more from us. The key question for us, then, is will we find a way through all of our non-stop meetings, emails, texts, data entry, and noise to be a Talent Advisor?


John Vlastelica is the Founder and Managing Director of Recruiting Toolbox, a global consulting and training firm that helps corporate recruiters and hiring managers gain more speed, quality, and diversity from their hiring strategies and processes. John's team has worked in over 20 countries, with thousands of recruiters and hiring managers from many of the most amazing organizations on earth: Google, PepsiCo, Starbucks, Amazon, Nike, Nestle, and Disney are clients. John is on a mission to help elevate recruiters to Talent Advisors, and has shared real-world, how-to best practices as a #1 rated presenter at LinkedIn Talent Connect, ERE, SourceCon, and Recruitfest UK. @vlastelica