What Does It Mean to Be a Talent Advisor Recruiter in 2023?

What Should We Do As Talent Advisors in 2023?

This blog post first appreared on LinkedIn´s Talent Blog.1677548432507


Hiring managers don’t really need the insights, coaching, and leadership from us right now, as hiring should be easy, right? Back to just filling reqs, as hiring is easy now that the big tech companies are laying off thousands, right? Diversity and quality will be a top priority in 2023 now that we’re out of the craziness of speed, speed, scale, speed of the last 2 1/2 years, right? 

They just need us heads down, sourcing and closing for the few roles they need to fill this year, right?


Our business leaders need us — now more than ever — to be strategic Talent Advisors.

But what they need in 2023 will look different than what they needed in years past. 

I’ve led a few head of TA roundtables over the last few weeks, and these are some of the themes I heard:

  • “Some hiring managers are going to go right back to their narrow, pedigree-filled ‘ideal candidate’ profiles now that they’ll only be hiring two or three people this whole year versus 10 to 20 last year. Our work to widen the aperture and hire from more untapped sources is at risk.”
  • “I have some recruiters who are more afraid to push back on unrealistic hiring managers now, as they’re a bit fearful for their jobs. They run the risk of slipping back into ‘people pleaser’ mode when I need them to be providing even more reality checks on the market and availability of talent.”
  • “Compensation, onboarding, internal mobility, promotions, and retention are all big opportunity areas. They’re getting more focus now across our HR leadership team, but to make some of that a reality, I need my recruiters operating more as talent advisors, as more holistic thinkers. They need to be helping our hiring managers understand their current team mix, how recruiting can — or can’t, by itself — help them make the progress around DEI they need to make this year, how to deal with internal equity around compensation, how to think through the reality of hiring with a skills-first mindset, and how to improve onboarding.”
  • “Hiring in tech may have slowed down, but we’re still hiring for all kinds of non-tech roles. And unemployment is such that we still have to sell. Great talent is not lining up to work here, despite the headlines our leaders are reading. We have to work as hard as we’ve ever had to work to attract and recruit top talent. And if we’ve made some reduction decisions in some parts of our orgs, but are still hiring in others, recruiting can be even harder than last year if we’re going after stability-seeking candidates.”

All of these things require us to show up as strategic partners, as more holistic thinkers, as educators.

What should we do as talent advisors in 2023?

1. We need to continue our work to source talent from underrepresented groups. That may require us to push back on hiring managers who maintain their “hit the ground running” orientation and guide them away from becoming overly focused on supposed ideal candidates

2. We need to stay strong in the face of pressure to move into some kind of order-taker mode. We need to push back when hiring managers are about to make a shortsighted or uninformed decision and bring reality-check market insights into the conversation. I built a whole site on how to become a Talent Advisor, with links to free videos, podcasts, and articles to help you engage hiring managers effectively. This post on LinkedIn is also a good place to start

3. We need to think holistically. A major theme from the LinkedIn Talent Connect conference in October 2022 was holistic thinking: My talk at the event was aimed at TA leaders who — like me, when I was a head of TA — can get too siloed and even victim-y in the face of complexity. Diversity, compensation, onboarding, L&D, retention — we need to have a point of view and a voice in those discussions as decisions on those issues have a huge impact on our ability to help our business leaders build great teams.

4. Our hiring teams need to know that hiring won’t be easy in 2023. For some roles, it might be easier, sure. But for many job types, unemployment is still low, top talent still has the edge (with a lot of choice), and what worked to recruit these folks early last year — including big compensation packages, promises for 100% remote work, bigger titles, and quick paths to promotions — may not be our reality in 2023. We need to help our hiring managers understand market realities and the motivators and decision criteria of our target talent, and ensure we have a true, compelling pitch to attract them. The arrogant “everyone should be lining up to work here” thinking needs to go bye-bye. We will likely need hiring managers to step up in 2023 and 2024. We need to see and treat our hiring managers as partners — not customers — in 2023 and beyond, and help them prioritize their limited time on what the best hiring managers do differently

John Vlastelica is a former corporate recruiting leader turned consultant. He and his team at Recruiting Toolbox are hired by world-class companies to train hiring managers and recruiters and help raise the bar on who they hire and how they hire. If you’re seeking more best practices, check out the free resources for recruiters at TalentAdvisor.com, on recruiting from underrepresented groups at WidenTheAperture.com, and for recruiting leaders at RecruitingLeadership.com.