Creating a Talent Acquisition Game Plan

startup talent acquisition planning

When a startup is growing really quickly, you might be hiring hundreds of people in a year. The talent acquisition process can get chaotic, especially as the bar for hiring goals gets set higher and higher. Do you know how to create an effective game plan while keeping these goals in focus?

At the Startup Talent Acquisition panel hosted by CloserIQ, three talent acquisition experts provided actionable insights in how best to do this:

  • Angela Mekosh, Talent Acquisition Manager, Taboola
  • Sally Bolig, Head of Talent Acquisition, Yotpo
  • Liz Tran, VP of Portfolio Talent, Thrive Capital

Here are some of the main points they highlighted regarding your talent acquisition game plan:

Start with a goal and work backwards

One of the first things to do is check whether expectations are reasonable. Look at your goals and work backwards to see what’s necessary to achieve them. The first step is to evaluate whether your hiring goals are realistic given your current resources. If you plan to hire 50 people and have only two recruiters, that’s not a realistic goal. 

Create a recruitment schedule

Next, create a recruitment schedule based on the resources you have. Start with the close dates, when you want candidates to start. If they accept, then it’s going to be two weeks until they start and then before that, it’s going to be a week after your on site interviews before you can extend the offer. Essentially, work backwards from the stages and think about what’s the reasonable amount of time that will transpire between each event. 

Use the right tools

Successful talent acquisition teams are often look like sales teams. Each recruiter or sourcer has specific quotas to reach. Some of the best resources a talent acquisition team can utilize are the tools that you would use for sales prospecting. They help increase efficiency and give you more opportunities to keep track of your upper funnel metrics.

Track recruiting metrics and KPIs

Recruiters should be keeping track of their metrics and check them every day during the process. If you find you’re not finding enough candidates for a position, take a look at the process and identify where the holes are. When recruiters meet with hiring managers, they should be two steps ahead of the managers. Together, recruiters and managers can formulate a hiring plan.

Prioritize who to hire

Don’t get too caught up in titles. What’s more important is to figure out what the new hire will need to accomplish in the next three months, six months, etc. What projects do they need to accomplish and what metrics do they need to hit? By defining goals, you can decide if you need a generalist or a specialist.

1. Generalists

When startups first begin, they should hire generalists because everyone will be doing a little bit of everything. Eventually, there’s a tipping point where you may want to start bringing in specialists. It can be tough to determine where that point is and which specialists you need to bring on.

2. Specialists

When you do hire a specialist, you have to make sure it’s someone who can listen. You don’t want someone who will come in and say “I’m the new head of sales, I’m going to tell everyone what to do.” The new hire needs to be someone who will respect the organization and the sweat, blood, and tears of all the people who came before who got paid little if anything.

3. Executives

Executive hires are tricky. You have to narrow down and figure out what’s important to you. Is industry experience important or is prior startup experience? And really start there to figure it out. I do think when it comes to hiring executive level it’s not just experience. The culture fit is going to be huge.

You can watch the full presentation below:

hire sales and customer success talent

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Senior Marketing Manager @ CloserIQ. Previously Recruiter @ ManpowerGroup & Freelance Social Media Strategist. University of Wisconsin Journalism & Strategic Communication Grad.