What is the difference between a recruiter and a talent advisor?  On the surface you might think, not a whole lot.  A recruiter and a talent advisor both work to fill positions for their client(s) and both are tasked with a similar mission: find the best possible candidates in the shortest amount of time.  Seems easy enough, right?  So just what differentiates the two?

The biggest difference that immediately comes to mind is that the recruiter is involved on a much more “transactional” level.  They respond to new positions their assigned group creates and they work to source the candidates, screen them, and present them to their hiring manager.

The true “talent advisor” is much more than just an order taker, position filler.  A talent advisor is a partner – somebody who excels at cultivating relationships with those that they.  Ideally, a talent advisor will partner with a particular hiring manager or group of hiring managers within a client business for a longer period of time so that they can get to know the business, the culture, the likes and dislikes of how information gets presented.  They really become an extension of that client group and a member of the client’s team.  A talent advisor may even take part in team meetings, offering ideas and thoughts about how they can strategically impact the business and deliver a true top notch candidate experience.  A talent advisor may also develop a great partnership, collaborating with the hiring manager so that everybody feels like it is a win-win for all sides.  Being a talent advisor is also advantageous as it fosters confidence in the group; let’s face it, nobody is perfect and things are always going to happen, but where the talent advisor fits in, opposed to the recruiter, they’ve cultivated a rapport with their client groups.  Hiring managers may feel comfortable reaching out to that individual directly as opposed to through an escalation channel.

Successful talent advisors are great recruiters, but not all recruiters make good talent advisors.  Talent advising is just as much about relationship building, maintenance and partnership as it is about knowing where to source that hard to find candidate and how to build a Boolean string that will reveal the perfect resume.  I challenge you all to take a good look in the mirror, ask yourself where you see yourself in your relationship with the client groups you are supporting.  If it is at that talent advisor, strategic, higher level type of relationship, kudos to you and you likely running a well-oiled machine.

By the same token, if you feel like you’re at more of the transactional level of just responding to the jobs that your client puts in the system, utilizing the same tried and true methods that you’ve always done throughout your recruiting career, then push yourself.

Ask yourself:

What can you do to step out of that comfort zone?

How can you build a stronger partnership with those that you support?

How can you gain a deeper understanding of the client’s business?

It seems daunting at first but the returns you will reap will pay off by a factor of 10.

You will likely see:

Less client escalations, better rapport with the business leaders you support, update calls that feel a lot more collaborative and a lot less like somebody grilling you for 30 minutes, and last but not least, odds are exceptionally good that you’ll see your positions filling just as, if not more, quickly than they ever did in the past.

I’ll leave you with this; talent advising is fun.  PeopleScout has been hired as a trusted partner of the clients who have outsourced their business to us.  It’s only in our best interest to be the best possible partner we can be to the clients we support.  It also will lead to much easier conversations when we want to get something from the client.  Relationships fuel the recruiting engine just as much as good sourcing technique and strategy do.

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