Positioning recruiting as a trusted advisor, RecFest 2023 session Recap

Greenhouse team at Recfest blog

3 mins, 12 secs read time

RecFest was piping hot this year – not only due to the sizzling summer heat that lit up Knebworth’s grounds, but also due to the conversations it sparked around the industry’s most burning questions.

With 4,000 talent professionals and 100+ sessions, Greenhouse engaged with some of the industry's greatest minds in discussions about all things talent acquisition and recruitment. The day brought abundant insights into thought-provoking topics like the use of AI in recruitment, effectively assessing talent and doing more with less amid unpredictable recruiting landscapes.

Back at RecFest’s Resourcing Leaders Stage, Greenhouse hosted Positioning recruiting as a trusted advisor – a session in collaboration with industry experts from Growth by Design. The talk was led by our very own Talent Acquisition Manager, Seán Delea, and Co-founder of Growth by Design Talent, Adam Ward.

With over 400 people in attendance, Seán and Adam presented pragmatic approaches, tools and core skills recruiters need to transition from being a service provider into a trusted business advisor. Here are the key conversation highlights:

The difference between recruiting functioning as a service provider vs a trusted advisor

If recruiters aren’t seen as strategic business partners, then hiring talent, gaining buy-in and obtaining the budgets and resources to advance objectives is a challenge. Before making the transition, it’s important to recognize the difference between a recruiting function that serves as a service provider versus a trusted advisor. Here are some examples of each.

Recruiting as service provider:

  • Guided by the hiring manager
  • Defers to hiring managers on all things business-related
  • Data reporting is inconsistent/not used to drive decision-making
  • ATS is used mainly as a database of candidates and a place for feedback

Recruiting as a trusted advisor:

  • Strategically guides the hiring manager
  • Has a deep understanding of every role and its impact on the wider business
  • Shares progress to goals and roadblocks along the way
  • ATS is used as a platform to drive strategic outcomes

How to become a trusted advisor

Companies that are the most successful recognize the power of treating their recruiters as trusted business advisors. Here are a few tips that Sean and Adam shared to become a trusted advisor.

1. Learn to influence effectively

First, understand your own natural influencing and communication style. Then, adapt it to what your hiring managers and stakeholders respond to. Once you ace this it will become your superpower.

Here are the three common influencing styles people resonate with:

  • Cooperative: Getting to know them, leveraging the relationship and seeking their consult
  • Logical: Persuading using data, appealing to authority and negotiating or trading
  • Emotional: Appealing to personal values, modeling ways they like others to behave

2. Be operationally excellent

Part of being a trusted advisor is understanding how an operationally excellent talent acquisition function runs. This allows you to use data to both share progress with leaders and also influence them to change and pivot when necessary.

Here’s how to be operationally excellent:

3. Be a subject matter expert

Bring your business knowledge and market insights to talent-centered conversations. In doing so, you'll be seen as an expert by your hiring teams, hiring managers, partners and candidates.

Your to-do list:

Get the full scoop on how to transform your recruitment function to become a trusted business advisor by downloading our guide Positioning recruiting as a trusted advisor.

Download the guide
Injy ElDeeb

Injy ElDeeb

is an International Marketing Manager at Greenhouse with a flair for storytelling. When she's not busy working up content ideas, you'll find her curled up with a good book on the beach, cooking mediterranean food, traveling the world or hanging out with friends and doggos at the park. You can connect with Injy on LinkedIn.

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