In January, bestselling author, and talent acquisition expert Carol Schultz, penned the Fast Company piece “Why it’s a mistake to leave talent acquisition to HR.” In it, she outlines why more companies need a Chief Talent Officer who reports directly to the CEO and not HR or the CFO. Some of the things she hit on were… 

  • It is the way it has always been done 
  • They do not emphasize building a “talent-centric organization” 
  • Most HR professionals do not have recruiting backgrounds 
  • It removes some of the HR red tape 
  • It can be viewed as a revenue creator rather than a cost center 

And Schultz is far from the first person to highlight the need for companies to emphasize the role of the Chief Talent Officer. In 2015, theHRDIRECTOR published “The rise and call of the Chief Talent Officer,” which stated the role emerged around 2000 by more innovative CEOs to address… 

  • Identifying and filling skill gaps 
  • HR being spread too thin with other duties (“performance appraisals to compensation & benefits, disciplinary procedures, engagement surveys, employee relations, change management programmes and even culture building”) 
  • The need to be more strategic related to talent mapping 
  • Be outwardly focused on external perceptions of candidates 
  • Succession planning 

And many other articles like the two above show the shift, or at least the continued debate, to pull recruiting out from under the HR umbrella. 

Then consider some of the current and future workforce challenges companies are facing… 

  • Nearly 3M missing workers from 2020 labor force participation levels 
  • Early retirements 
  • Workers quitting their jobs has continued to average more than 4M workers 
  • Gallup’s finding that 91% of all US workers hoped they could continue working from home at least in a hybrid capacity 
  • 61% of US workers are considering leaving their jobs in 2023 (72% of Gen Z, 66% of Millennials, 55% of Gen X, and 30% of Baby Boomers) 
  • By 2030, all Baby Boomers will be at least 65. That means 25% of today’s workforce will be at or beyond retirement age 
  • Few enterprise shops are not focused on DE&I recruitment strategies 
  • VCs ask founders not only how they plan to scale the business but how they will scale their team 

You start seeing the picture that the need to have a strong talent acquisition strategy will remain paramount. 

Employers that look at talent acquisition through a different lens (what is our employment branding, how do we go-to-market when we engage with talent, what is the candidate experience like, are we mapping how we found out best hires, etc.) will come out ahead.  

So, yes, there is a lot of validity in being a proponent of moving talent acquisition outside of HR. At the same time, we have seen plenty of progressive HR leaders that have built amazing talent acquisition arms for their companies, as well as some shops putting added emphasis on promoting within HR from the recruiting ranks. 

There is no one way to structure it, but talent acquisition does need to be brought into C-suite meetings whenever discussions are tied to hiring initiatives and succession planning.  


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