CEO’s Expectations From Their Head Talent Acquisition


“What does my CEO want from me?” is an evocative question that every Talent Acquisition leader has.  The expectations from Talent Acquisition leaders have increased multi-fold in the recent years. The outlook has evolved with changing face of technology, market and industry over the decades. With the current scenario of us being in Society 5.0 and Industry 4.0, they demand even greater accountability with a journey embarked on disruptive transformation through talent. So how is that possible?

Hire for Future

No doubt, it is a competitive market out there; we know that it is no longer an employer market but more a candidate driven market. There is war for talent and it is imperative to hire meaningfully and hire for the future, rather than just filling current roles. The TA leader should change the DNA fabric by creating a strong ecosystem consequently enabling the organization to be future ready. Hence, hire for attitude, bring new age skills and build the top percentile of future talent!

Be a Strategic Partner for Business

Build knowledge about business aspects and be their early business partner! Have a view of a broader spectrum of what is happening in competitor space, customer space, industry, market and society. Getting to know business will set the right direction and help stay relevant. Talent leaders should spend considerable time in building internal relationships, participate in early talent discussions for strategic growth and be able to provide for talent-related information, data and make better hires that lead to business growth and profit. They should rise above the transactional mindset and make a clear strategic difference.

Have a Vision

Be passionate about hiring and understand the big picture of what and where the organization is trending. Get a seat on the table with leadership team and become more efficient in finding and hiring the right kind of talent.

Talent and Technology are Synonymous

Technology is always advancing and impacting our lives in zillion ways. It is getting increasingly personal, from laptops to being a part of our clothing, like Fitbit etc.  Recruiting on the other hand is a people-to-people business, it is about building relationship/s. Technology can help provide best candidate experience through ease of transaction between candidates and recruiters and continuously enhance the experience. An effective talent professional will be effective in scanning the talent pool, use available options to connect with a broad spectrum of candidates.

Think Talent First

People are obviously the largest investment made by the companies, a bad hire will cost company’s performance and reputation, hence getting the right talent and orchestrating the need for innovation and bringing growth in the business is more important than the function goals itself. Thinking of talent first and institutionalizing a long-term play for talent acquisition, as a function is right. Recruiting strategies also give flexibility to scale the business of the company over time.

Be Talent Gatekeepers

Recruiters are the talent gatekeepers; they have to ensure that no bad hires are made and crucial talent is hired. They should constantly look for disruptors that would bring disruption and make the company market leaders and indispensable in nature.

Expectations (Vs) Expectations

While there is a lot of buzz around millennials and evolving gig economy, it is imperative to focus on individualization, understand the expectations of a candidate and match them to the organization expectations or vice versa. This mapping should lead to a tailor made individual capability development for the candidate and allow the potential to envisage their career pathing if they chose to grow along with your organization.  

Be a Brand Steward

The TA leader should be the keeper of the corporate reputation. The recruiter defines the brand perception in external market through their responsiveness; hence they have to be the biggest custodians of the brand. TA leader should invest in training employees specially who interact with potential candidates to behave in a “brand-consistent” way at all times.

Be a Data Miner

CEOs today want certain, easy to understand, fact based inferences of past data, measurable and decision making data points. To keep up, they expect the TA leaders to provide forward-thinking analytics, hence TA leaders should be able to make information beautiful by presenting patterns and have the knack to recommend changes or make proposals that make business sense.

Be lean and Simple

Find ways to do more for less. Do so by improving efficiency, streamlining and by simplifying the process. This will gain business respect and support.It should look, feel and be easy for a hiring manager to hire someone.

Finally have fun with it! Recruiting is fun and challenging at the same time, you meet new people, expand network and make new relationships. On the other hand you affect the company and as well as individual careers.

So let me close this by saying that always be prepared for the unprepared, the mantra of the game is always be ahead of the curve. Have that bent of mind to be ready for something new all the time. The boundaries of functions and processes are far fading away. As an example, let us look at Ramayana, a mythological story that we all know. Sita probably thought her last year of exile was a piece of cake but it turns out to be her toughest. Rama, who went on to be kind to his wife, has his wife kidnapped. Rama and Laxmana who did not have any army win the war, on the contrary Ravana despite of having a big army loses it. Similarly not every path is predictable, so as leaders we have to be mindful and be prepared for the unprepared. Every interaction we make, every meeting we do, every person we meet, all of them have the power to alter the way we think and behave.

Hence, you are creating a history of learning and success, so enjoy it.

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Subhashini Panyam is currently a Country Director-HR for Hitachi Consulting. She is playing a pivotal role in redesigning the DNA of the organization given the transformation journey that the organization is undergoing. She has 15 years + of experience in various facets of human resources and has been instrumental in playing key roles. By Education is a Bachelor of Engineering and has done executive program in Human Resource Management from IIM Calcutta. Subhashini loves spending time with her family and in her spare time, tries reading books, articles & blogs that are related to science advancement and their impact on human life. She has been recently awarded super achiever award by World HRD congress.


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