Talent Acquisition Audit:  Six Signs That You Need One

By Linda Brenner | January 15, 2018

Nearly everyone would agree that an objective, rapid review of talent acquisition - and recommendations that improve speed, cost and quality - would be a wise use of resources. But the time has to be right for it to have a real impact. Under what circumstances would it make the most sense to bring in outside, unbiased experts to review the current state and make realistic, measurable recommendations for improvement? Do you recognize any of these common recruitment issues?

Here are six circumstances - or talent acquisition issues - where it does make sense to do so. Is your organization experiencing any of these six?

Issue 1. Hiring Manager satisfaction is low and costs seem high

What you might be experiencing:

  • “Noise” from hiring managers and senior leaders about the speed and quality of hiring efforts
  • Recruiters who don’t have the capacity to advise hiring managers, source passive candidates, screen candidates effectively, etc.
  • Recruiting-related expenses dispersed throughout the organization such as agency or staffing firm fees, over-use of temps, hidden “skunkworks” recruiting resources, investment in recruiting technologies that are then under-utilized, etc.

The benefits of a Talent Acquisition audit in this scenario: 

  • A fact-based roadmap to consolidate resources and deploy them more effectively 
  • A financial plan for how to self-fund improvement efforts
  • A method for measuring the return on investments in a rapid timeframe

Issue 2. Hiring Manager satisfaction is low and costs are low 

What you might be experiencing:

  • “Noise” from hiring managers and senior leaders about the speed and quality of hiring efforts
  • Over-extended, low cost recruiting resources who lack the capacity and/or the capability to find and win talent the business needs
  • Outdated or non-existent technology for attracting, managing and selecting candidates

The benefits of a Talent Acquisition audit in this scenario: 

  • A best practice analysis and market comparison of current talent acquisition spend
  • A business case to support additional targeted funding with a positive ROI
  • A strategic approach for measuring the ongoing return on further TA investments 

Issue 3. A new TA or HR leader needs objective analysis to prioritize and stage issues and solutions

What you might be experiencing:

  • General complaints about the speed and quality of hiring efforts 
  • Questions about the role of recruiters and others in the hiring process
  • Lack of accessible, accurate and meaningful TA metrics

The benefits of a Talent Acquisition audit in this scenario: 

  • A data-driven plan and prioritization of actions to achieve the most critical needs
  • A recommendation for sequencing efforts and investments in talent acquisition improvement 
  • Change management guidance in order to speed the implementation and acceptance of TA changes

Issue 4. Impending structural change requires a new TA operating model

What you might be experiencing:

  • The need to move to or from an RPO partner
  • A directive to centralize (or de-centralize) Talent Acquisition
  • A merger or an acquisition of another company with its own talent acquisition function

The benefits of a Talent Acquisition audit in this scenario: 

  • A data-driven prototype for the new operating model (TA org design, processes, technology, key measures, etc.) 
  • Recommendations for staging the transformation based on priority actions, risk mitigation and change management considerations
  • Scenario planning related to investment, risk and rewards
  • Change management recommendations to speed the acceptance and benefits of the new TA operating model

Issue 5. Hiring has been co-opted by the business, with each hiring manager running each search the way he/she believes is best

What you might be experiencing:

  • A different approach to hiring exists for, essentially, every hiring manager (e.g., how candidates are sourced, screened, interviewed, etc.) 
  • Hiring managers complaining about the quality of recruiting support - but fearful of relinquishing their control of the process
  • Talent Acquisition professionals relegated to the most administrative tasks in the hiring process

The benefits of a Talent Acquisition audit in this scenario: 

  • Rapid and expert infusion of best practices related to roles, responsibilities, process and measurement of modern hiring efforts
  • Recommendations for building internal TA capability 
  • Advice on staging the transformation from hiring manager ownership to a true strategic partnership with TA professionals who are knowledgeable, equipped and credible
  • Change management recommendations to speed the acceptance of a different approach

Issue 6. Hiring is seen as entirely the responsibility of HR/TA with very limited hiring manager involvement 

What you might be experiencing:

  • Hiring managers’ expectations are that TA is responsible for nearly every aspect of sourcing, screening, selection and onboarding
  • Hiring managers are unwilling to partner on such efforts as defining roles and candidate profiles, passive candidate sourcing, effective selection practices, etc.
  • Talent Acquisition professionals are overwhelmed with the volume of work and the expectations that success lies solely on their shoulders

The benefits of a Talent Acquisition audit in this scenario: 

  • Business case for a true partnership between hiring managers and TA
  • More effective approach to sourcing and selecting passive candidates
  • Definition of respective roles and responsibilities for those involved in the hiring process 
  • Change management recommendations to speed the acceptance of a different approach


Can you conduct such an audit yourself - using internal resources?  Perhaps. However, the advantages of bringing in outside experts include:

  • Impartial and unbiased suite of recommendations
  • Easy and rapid access to relevant TA best practices, operating model alternatives and measurement methodologies
  • Proven approaches for staging, investing in and measuring improvement efforts
  • Org design thinking that is disconnected from incumbents, personalities, individual histories, etc.
  • Highly visible and meaningful way for HR / TA leaders to show they are serious about improving hiring results

Talent acquisition audits and process improvement are our sweet spots:  See how you can self-fund talent acquisition improvements in your organization. For more information, send a note to info@talentgrowthadvisors.com

You may also want to read Recruitment Audit Tips: 3 Suggestions for Success, SWOT Analysis in Recruitment and Selection, or The Most Effective Recruitment Process in the Toughest Talent Marketplace: 5 Success Factors.

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