3 Steps for HR to Get Recruiting Help from the C-Suite Printer friendly format

Whether you need executive buy-in for a new hire or you’re asking for a new recruiting tool, there are three steps to get what you need, according to the director of talent acquisition for Sodexo’s North America operations.

employees with age gapStart with a good relationship, collect data, and combine those two to show how your request aligns with the business’ needs. Scott Sherman provided details for each step.
Build a Relationship
The first step to getting what you need starts well before you actually make a request. You need to have consistent communication with executive leaders, Sherman said. Consider what regular meetings they have that you could attend. If you’re in talent acquisition like Sherman, you should have monthly or quarterly meetings with key executives for whom you hire and provide support, he said.
In these meetings, be sure to both listen and share your expertise as it pertains to their business objectives, Sherman said. Find out what executives consider the key strategic and tactical objectives for the company; ask about concerns or challenges. What keeps them up at night?
The relationship you’ll develop will make you “part of the team” and show that you’re in tune with the needs of the business. You’ll also have built credibility by sharing data, ideas, and opportunities, according to Sherman.
Collect Data
When you do have a request, you’ll need data to support your argument. Consider the following example:
You’re tasked with staffing a new project outside your usual market. Everyone assumes hiring will be “business as usual” but as you begin the process, you find that this new market is very competitive. Employees in that field are happy and well-paid and don’t consider you a “destination employer.” You realize you’re going to need more time, another recruiter, or maybe permission to retain an outside “sourcer” to find the right talent.
Before you go running to the C-suite, get your data together, Sherman says. Start with your internal data on recruiting and hiring and then compare it to outside numbers. You need solid information on the market and the ability to provide some context.
“Leverage tools like Talent Neuron that can give you salary and availability data within talent pools,” Sherman said. Also consider using data from recruiters or sourcers to learn about a talent market. Tools like LinkedIn, your applicant tracking system, and your candidate relationship management system can help you provide context for that data, he said.
Present Insight
Finally, combine your knowledge of the business with your market insight and present the whole story; explain how you’re going to address this challenge to meet the businesses’ needs. Think: What is the C-suite’s key objective and how is this going to impact it?
Continuing with the above example, perhaps the company promised the new project to a client within a certain timeframe. If you don’t have the talent, the company may have to delay the rollout, Sherman said, and any such delay could have a negative impact on the business.
Describe to the executives the return they’ll see by allowing you to hire that extra recruiter. Would you get the jobs filled faster? Would it prevent damage to the company’s brand reputation that could preclude additional work with that client or other clients in the market?
Finally, develop a few concise points and practice them, Sherman says. For example: “This talent market is extremely competitive and we’re not seen as an ideal employer,” or “Without additional resources, it’s going to take double the time to recruit and any delay is going to affect our reputation.”
Your audience is not going to take notes so go in with just a few points that really resonate with them, Sherman said. “Less is more.”
Reprinted with permission from BLR.