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The Journey to Becoming a Trusted Advisor

Becoming a Trusted Advisor

Being a Trusted Advisor is a term that gets used often, and there has been much written on the topic... So I can hear you saying, “Well, why write another article on it?”

I was recently part of a conversation where a senior stakeholder described an RPO solution as being ‘fair and transparent, good at pushing back and challenging hiring manager thinking when required’. This is a great endorsement and acknowledgement for a recruitment team who is obviously significantly trusted by the business.

As an RPO provider and onsite solution, it is critical to be trusted advisors to the entire hiring community.  That being said, being a trusted advisor is an evolutionary journey that both the RPO team and the client travel. 

So the question is, in 2013; what does being a trusted advisor mean and how is it achieved?

  1. Build Credibility – first, there needs to be trust. In order for trust to exist, as recruiters we must do what we say. Credibility builds trust. Results win trust. In order to build credibility with a Hiring Manager, do your research.  Who have been the successful hires previously? What’s going on in the market? From a process point of view, what has worked well in the past? Who are our high potential internals?  To be able to draw upon this information, a recruitment process outsourcing solution needs to be involved in and/or across the internal talent review process. Your ATS should be able to pull reports on previous activity and be up to date with notes, to assist with knowing your hiring manager and their past hiring patterns.
  2. Be Visible – in RPO it’s imperative that you are visible.  Visibility of what you do and how you do it allows stakeholders to see your expertise in action. When delivering a brief to a Hiring Manager, talk them through the statistics and ratios so that they understand how much work goes into the screening, long listing and short listing process.  How many candidates applied? Which sourcing channel did they come from?  Numbers screened?  

    While this may seem like ‘recruitment 101’, we often overlook this part especially when it’s a Hiring Manager we’ve dealt with before. It’s still important to demonstrate the level of activity and effort that’s gone into recruiting the position and continue to show the value and expertise you’re adding to the recruiting process.
  3. Market Knowledge – know your market and share your knowledge. Hiring Managers want to understand the candidate and competitor market and we’re their eyes and ears when dealing with candidates directly.  Encourage your Hiring Managers to also share knowledge and relevant opinion pieces through social media platforms like LinkedIn. It will help them build their social presence and brand, which in turn can attract better quality candidates and assist us with getting the best person on board for their team.
  4. Know Your Business – attend town halls and look for business updates and read press releases. Use every opportunity you have to learn and get exposure to other areas of the business. Ask your hiring managers what their business’ top 3 objectives are for the year and understand how the recruitment strategy fits into this and then the role you play in sourcing the necessary talent. It’s hard to be a trusted advisor if you don’t know what your business’ strategy is.
  5. Get a Seat at the Table – attend business unit meetings. Be across what is happening in your portfolios and understand where the issues are and areas for growth. Go prepared with data and take the business unit through their previous quarter’s recruitment activity. You might need to get yourself invited to the first couple, but once you start sharing data and updates and contributing to discussions, you’ll soon be a part of the regular agenda.

So if you are doing all of the above, how do you know that the business sees you as a trusted advisor? Some of the key indicators may include:

  • You are ‘getting a seat at the table’ without inviting yourself.
  • Your opinion is sought out by the business and you’re not just having recruitment discussions, but talent discussions.
  • You have built relationships where you are comfortable to challenge the status quo.
  • You find that hiring managers pop past your desk sometimes just for a chat.
  • You are bringing quality hires into the organisation, who stay, love what they do and achieve success. This can be measured tangibly by performance review scores, EAI survey feedback results, awards received and turnover stats.
  • Through tracking your Hiring Manager surveys, you can see you are getting positive feedback and consistently high scores and you actively take any opportunity to address feedback that’s constructive and turn it around.

Finally, knowing you’re a trusted advisor can also sometimes simply be measured by some of the ‘intangibles’ like the language used (it’s not all ‘us and them’!) and the level of camaraderie felt with the business. If you enjoy coming to work every day and partnering with your hiring managers, then there is a fair chance that they feel exactly the same way!

Learn how Hudson RPO can help you become a trusted advisor.  Contact us today.





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Hudson is a global talent solutions company. We help transform the workplace and unleash the full potential of organizations and individuals. Our expert team and proprietary tools provide you with unique insights and services that help you maximize your success. Across 20 countries, we deliver a range of recruitment, talent management and recruitment process outsourcing solutions to get you and your business where you want to be.