Thursday, December 04, 2014

A Talent Acquisition Process That Produced Results

A Smart Human Resource Director
In the past, I had the great privilege of working with a Human Resource Director named Mike. Though this story will reflect on past events, Mike has become a very good personal friend. Such a real friend that I’ve been privileged to have dinner at Mike’s home and he has been one of my greatest sources of support through my open heart surgery recovery.
Global Chief Security Officer
Mike called on me several years ago when his company needed to hire their first Chief Security Officer. This company had never hired such a person before and they really did not know where to begin. We met in the middle on this project.
The Job Description
Mike and I worked closely together to write a job description from the ground up. The end product was a mix of Mike’s internal company knowledge and my external knowledge having worked in the security recruiting profession for many years.
The Stakeholders
When the job description was complete, Mike put the job description in front of many internal stakeholder decision makers within his company. Once Mike received approval and agreement from each stakeholder, he arranged for me to invest 30 minutes with each of his stakeholders.
I approached each stakeholder with the same questions and took lots of notes. My job was to determine if all stakeholders were sharing the same expectations for the upcoming Chief Security Officer hire. There were in fact two stakeholders who were out in left field while most of the stakeholders were in right field.
I went back to Mike this information. He then went to the two left field stakeholders and did what he needed to do in order to get every stakeholder in right field so to speak. It was at this point that I started recruiting to fill Mike’s position.
The Process
Our partnership did not stop when I started recruiting. Prior to the first candidate being delivered from me to Mike, we established the process that each candidate would go through at Mike’s company. On Mike’s end, he left no stone unturned.
Every stakeholder was ready to interview each candidate from the same perspective. I was positioned well to let each candidate know exactly what they could expect as the interview process progressed. This search process worked like a well-oiled machine.
Candidates Were Special People
Mike clearly understood that each hand-selected and directly recruited candidate would need to feel special. It was his goal to make sure that each candidate felt recruited and not just picked out of a pile. He knew that each of his stakeholders could make or break a candidate’s interview process so Mike took it upon himself to be sure that each stakeholder knew their role throughout the interview process.
We Reached Success!
I share this story because it was one of the most satisfying and successful search processes in my career. It wasn’t all about me. Nor was it all about my Director of Human Resources partner. It was about Mike meeting me in the middle as a partner, establishing a strategic process and keeping lines of communication open from start-to-finish in the search process and even after the selected candidate went through the on-boarding process.
This is what talent acquisition looks like when it is executed correctly.
Jeff Snyder, @SecurityRecruit, is the President of, Jeff is a public speaker and a daily blog writer for the Security Recruiter Blog.'s Security Recruiter Blog