Has Talent Acquisition Outgrown its Relationship with HR?

The war for talent rages on, and you’re on the losing side if you’re not aggressively recruiting candidates. 

In today’s market, businesses that want to remain competitive are finding that they need to ramp up their recruiting processes to source and employ the best candidates. Some talent acquisition specialists cite a skills gap or a shortage of available talent for this shift in the acquisition environment, but others recommend that recruiting teams look internally for the source of their difficulties – specifically at the relationship between their acquisition function and human resources department.

Though recruiting has been a fundamental aspect of HR for decades, an increasing number of acquisition specialists believe that talent acquisition deserves its own seat at the table. 

Professional Takes – Recruiting as an Independent Business Function

Online, you’ll find no shortage of people in talent acquisition requesting that the recruiting function becomes independent from HR. Dr. John Sullivan, a professor and HR-thought leader in Silicon Valley, analyzes the differences between the functions before sharing his vision of what recruiting could be if it was an independent business function rather than one of human resources.

“Recruiting will transition from an overhead role into a business function with more direct accountability. And, with its higher strategic mission, its primary goal will move beyond simply filling positions. Instead, it will serve a business purpose by hiring exceptional performers who will immediately boost the business results of the teams that they join. Its independence will enhance its chances of success because it will be able to build a strong culture with a singular focus and no HR distractions.”

Risk: Innovation is necessary to stay competitive in the world of recruiting, and innovation comes with varying degrees of risk. It’s HR’s job to minimize risk and protect the company and its employees at all costs.

Treatment: HR is required to treat all candidates and employees equally, and that’s clearly beneficial for the proper functioning of an organization. However, there’s a big difference between hiring a CFO or AI specialist and hiring a salesperson – recruiting would be more effective if treatment could be prioritized for game-changing hires.

Focus: Recruiters and talent acquisition specialists are constantly looking externally, whether it’s at their competitors, the market, for candidates, or for new technologies. HR’s main responsibility as a department lies in making sure that everything is running smoothly under the hood – their job is to monitor the internal work environment and culture, confirming that employees are able to work together productively and cooperatively.

Decision-making: Problems between employees are rarely simple cut-and-dry matters, and an intuitive decision-making approach is useful in this type of HR situation. On the other hand, the world of recruiting is increasingly digital and data-focused, and intuitive decision-making will no longer get you the best candidates. Recruiting is now scientific in nature, and as a result decision-making regarding the function should be driven by data.

A Strategic Opportunity

It’s not difficult to see that talent acquisition and recruiting are worlds apart from human resources, and that the functions are dissimilar enough that they shouldn’t be lumped together. Streamlining recruiting and turning it into a standalone function is a strategic opportunity that organizations are missing out on for the sake of ease and tradition.

It should be noted that limiting your recruiting team’s abilities can spell serious consequence for your profit margins – recent data published by the Boston Consulting Group disclosed that recruiting has the highest revenue and profit impacts of all HR functions, and that isn’t likely to change anytime soon.

None of this is to say that HR doesn’t serve a vital purpose in organizations, merely that recruiting and HR functions have grown less compatible in today’s talent acquisition market and the relationship is no longer serving the purpose it once did. The goals, strategies, and focuses of each function are just too far removed from each other for the association to be of extensive benefit.

Professional Takes – HR-A and HR-LO

Ram Charan, long-time Harvard Business Review writer and adviser to the CEO’s of some of the world’s largest organizations, shares his critiques on the structure of HR in the modern workplace. With his “bare outline”, Charan proposes that the title of Chief Human Resource Officer (CHRO) is eliminated and that HR is split into two strands: HR-A (administration) and HR-LO (leadership and organization).

HR-A employees will report to the CFO, their primary responsibilities being managing benefits and compensation.

HR-LO employees will improve the people capabilities of their respective businesses and report to the CEO. Charan foresees this function being run by high-potential workers with experience in operations and finance, as their history working in these disciplines would aid them in linking the company’s social system and culture to it’s financial performance. HR-LO leaders would also be responsible for developing and assessing their staff to ensure that high potentials are continuously employed.

Charan ultimately believes that HR would be more effective if a segment of the department was operated by employees with finance and operations backgrounds; working in HR would give them the opportunity to strengthen their people skills, while their work experience could reveal trends that aren’t noticeable to those without a business education.

Change doesn’t happen overnight, and Charan knows this well. “I expect to see plenty of opposition to it. But the problem with HR is real. One way or another, it will have to gain the business acumen needed to help organizations perform at their best.”


Do you agree with Sullivan or Charan’s approaches to evolve and adjust HR? Do you believe that the relationship between HR and recruiting is still beneficial for both functions? Leave a comment on our LinkedIn or Facebook letting us know what you think!


If you’re in search of recruiting services or could use help determining your business needs, contact our team of experienced talent acquisition consultants now. 


The Widely-Accepted Hiring Practice That Kills Your Bottom Line

Many of us have had the pleasure of working under ineffective managers at one point in our professional lives.

Ineffective managers come in many forms, but they usually have the same detrimental effect on the workplace – your staff becomes disengaged and less productive under their leadership, resulting in decreased customer satisfaction and lost profitability for your company.

If you’ve ever caught yourself wondering “How did this person get hired/promoted in the first place?” We have the answers you’re looking for.

Gallup reports that there are two primary reasons people are promoted to managerial positions:

  • They’ve been successful in previous non-managerial roles
  • They have tenure in the company and years of experience in the field

While these practices are widely accepted and determine the majority of hiring decisions, you may realize neither criteria indicate whether a person has the soft skills or talent necessary to effectively manage others.

Conventional hiring methods are unsuccessful because the critical element they look for can’t be found on a resume – talent.

Data shows that managers account for at least 70% of the variance in employee engagement scores in a given organization. Chances are, over 2/3rds of your ship is “sinking” when an unqualified captain is at the wheel. Clearly, hiring the right managers is a major factor as to whether or not your company becomes increasingly profitable as time goes on.

Unfortunately for your team, the talent required to be a great manager is rare – only one in ten people have the many skills necessary to make a well-rounded manager. Slim pickings, especially when you’re not exactly sure what you’re looking for.

Management advisory company CEB estimated that the average vacancy cost equates to $500 a day per open position. How long can your hiring team afford to search for qualified candidates before your company starts taking a serious financial hit?

White Label Solutions

Sourcing, screening, and interviewing all of the candidates required to find even one effective manager is an overwhelming process, especially when that time and energy can be put to use bettering your brand in other important ways.

Fortunately for your team, ORS knows talent, and we have a demonstrated history of finding it. Take it from the 70% of our clients that end up returning for future engagements or refer our services to other companies.

Many of our clients have had great success adopting our innovative White Label Recruiting Solutions, where ORS becomes your in-house recruiting function. Our consultants work closely with your leadership team and human resources department, crafting a solution that addresses your company’s unique business goals and hiring needs.

Sounds like what every other recruiting firm offers? Not quite.

With ORS’ White Label Solutions, our consultants become your brand ambassadors. They carry your business cards, assimilate with your company culture, and work on-site with your team day in and day out in order to better understand your distinct needs. Every aspect of the talent acquisition process is handled for you, from candidate sourcing to retention management.

Without rigorous screening and hiring processes in place, you’re taking a shot in the dark to fill positions that will make or (more realistically) break your company.

Don’t leave major hiring decisions up to chance – let’s scale together today.

The Art of Interviewing

About a year and a half ago, HBR published an (ironic) interview with Esquire writer, New York Times bestselling author, world-renowned interviewer, keynote speaker and corporate consultant, Cal Fussman. You might be familiar with his tagline, “Change your questions, change your life.” As self-proclaimed professional interviewers, we recruiters are fascinated by interview styles, questions, and behaviors and regard Cal Fussman as the ultimate interviewer. Even though Cal may be interviewing celebrities, his principles on interviewing to get ahead in your personal and business relationships apply directly to job interviews and talent acquisition best practices. So, here are our top three Cal Fussman tips and the tactical steps that we as recruiters take:

Make the Interviewee Comfortable

We’ve all been there; interviewing is a nerve-wracking process for an interviewee. They get nervous about the questions they’ll be asked,  if the interviewer will be intimidating, or how many people they’ll meet. Anxiety can have profound effects on interviewees – we’re all human after all. So unless you’re interviewing someone for a very high profile job or Navy Seal position, give them some grace and make them feel comfortable.  Break tension and nerves with humor and small talk before diving into your line of questioning. Chances are you’ll uncover something interesting about them and get a better sense of who they are as a professional.

Listen and Probe

If you’ve done your homework as an interviewer, you’ve reviewed their resume and already have a baseline understanding of the interviewee’s qualifications, accomplishments, and work history. The interview itself is your opportunity to learn about their personality and work ethic. Start by asking good open-ended questions, and then listen carefully to their response. Use probing questions (use why and how) to dive into their explanations and reasoning.  The interviewee should be doing most of the talking.

Save the Hard Questions for the End

An interview that begins with a hard question is tough on the interviewee. Why? Because you haven’t established trust and a baseline of communication yet… refer to our first tip and make the interviewee comfortable first. Once trust is established you can come in with the harder questions, and when they trust you, those questions are viewed in a different light typically yielding authentic answers. . 

At ORS we work closely with our partners and hiring managers to find and attract the best candidates. We help coach hiring managers and interviewers on their interview styles and tactics.  We know that great interviewers yield great hires. If you need interviewing advice, reach out to us today to see how we can help

ORS Partners Provides ‘White Label’ Recruiting Solutions to Support Liquidity Events for Ten Fast-Growth Clients

“Can’t you just find them on LinkedIn?”

ORS: We are NOT a tech startup

Is artificial intelligence going to replace my recruiter?

Creating a Great Corporate Culture, Part 4: Hiring

“There’s no magic formula for great company culture. The key is just to treat your staff how you would like to be treated.”

Richard Branson

With the past three installments of this blog series, we have examined different elements of great corporate cultures. While we saw general trends with the examples of strong corporate cultures, Mr. Branson is correct in the above quote; there is no magic formula—however, with that being said, there is a base ingredient: people. A modern physical office environment is useless without the right people inside of it, belief in an organization is irrelevant unless you hire people to believe in it, and the management team cannot instill a culture into an organization without any people.

To get the right people, your company needs to polish and define its recruiting culture.  The entire company needs to be actively involved in recruiting, rather than it being a function of a certain department. To keep people involved, your company should always announce new open positions and keep the team updated on the progress. After all, if you’re hiring, you must be growing, and if you’re growing that must mean opportunity for your team, so shouldn’t that excite them? Moreover, keeping the recruiting process transparent is extremely important as it opens the door for current employees to see where and how they can contribute.

Brian Felice, the ORS Partners’ Senior Resource Manager explains, “Know who your players are. Know who is more outspoken for active recruiting, but also recognize the quieter people that may be really strong trainers.” That way, even your more passive employees, who will not necessarily actively promote your company’s open positions, can still play a vital role in the overall recruiting process.

Once you have recruited a candidate, you need to reach deeper than their surface qualifications to see whether they will truly fit the vision and mold of your organization. Once your candidate has gotten through the screening process with their tangibles (bullet points on their resume) you need to structure your interview process to measure their intangibles (psychographic profile).

Measuring a candidate’s psychographic mold is a crucial step in hiring a good culture fit. Additionally, it is important for leadership to be involved with interviews (to a certain extent) so that they are building the company according to their desired vision. For example, Greg Schott, the CEO of MuleSoft, dedicates about 25% of his time every year to interviewing almost every new candidate that is interested in working for his company. Last year, he was involved in about 700 interviews.[1] After the interview, he then roundtables with the other interviewers to determine whether the candidate fits the culture and vision of his company. Not only does that allow him to mold the company to his vision, but it promotes a level of transparency in the management of the business.

Now, this may seem like an extreme dedication of time to the hiring process for a CEO, but as Robert Half once said, “Time spent on hiring is time well spent.”

From sourcing and screening all the way to the onboarding process, recruitment is the lifeblood of an organization. It supplies a company with consistently fresh and bright minds, and in turn, innovation naturally starts to pulse throughout the office.

Involve your whole team in the process, dedicate the time necessary to find and secure the best people, and treat recruitment as a primary driver of your company’s success.

Here at ORS Partners, we are management consultants that recruit. We partner with your business leaders and work to understand their business drivers as they relate to talent acquisition. Let us help you refine the process that defines your business. Learn more about our services here.

Written by: Christopher Eberhardt




Creating a Great Corporate Culture, Part 3: Management

“The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Times are a-changing. The baby boomers that have populated the majority of the workforce for decades are slowly retiring and are being replaced by the millennial generation (those born between 1982 and 2004). According to research conducted by the University of North Carolina, millennials will make up nearly half (46%) of the work force by 2020.

With this major change in the workforce demographic, traditional business and leadership practices are becoming outdated. In their place, a whole new workplace dynamic is evolving—one of collectivism, one that is more socially conscious, and one that is more employee/people-centric than ever before. Candidates are entering the job market more eager to work for companies with a great work environment than one that is attractive because of its financial or economic status.

Because of this desire to find a company with a good work environment, there has been a major shift towards more transparency in businesses and in leadership. From Glassdoor reviews, to LinkedIn, to Crunchbase statistics, potential employees can paint a solid picture of what a certain company’s work environment is like before they even set foot in the office. Thus, it has now fallen on management teams to not only promote an authentic set of values, beliefs, and offerings that their company offers as an employer (their Employer Value Proposition) but to live them as well.

It is imperative that the management team looks both internally to determine what is of value to them, but it is more important that they conduct external research about what is meaningful to candidates. This is a display of self-awareness that shows management’s dedication to employees and their work environment.

In the changing business world, modern management is about having an inspired vision and surrounding yourself with the people who can help you achieve that vision. In order for management to attract the type of talent they need for that, they have to live and breathe the qualities that they want to see in the people who work with them. The millennial workforce puts a heavy emphasis on company culture, and that culture is born through the leadership of the organization.

In many instances, the culture of a company starts at the top and trickles downwards. Google’s incredible culture started with the revolutionary vision of a management team focused on hiring great people and making the work environment the best it could be. Apple’s visionary, Steve Jobs, didn’t keep any secrets when it came to his success; in fact, he attributed his success to one main secret.  He said, “The secret of my success is that we have gone to exceptional lengths to hire the best people in the world.”

At the end of the day, a business is only as strong as its people and the team that leads them, so make sure that your leadership team is evolving with the times and that your organization is attracting the right talent to help achieve your goals. To learn more, visit our Talent Acquisition Consulting page, here.

Written by: Christopher Eberhardt, Summer Marketing Intern


Creating a Great Corporate Culture, Part 2: Belief

“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” Simon Sinek

At the most intricate level, the entity that makes a human being an individual is their DNA complex. It is what differentiates one person from every other. It is what makes a person… well, themselves.

A business is not so different. Every company has a ‘DNA strand’ that weaves itself into the very fabric of the organization. This strand begins with the vision of the leadership team and the team members that they choose to surround themselves when they founded the company.

In order for the fabric of the company to stay true to the original vision, your company has to hire people that are woven from the same thread of DNA. At the center of a company’s culture there lies a burning core—a core that is more important than compensation, than perks, and having a fancy office, among other things— and that core is belief.

By belief, I mean belief in the leadership team, belief in the vision, belief in the work that is being done, and belief that there is an opportunity for growth within an organization. Belief is the spark that creates the fire of a strong culture within a business. If your employees are inspired by the work that they are doing, they won’t have trouble getting up in the morning and will be truly excited to learn and contribute.

Greg Schott, the CEO of MuleSoft, said in Episode 20 of The Future of Work Podcast, “…  Get people to believe in the company and motivation will follow. No perks substitute for a good work environment.”

Now, to circle around to the point, how do you create this belief in your company that yields a great culture? That is the most important question you can ask yourself when trying to establish a strong culture. Unfortunately, there is no clear answer to this question. The variables are different for every organization, so there is not really a common path businesses can take towards the creation of that belief. However, as far as inspiration goes, it can often be quite simple…

Bob Lucci, the COO here at ORS Partners, said, “People want to fulfill their potential. It’s our job as a leadership team to show them that the opportunity to do that exists in the company.”

Individuals tend to set limits on themselves without realizing it. Presenting your employees with opportunities to step outside of their comfort zone and grow is a great way to inspire belief in both your company and the work that is being produced. If there aren’t any opportunities for employees to grow within your company, it’s a slippery slope to dissatisfaction and a lack of inspiration.

Before you focus on any perks or office space improvements, focus on hiring new talent that is compatible with your company’s ‘DNA strand,’ and that believe in the vision of your leadership team. That amazing culture that you’ve been searching for is within your grasp, and it all starts with hiring the right people.

For more advice and consultation on hiring to create that consistent DNA strand, check out ORS Partners Talent Acquisition Consulting Practice here.

Written By: Christopher Eberhardt

blog 2


Portfolio Items