JUST WHAT DOES HR DO?

Payroll. Employee Relations. Benefits.  Hiring. Onboarding. Learning and Development. Performance Management. Endless climate surveys. These may answer the question, “What does HR do?” but it doesn’t begin to explain who we are or begin to explain, when organized and employed correctly, the immense and exponential value HR can bring to a company’s ecosystem.

I am a Talent Acquisition professional and have been passionate about my function for over 20 years, and when asked “What do you do?” there is a myriad of answers I could give, and most would be expected, such as, “I am in recruiting,” “I am in staffing,”  “I help people get jobs,” and most would understand easily. But what I really do, “I bring talent solutions to business problems” – full stop.

This simple definition sometimes confuses people, but it is exactly what I do and what I am valued for, and when you get right down to it, it’s what hiring managers and leaders expect from me and those in my function. Many times, we, as a function, and our own worst enemy, are not clearly articulating our purpose and value to the whole of the business.  Human Resources and Talent Acquisition specifically are the gateway to all product, customer support, and revenue-producing functions in a company, yet we don’t articulate and champion the concept of “talent solutions.”  This is further compounded by the manager after the manager asking to “fill a position” or “I have a headcount and I needed the hire yesterday.” This is quickly followed by a laundry list of objective requirements, such as minimum years of experience in multiple roles, and many additional lines having nothing to do with the attributes needed for success in the role.

As we spoke about in “The Talent War:  How Special Operations and Great Organizations Win on Talent” this example of fear-based hiring is one of the things I see most often. It is hiring driven by the worry of not filling an empty seat or losing headcount, avoidance of ‘green flags’ and over-rotating on ‘red flags’ and then measured by speed and incentivized at the volume level. 

At the root of all of this, and providing fuel to the fire is simple – the absence of a talent mindset. This mindset is an understanding that talent is the only competitive advantage you can hope to achieve and maintain in your space defines the mindset you should have towards hiring.

To solve business problems with talent, at the ground level, requires at a minimum a strong relationship and partnership between your Talent Consultant and Hiring Managers. Second, having a clearly defined success profile, or the list of character attributes needed for success in the role. Lastly, solid A-players are trained on how to select and assess talent. 

Filling requisitions and hiring isn’t a solution, it is a task. Defining, attracting, assessing, and selecting talent for your organization is a solution. It’s a business-oriented solution that drives the company forward toward winning in our space. It’s what I do.  

George Randle is the Manager Partner at EF Overwatch, former US Army officer, and Vice President of Global Talent Acquisition at Forcepoint, a human-centric cybersecurity company. George has more than two decades of experience in talent acquisition at Fortune 100 and Fortune 1000 firms.

About the author

George Randle
Managing Partner & Co-Director of Talent Advisory | View Bio | More From the Author

George Randle is an experienced talent executive, veteran, coach, mentor and leader known for selecting, building, and reorganizing teams to reach their full business potential. George has 20+ years of Fortune 100 and Fortune 1000 global Human Resources and Talent Acquisition experience building elite teams.

George began his professional life by enlisting in the USAR.  While serving in the USAR he received his Bachelor’s Degree from Missouri State University and was commissioned as an Active-Duty Army Officer.  His career assignments included the Berlin, US CENTCOM and III Corps with deployments to Africa (Somalia and Kenya), Central America and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

George transitioned to the corporate world, experiencing many of the same challenges the Military and Veterans face today.  With the recognition that building elite teams was his true passion, he ultimately transitioned to the Human Resources and Talent Acquisition function.  George went on to create a talent engine to hire a world-class team for a cyber security firm and one of the largest and most successful Veteran Hiring Programs for a Global Fortune 50 firm and collectively, the teams he has built have hired over 85,000 professionals, including over 2000 executives.  He is Hogan (HPI, HDS and MVPI) Leadership Assessment Certified.

George currently resides in Austin, Texas and is the co-author of the best-selling book, “The Talent War: How Special Operations and Great Organizations Win on Talent,” Vice President and Global Head of Talent Acquisition for an industry-leading cyber security firm and Managing Partner for The Talent War Group.

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