Finding the Right Talent Acquisition Partner


September 25, 2020


180 Engineering

With so many organizations currently in a state of flux, it is a great time to thoroughly consider whether your current talent acquisition partner(s) is meeting your needs. 

Engineering, IT, and other technical positions have become incredibly specialized in recent years. There is a good chance that general talent recruiters—internal and external—do not have the necessary understanding of technical positions or the market. 

Although the job market is turbulent now, recruiting technical talent relies heavily on engaging passive candidates. Despite there being more available candidates on the market due to layoffs and downsizing, the engineering and IT talent markets remain relatively tight. A high percentage of quality candidates have employment, and thus, they are not in job-search mode. Recruiters who cannot speak the industry’s language and fail to understand the position will not be effective at starting conversations with highly sought-after passive candidates.

We have assembled a talent acquisition partner review checklist to help you consider whether your current talent acquisition partner(s) is meeting your needs, or whether you need to find a new partner.

Checklist for Reviewing a Talent Acquisition Partner

✓ Industry knowledge and understanding

Your recruiting partner must have a solid understanding of the positions for which you are recruiting and the markets you serve. This understanding will facilitate both appropriately identifying candidates and piquing the interest of passive candidates.

✓ Alignment with your company’s culture

Does the talent acquisition firm both understand and behave per your company’s culture? Ensuring your company’s culture is present at every stage of the recruiting process makes it more likely your recruiting partner will engage candidates who will be good cultural fits.

✓ Excellent communications skills

Your talent acquisition partner must have excellent communication skills when engaging with you and your team as well as with candidates. Regular reporting on your open requisitions, as well as timely and thorough communications with candidates, is necessary.

✓ Reliability and integrity

You and potential candidates must trust that your recruiting partner will do what they say, and when they say they will do it. Additionally, your recruiter must behave with utmost honesty and transparency. They must be willing to have hard conversations with either you or the candidates. Ultimately, your recruiting partner is acting on your behalf and must not tarnish your company’s reputation.

✓ Acts with your interests in mind

Your talent acquisition partner must behave with your best interests in mind, rather than merely trying to find the fastest path to a commission check. Will they give their time and attention to difficult-to-fill roles, or will they only work on easy-to-fill roles?

✓ Creativity and perseverance

Finding the right candidates for increasingly specialized technical roles is often quite challenging. Your talent acquisition partner must have the creativity to tap into new pools of talent when needed and be committed to getting the job done, even when it is difficult.

✓ Candidate screening process

Does your recruiting partner have an effective and thorough screening process? A recruiter’s ability to effectively screen candidates is highly dependent on their understanding of your company’s culture, the market, and the role itself.

✓ Industry reputation

Because your talent acquisition partner is acting on your behalf, it is wise to be discriminating. Testimonials and the receipt of industry awards are great ways to learn about how the firm is perceived in the industry.

If you are considering a new talent acquisition partner to help you fill engineering, IT, and other technical roles, 180 Engineering is happy to help. We’re looking forward to hearing from you.