5 Reasons Talent Acquisition Pros Fail

by | Nov 2, 2022

Are Talent Acquisition pros being set up to fail?

Last week I had a ball speaking at #LDNLive22 about ‘Handling Hiring Managers (Even The Hectic Ones)’ and the session was overflowing. Huge thanks to Mark Lennox & Natasha Preocanin for creating a brilliant day.

5 Reasons Talent Acquisition Pros Fail Katrina Collier

It would be lovely to think I was the draw but sadly, people were there for the topic not for me. 😉 Casting my deflated ego aside, it is concerning that so many feel they aren’t being supported with their hiring manager interactions. And whose fault is that?

The session was very interactive. I asked which of the most common hiring managers issues they face and then provided live coaching to their questions (similar style to what Collective members have access to every 2 weeks). But I started to feel like a broken record because it became abundantly clear that the ‘people who bring in the people’ don’t know how to conduct a proper intake and are not supported.

In fact, from recent, very recent conversations, I hear these 5 the most.


1. Talent acquisition pros conduct poor intakes

Regular readers have heard me harp on about this before, I know, but why is it still a problem. Why is it not being fixed? What is the real fear here that we’re not addressing?

  • Escalation: Talent Acquisition pros worry HMs will ‘complain up’ 😬
  • Intimidation: the HM has some grandiose job title or is full of self-importance.
  • Lack of skills: Talent Acquisition pros fed to the lions without training & support.
  • Insecurity: in their employment/role and definitely not helped by these first 3.

🤔 If I created a course drilling into the human-side of nailing an intake, how-to handle real world scenario kind of stuff, would it help you? Let me know here.


2. People-pleasing

Perfectionism and people-pleasing have no place in recruitment or amongst HR talent acquisition pros. Our job is to match the best person to the role and hiring manager, and that means letting a lot of people down. That means rejecting people. IMHO, a huge cause of recruiter ghosting is due to people-pleasers who don’t want to stand up to the hiring manager and get proper feedback, and nor do they want to deliver it.

As a people-pleaser, it also means that you’re avoiding the tough questions, evading setting boundaries, and ultimately doing a disservice to your hiring managers, candidates and YOURSELF.

Plus you cannot people-please and be strategic, and in this unstable market, that is unwise!

🤩 I created a mini-course to help recruiters become strategic. Of course, it includes advice to quit people pleasing! You can check it out here. It also includes advice I cannot see ‘out there’ and it goes beyond what is in my book.


3. No screening calls by talent acquisition pros!

When leaders tell me they’ve taken over a TA team that doesn’t perform screening calls, they get an unfiltered ‘WTF?’ in reply. Because, seriously, WTF? WTAF! 😮

Ok, if you had the CV in from an agency, and the agent has done a proper screening call and delivered a fab candidate-brief, fine. But, to the Talent Acquisition pros who are sourcing or sieving job applications… SCREEN PEOPLE!!


  • People suck at writing their CV! You are overlooking so many people. If you are recruiting where skills are in-demand, have a conversation. Even if they’re not right, they may be sitting next to the person who is or be right for something later.
Talent Acquisition pros
  • Hiring managers aren’t paid to focus on recruiting 100% of the time, you are. If you expect that they will find time, they won’t. When they finally do find some time, the candidates will no longer be available. And on the vicious cycle will go.
  • It creates a poor candidate experience and that means it’s harder to recruit in the future!
  • Recruiters write bad job adverts (just for you, Mitch), which means something amazing about the role is probably missing on it, something you can relay in the screening call.

I could go on but my thinking is getting potty mouthed because I simply don’t get it. Stop it! Screen people. (If you don’t like talking to people, recruitment isn’t for you!)


4. No investment in talent acquisition pros

📣 Paging company leaders! Paging HR & TA leaders! 📣

Stop being so shortsighted. You know your people are the differentiator because it’s people that run the company and decide its fate. People.

Pop “employees are the most valuable asset” into Google and you’ll see 74,000 articles. So surely your Talent Acquisition pros – the people that bring in the people – should be the mostest most valuable asset, right? Invest in them. Make them the best on the planet.

🎁 Thank your team & ready them for 2023: 1. invest in them with a workshop, 2. pop them into The Collective, and, at a minimum, 3. buy them each a copy of The Robot-Proof Recruiter.


5. Talent Acquisition pros don’t invest in themselves

When I was last employed I paid for my own LinkedIn license; bet that shocks some of you! I did it because it helped me fill roles. I have also invested in countless courses, coaches & mentors, and books, because they all make me better, and that investment has swiftly provided a return.

Sure it sucks if you work for a company that won’t invest in you but what do you lose by not investing in yourself? Besides becoming a better recruiter, which means more roles filled with greater ease, you won’t be as stressed! And who doesn’t want that?

Plus, you could soon leave this company and go to one where you are appreciated for your self-invested recruitment skills, and receive a higher salary. Something to ponder the next time you hear that no.


What did I miss?

There are more! Of course there are. The more companies insist on focusing on data and tech, and overlooking the human elements that make a great recruiter, the worse it will get.

Recruiters and talent acquisition pros, if this got you thinking, imagine what working with me would be like. 😊

Part of the Recruitment Isn’t Broken newsletter. For more, be sure to subscribe below, grab Edition 2 of The Robot-Proof Recruiter, check out The Collective, book a workshop or listen to The Hiring-Partner Perspective.


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