What are the Responsibilities of a Director of Talent Acquisition?

So, you’re ready to build a Talent Factory within your expansion stage company. Or, you have a recruiter who is an individual contributor, and as your company scales, you’ll need someone to manage and build the talent acquisition function.

Your next step is to hire a Director of Talent, but before you begin your search there’s a lot to think about.

To start, what will the scope of your Director of Talent’s responsibilities be?

Depending on your company’s size and growth projections, you will either want to hire someone who will focus exclusively on talent acquisition, or someone who will have both talent acquisition and human resources responsibilities.

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It is more likely that your Director of Talent will have talent acquisition and HR responsibilities if you:

  • Are not planning on hiring a VP of HR in the near future, and/or
  • Do not have an HR generalist on staff.

The benefit to having someone completely focused on talent acquisition is just that — they are able to spend all of their time working with and managing the talent acquisition team who will scale your business. They will also have the ability to do some hands-on recruiting themselves, and actively participate in career fairs and other recruiting events.

If you have, or will soon have, a VP of Talent/HR or a Chief People Officer, or you have an HR generalist, you may not need a Director of Talent who has any HR experience. In this case, you should look for someone who has successfully managed multiple recruiters at a high growth technology company in the past, and will not necessarily need someone with HR experience.

If you have determined that your Director of Talent will hold HR responsibilities, you will want to look for someone who not only has extensive talent acquisition management experience, but who has also managed the HR function at a growing tech company that’s a similar size to your company size. This Director of HR should be expected to manage the full Talent/HR function, at least until your company scales to the point where you require a strategic VP or C-level executive who has previously owned this function at a larger company.

Although specific responsibilities will differ depending on your company’s needs, there are some general responsibilities that will remain the same.

General responsibilities that all Directors of Talent should have include:

  • Hiring and Firing: The responsibility of hiring recruiters for their team, managing these recruiters for success, and firing underperforming team members when necessary.
  • Managing the Team Budget: Ensuring the talent acquisition team is effectively operating within its budget, and periodically performing cost and productivity analysis.
  • Goal-Setting: Developing metrics for the talent acquisition team, and creating quarterly and annual goals which the team can measure themselves against to determine their success.
  • Day-to-Day Management: Working with the talent acquisition team to put best practices into place, resolve impediments, and help them achieve their quarterly and annual goals.
  • Annual Reviews: Conducting annual performance reviews with each member of the talent acquisition team.

Once you determine all of the areas of responsibility that your Director of Talent will own, you can prepare to launch your search for the right candidate. Next week, I will discuss the experience and traits you should look for in your company’s head of talent acquisition. It will be important to have a well thought out profile of your ideal candidate before initiating your search.

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