If it’s been a couple years since your last executive job search, there’s something you’ll want to take note of: the rise of talent acquisition teams in the corporate setting.

There are a couple main reasons for the trend:

1. Organizations have become frustrated with underperforming Human Resources capabilities in regard to recruiting and hiring. Let’s face it: HR gets pulled in a million different directions, so how could that model be great at recruiting top leaders?
2. Because of #1 above, the costs of executive search fees are rising.
Many large and small companies are now building internal talent acquisition teams whose sole objective is to recruit top talent. They don’t get mired in all of the HR responsibilities so they can focus on their one objective—recruiting.

Executive Job Search Tips for the Talent Acquisition Process

As an executive candidate, you will get pushed to these teams or contacted by them for opportunities. Here’s how to help “manage to success” and an offer:

  1. Realize they are recruiting experts not HR generalist. They can be a huge advocate for you. They have had the conversation with the hiring manager about the requirements that aren’t on the job description.
  2. Know they are going to be more aggressive than your past experience with corporate HR. A large percentage of these teams are made up of past “head hunters,” and they are compensated in a similar manner. So take advantage of their knowledge of the hiring manager, the company, and the hiring process—they want to you to get an offer.
  3. Be aware that there are still unfortunate downsides to this model—especially for marketing talent. These Talent Acquisition teams are built with recruiters who have a specific industry or discipline expertise, and most large organizations have a small percentage of the employee base represented by marketing. Because of that, you may be working with a recruiter who has limited experience with the marketing discipline. You will need to be very detailed with your questions and in discovering and sharing the right information. The good news is that the recruiter should be on your team, especially if they have contacted you.

Overall, as an executive candidate, the increase in talent acquisition teams should be a good thing for you as you enter the job market. Their focus and incentive is to get the right talent hired quickly. Remember to keep an eye out for the ones who don’t know your discipline and work with them to uncover the unwritten requirements.