arrowCrosschq Blog

When TA Value Is Lost In Translation -- Solving C-Suite and Talent Acquisition Communication Breakdowns


Talent acquisition is a uniquely challenging role. HR professionals, TA specialists, recruiters, hiring managers, and others who work in or around the hiring funnels must be able to communicate seamlessly to:

  • Create clear, compelling job descriptions to attract the right candidates
  • Identify and target top talent as soon as it enters the recruitment pipeline
  • Facilitate swift and accurate candidate screening and assessments
  • Ensure the assessment to interview to offer stages move swiftly
  • Complete post-hire analysis for Quality of Hire insights 
  • Leverage post-hire data for future recruitment strategies

Instead of “going with the flow”, be bold, and sync stride with the CEO. It is the only way HR and TA will be taken seriously and achieve true success.

Caution: Communication Breakdown Next 10 Miles

If your recruitment team is working like an oiled piece of machinery, that’s great. However, there can still be a lot of frustration between the executive level and your talent acquisition experts when it comes to understanding what’s needed to:

  • Make great hires happen
  • Avoid bad hires
  • Streamline the hiring funnel
  • Get offers accepted
  • Retain top talent long term

Frustration between C-suite and TA doesn’t happen because the CFO is narrow-minded or the CEO is myopic or distracted. The friction between different levels of your company is often caused because each party is speaking a completely different language. When you solve that, everything can fall in place.

Bridging the Gap from Elementary to Exemplary

The best person to facilitate and evangelize clear, understandable communication between all parties associated with recruitment is the Chief Human Resources Officer, or CHRO. 

This should be someone in the upper echelon of your HR department who acts as the point of contact and true conduit between recruitment and the executive level– someone who is ideally directly familiar with the inner workings of TA. 

CHROs can help by effectively translating what recruitment is doing and accomplishing into the value-based language your CFO and CEO understand. 

  • On the CEO/CFO side, providing more clarity and attention to the challenges TA professionals face, and the increasing hidden costs of poor recruitment strategies, will lead to more resources being allocated to TA. 

  • On the HR/TA side, being able to understand and align with core business goals will lead to better relationships with the CFO and CEO, who will be able to see the tangible direct and indirect value HR and TA bring to the table.

Exemplary CHROs put people before strategy. When people succeed, the strategy is automatically a success. A CHRO needs to be a pro at predicting outcomes based on current strategy, diagnosing problems in the hiring funnel, and prescribing next best actions to resolve those issues.

Exemplary CEOs must also learn to embrace a people-first vision for their companies, and give CHROs the trust and the tools they need to attract the best people possible. When a company is built with all the right people, and employee development software is integrated into candidate selection, hiring, onboarding, and career guidance, everything else falls into place.

The CHRO can be of immense value to the company by looking beyond the basics. They focus on digging deep to crystallize exactly what each job requires, and evaluating candidates to realistically assess whether they meet those requirements.

A CHRO’s Road Map to Success

Here’s the basic road map for CHROs seeking to get CEO buy-in for the tools and resources they need to get the best people working for their organization:

1: Align TA strategies and KPIs with your CEO’s vision

Fully embrace, live and breathe your CEO's mission for your organization, and identify where talent acquisition can help achieve the core business objectives. Make sure your TA strategies are also aligned with the company's values.

What is your CEO passionate about? Proactively step up to the plate and show how your strategies support the company’s vision, including critical initiatives such as diversity and inclusion or planned sustainability initiatives. Showing exactly how TA contributed directly to the achievement of such goals will build trust and credibility.

2: Learn your CEO’s native language

Once you have delved into business objectives, financial objectives, workforce data, and industry trends, start using some of the same language to frame your contributions to achieving CEO-driven goals. This means getting comfortable with numbers and metrics. 

You don’t have to become a data analyst - there are great tools that help you make data make sense! - but you do have to be able to speak confidently about things like key metrics and benchmarking. Hard data is critical to getting your point across.

Start with this guide covering the top 7 key Hiring Intelligence and related industry benchmarks.


3: Widen your focus to the bigger picture

Your CEO is focused on the broader strategy of the organization, so showing them how your initiatives fit into the company's overall vision and align with their long-term goals is critical to gaining their buy-in. Your recruitment pipeline data is critical to this step.

Map talent acquisition to the company’s long-term goals, and emphasize the role of talent in driving success in business outcomes including its impact on your company’s bottom line. Then make sure you have developed a long-term talent acquisition plan that clearly demonstrates your value as a strategic partner to your CEO.  


4: Become a statistical storyteller

An effective communication tool is storytelling. Frame your statistics within compelling and concise stories that show your CEO the direct link between actions and results. You can illustrate the impact that TA efforts have had on your organization while driving home why that success is important. Your CEO will retain more of the information - relaying statistics alone tends to result in only a 5%-10% retention rate, but when embedded in a story, fact recall jumps to 65%-70%!

Here is a quick cheat sheet on the financial impact of improved TA KPIs such as Quality of Hire.


5: Challenge “the way it’s always been done” while remaining a team player

CEOs want to see innovative approaches and fresh ideas, but companies resist change. You need to make compelling, data-driven arguments that get buy-in from as many people as possible before attempting to drive in a new direction. 

  • Identify pain points in the current process
  • Gather data and metrics to support your claims 
  • Collaborate with hiring managers
  • Proactively create strategic action plans to address those pain points
  • Build cross-departmental support
  • Have multiple plans so when one fails, you can quickly pivot

The ability to innovate and challenge the status quo while keeping everyone involved on your side can mean you are able to rapidly iterate improvements and transform your company’s TA strategy. Having the backing of your CEO in building a hiring plan for modern times can mean setting you and your team up for long-term success.

How Crosschq Can Help

Setting KPIs, challenging the status quo to create new action plans, and building stories based around data facts can all be very overwhelming. CHROs need tools to help them succeed. In a data-driven recruitment landscape, automation, bias reduction, Quality of Hire metrics, and data analytics are key. 

Don’t worry, you don’t have to become an analyst: Crosschq handles the heavy lifting and all you have to do is communicate the results. With over 100+ pre-built reports, drag and drop dashboards and easy connect integrations, you can be armed with powerful data insights in no time. 

  • Crosschq 360 pushes bias out of the reference check process and standardizes candidate scores so you can compare apples to apples and easily surface top talent.

  • TalentWall by Crosschq overlays your ATS and delivers a birds-eye view into “how hiring is going”, helping you clarify important metrics like time-to-hire, cost-of-hire, and other things your CEO cares about.

  • Crosschq Analytics highlights and showcases the most important metric for CEOs: Quality of Hire. Generate easy to understand and present reports and give your EO the data they desperately want.

Talking to your CEO about the importance of what HR and TA do shouldn’t be so hard. Better data, and better communication are key to aligning strategies and goals, and driving success across your entire organization. To learn more about how Crosschq can help you achieve these goals, request a free demo today.

Katie Kennedy

by Katie Kennedy

Talent Consulting Lead

Take the Guesswork
Out of Hiring

Schedule a demo now
ESTE_cropped este_sm cta_light