arrowCrosschq Blog

Starting Over Right: The Opportunity to Rebuild TA For Success

Doing More, With Less

The past five years have been a whirlwind of change for recruitment. Companies have gone through one metamorphosis after another, pushing through challenges like Covid, the economy, layoffs, and tech funding issues. 

The Balance of Power Keeps Shifting

A majority of the workforce became comfortable with working remotely, and attempts to force workers back to on-site employment have been difficult to enforce. Quiet quitting became “a thing” and the Great Resignation turned into the Great Reshuffle and then the Great Retention. Now, some analysts are even calling this shift the Great Negotiation, as employers and employees alike bargain and mediate their way to a new way of work.

The Talent Pool Continues to Shrink  

From a quit-rate record of 2.9% in August 2021 to a 54-year record low for unemployment in February 2023, it has certainly been a roller coaster. Around 3 million baby boomers retired early because of the pandemic, and so did a bunch of late Gen Xers who could afford to walk away.

The Age of Millennials and Gen Z Has Arrived

With boomers hitting retirement age in ever-increasing numbers, younger generations are taking over. Millennials already make up nearly 40% of the workforce, and that number is expected to continue to grow swiftly. Gen Z is right behind them, closing in on a 30% workforce share. By 2030, Millennials and Gen Z are expected to make up 74% of the U.S. workforce.

Diversity Has Suffered Across all Industries

Women particularly were forced out of the workforce in droves with school and daycare closures necessitating childcare to take a front seat. Diversity took a hard hit, with many workers who represented diverse groups (women, people of color, and LGBT specifically) being disproportionately affected. These same groups are now driving the push to stay remote.

Hiring Professionals Have Been Hit Hard 

Post-pandemic, hiring took off, but in certain industries a sharp downturn quickly followed, especially in finance and tech fields. Layoffs didn’t just affect company-wide employees; HR departments and DEI teams were often gutted and hiring cohorts completely disbanded.

With no / low growth, hiring and recruiting moved to the back burner, and spending on resources to streamline recruitment wasn’t even in the picture. Companies were often left with a single person left to manage all HR responsibilities and few tools to help them do their job well.

Quality of Fire Negatively Impacted Quality of Hire

Meanwhile Quality of Hire plummeted; the traditional firing policies of “last in, first out” (LIFO) didn’t take into account employee performance data, meaning teams weren’t left with the best possible people to keep companies afloat.

Now, more than ever, who to let go needs to be as carefully thought out as who to retain. Giving up some of your best employees based on an outdated “seniority” policy is an approach proven to fail. Data driven dismissals are much more likely to keep a core workforce stable and strong.

Getting Ready for a Resurgence in Hiring

Turnaround is slow but things are improving. Some companies are even in a new hiring spree, especially in blue-collar industries. White-collar professionals are having a tougher time, but skills shortages mean recruiters are looking for exceptional talent with skills and competencies that closely match key roles.

Talent acquisition experts should be prepared for a continuation of the recruitment landscape disruption in 2024. They must also be prepared to accept that AI-powered tools and recruitment-focused tech will be a large part of their world going forward - a world that hopefully includes healthy growth and recruiting increases.

Rebuilding TA Function: Time for a Process Makeover

Companies that fired their TA function are struggling to keep up with the competition and remain agile in a rapidly evolving recruiting landscape. Hiring is on its way back up, so how will talent acquisition be handled going forward? 

Many organizations simply outsourced during the hiring slump, either partially or fully. Others intend to rehire HR and recruitment professionals to reform their hiring team. But a growing number of businesses are looking at option three: rebuilding TA function from the ground up, with an open mind about tools and resources to transform their process.

Many organizations that slashed their TA functions down by 75% and only kept junior leaders and generalists are now scrambling to correct courses. Either those junior managers simply didn’t prove capable of building a TA strategy to set the company up for success, or they made bad strategic decisions over the past six months that are now becoming apparent to senior leadership.

As a result, senior leadership is now hitting the "panic button" and looking to right the ship. I met with the CEO of a 2K person series G company last week who told me straight up that he made the wrong decision of cutting the TA functional head, 1/2 the team and the budget over a year ago. That startup is now trying to build a time machine to recoup the lost time and productivity caused by making bad hires and not having a strong bench to turn to.

Hiring Smarter: The Secret to Quality of Hire

Everyone’s talking about Quality of Hire these days. It’s the way to hire faster, better, and smarter, closing skills gaps and building future-proof teams. However, many talent acquisition specialists and HR departments have no idea what this actually entails… something about data?

Understanding signals of who would be the best hire and putting processes into place to streamline identifying and securing top talent can ensure a strong, diverse workforce. Being able to segment, analyze, interpret and leverage data to add high-performance hires is critical.

Tools that break down Quality of Hire into easy-to-understand visual reports and use post-hire performance to predict candidate potential are desperately needed. Justifying the expense of such tools requires TA professionals to themselves understand how important data is to hiring better, so they make their case to the C-suite.

Do More with Less, but How? 

As demand comes back, TA teams are faced with longer “to do” lists, but with fewer resources. Budgets are tight, so everyone has to learn how to make do. Do faster, with less. Do better, with less. Do more, with less.

The recent instability of the hiring market—including swings from mass hiring to mass layoffs to a cautious return to recruitment—and huge changes to how hiring is approached and the demands of upcoming generations have changed the game.

Not only must TA function be rebuilt, it has to be flexible, agile, and open to change. Traditional hiring is on its way out the door, making way for digital natives who demand a streamlined candidate experience and employers who demand recruiters do more with less. 

How? Efficiency, expertise, resources, and tools designed to make every step of recruitment faster, easier, and more accurate. Here’s how to do more with less, starting with learning how to access and use data you already have.

Data, Data, Data…

There’s so much employee and candidate data available to organizations these days. Unfortunately, much of it is locked in their ATS and HRIS, siloed and not easy to access or use effectively.  Here’s how to make data work for you:

1. Start by gathering and tracking your data.

Use tools like Crosschq that can extract relevant employee and candidate data from your various databases and track trends over time to identify patterns. Get in the habit of asking questions and looking for answers in the data, to build processes  and strategies that are data-informed.

Benchmark your available data, and set critical KPIs that show you information you need to know and share, like time to hire, cost per hire, and time between interview and offer. Track Quality of Hire by role, department, and the entire company.

Building specific dashboards or reports to share with stakeholders, and continually refer back to them to get everyone on the same page. Your entire team needs to become familiar with these reports, so you’ll need a reporting solution that is highly visual and easy to understand.

Start here with the Ultimate List of Recruiting Benchmarks! 


2. Consolidate tools to cut the fat and streamline your operation

This rebuild of your TA function is a perfect opportunity to re-evaluate which tools are really making an impact and which ones are simply adding to the clutter recruiters and hiring managers already have to deal with. 

Which is better—a huge box full of tools the majority of which rarely get used, or a compact kit that takes care of 99% of your pain points in a clean, simple package? Door number two, please. Crosschq is a great example of an all-in-one TA function support solution. Here is how I would build it:

Crosschq 360 Digital Reference Checking

Crosschq’s answer to the challenges posed by traditional reference checking is its robust 360 candidate check and reporting tool.  Crosschq 360 digital reference checking has several layers to help with your current situation:

  1. Cutting through the noise by helping filter resumes and surfacing top candidates quickly and efficiently
  2. Assessing candidates for key skills and competencies—actual facts that matter and will impact future performance and outcomes
  3. Allowing candidates to perform self-checks first, highlighting their strengths which can then be supported by follow-up checks with their references
  4. Increasing the efficiency of your hiring process, including time-to-hire and cost-per-hire 
  5. Improving Quality of Hire metrics with better quality hires who are more likely to stay with your company longer
  6. Enhancing candidate experience by creating a streamlined, transparent, and highly engaged hiring process

In addition, Crosschq 360 can be connected (with candidate and reference opt-in) to the Crosschq Recruit candidate sourcing database - delivering a customized talent pool of ready-to-work, high-quality candidates who can be tapped for future roles.

Crosschq Recruiting Analytics

Crosschq’s TalentWall overlays your ATS, giving you the data you need when you need it, updating bidirectionally in real time, and providing everyone on your team with a clear picture of “how hiring is going.” Using this function combined with their ATS analytics solution helps you: 

  • Uncover inefficiencies in your process and ATS so you can fix them
  • Increase offer acceptance rates while shortening time-to-hire  
  • Improve communication and collaboration between recruiters and hiring managers 
  • Streamline the entire recruitment pipeline for better candidate experience and hiring outcomes

3. Automate repetitive processes to free up time for “human” tasks

The best tools for improving recruitment focus on doing more with less automation to prevent time-suck over mindless, repetitive tasks. Crosschq 360 takes reference checking off of recruiters’ plates, turning the entire process into a simple survey creation that can be sent to each candidate with a simple click. 

Reports come in ready to scan and compare candidates across similar skills and competencies, reducing unconscious bias and making hiring decisions faster and easier. In the meantime, TA professionals can spend their precious time on relationship building and candidate nurturing. It’s the fast-track to better hiring team experience.

4. Simplify end-to-end hiring processes with collaboration and integration 

Crosschq gives you a unified, collaborative, central reporting system, with easy sharing so every stakeholder can quickly access critical data points and gain insights into the hiring funnel. Quality of Hire analytics help you set benchmarks to track and and improve the strength of your core workforce over time.

Crosschq also has strong integrations with major platforms like Greenhouse and Workday, taking the complexity out of ATS functionality and making recruitment easier. Support from the Crosschq team helps make integration and maintenance of the system hassle-free.

Need to do more with less? If so, that should not come with the sacrifice of completely gutting your TA function and turning off the switch for building a high-performing TA strategy.

It’s time for organizations to step into the future of recruiting with an open mind, moving away from stale, outdated recruitment methods and the misinformed thinking that you only need to focus on your TA strategy when it becomes an immediate need to hire. 

Embrace the power of AI, automation, and high-performance tools that support your TA function from start to finish. 

If hiring for your organization has slowed down and you are focused on maximizing your existing employees potential while continually up-leveling your talent bench, then it is all the more reason why you should be looking at the strategies I have outlined here in order to build a world class talent strategy and continue to invest in your organizations #1 asset: your People.


by Pete Lawson

Take the Guesswork
Out of Hiring

Schedule a demo now
ESTE_cropped este_sm cta_light