Team Building: Creating a Talent Acquisition Team - The Edge from the National Association of Landscape Professionals

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Team Building: Creating a Talent Acquisition Team

Photo: Brilar

You’ve probably heard the slogan ‘Always be recruiting’ before. But how do you make that motto a reality?

For Brilar, based in Farmington Hills, Michigan, they decide to create a dedicated talent acquisition team six months ago. There are five people on the team currently, with two talent acquisition specialists, one talent acquisition associate, a digital marketing specialist and one director of talent acquisition.

“We recognized the employment market had changed and we needed to not only, continue marketing to candidates who were actively looking for a career change/growth, we had to start investing our time in searching for the right candidates who would continue to support Brilar’s core values of safety, integrity, continued education, accountability, respect, unity, and win/win (1+1=3),” says Heather Woodruff, director of talent acquisition. “We needed a team dedicated to this task.”

Photo: Brilar

Brilar employs over 200 people currently and specializes in serving large multi-property portfolios throughout the country.

The talent acquisition team uses job boards, social media, in-person events, active recruitment of passive candidates and partners with local community leaders in various demographics to find new job candidates.

Woodruff says the talent acquisition team understands their job is not supposed to be easy and it’s not just a numbers game. They find the challenge rewarding instead of exhausting. She adds that this mindset is a choice they have to make every day.

“While we have aggressive goals we strive for, we are constantly trying to use our emotional intelligence to understand our candidates, what environments they like, what challenges inspire them to push and grow, and what kind of support they need to be the best versions of themselves,” Woodruff says. “If we can pair a candidate up with a job that will make them feel successful, make them feel appropriately challenged, and give them the right support then we have aligned the candidate and the company for a better shot at long-term success.” 

While the HR department is formally tasked with retention, the talent acquisition team works to support HR by watching their hires closely and picking talent that fits the position and company culture.

“It is very important to our team to match candidates with positions we not only think the candidate is well suited for but will also provide them value and satisfaction,” Woodruff says. “We spend time reviewing any terminations to see what we can learn, and we focus our efforts on creating a positive experience for every interested candidate from day one.”    

Photo: Brilar

If you are considering creating your own talent acquisition team, Woodruff advises being an advocate both for the company and the candidate.

“It is ok to let a candidate know if you don’t think the position you have available is going to make them happy or satisfied,” Woodruff says. “This is a service not only to the company but to the candidate. Anything less doesn’t usually work out for either party.”    

This could sometimes mean moving a candidate to a different position they’re better suited for or having a positive final conversation so they can find satisfying work elsewhere.

“You never know when you might reach back out to the candidate, or, if they will refer someone else to you, all because of the respect you extended them during the process,” Woodruff says.

Jill Odom

Jill Odom is the senior content manager for NALP.