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S2 E3: How to get executive buy-in from the C-suite to implement performance metrics for every VP companywide w James Mackey.

Podcast Transcript

James Mackey  0:00  

Hello, and welcome to Talent acquisition Trends and Strategy. I'm your host, James Mackay, and today we have a special episode, we're going to be slowing down and discussing how to get executive buy-in from the C suite to implement performance metrics for every VP, companywide. 


As leaders and talent acquisition, we know that there are a lot of things outside of our control. When it comes to hiring top talent, we cannot control if a VP of sales or engineering is going to follow the best practices required to achieve great hiring outcomes. We've all worked with that VP of sales that obviously wouldn't let his team go a week without following up with a hot lead. But is doing that all the time with top talent.


There are just so many things outside of our control, just to list a few constant rescheduling, not providing feedback to candidates or putting it in the ATS not having a clear role description or alignment with the hiring team on requirements, scheduling the next round interviews too far out, or just having like a general lack of charisma, or ability to sell the company's vision, or why it's exciting to work on their team, there are about a million other things that we're all aware of. But those are just some of the top ones that come to mind.


So we have to be thoughtful about how we approach the C suite in order to get by it. And one of the things when you're doing your annual planning or even if it's past annual planning midway into q1, q2, or later in the year, is you have to be able to show the executives why it's so freaking painful for them not to have performance and metrics in place for the rest of the executive team. So when you're going to the C team, you want to be able to present that story of how it's painful and then share the solution. And if you present this in the right way, they're going to be asking you what we do? How can we solve this problem? And that's exactly what you want to do. 


So the way that you position it is, you need to ask them even if you already know the answer, what you want to ask them is, you know, where is the company hurting the most right now? Or where are the biggest opportunities for us to hit our objectives this year, get them to talk about product roadmap, get them to talk about the go-to-market strategy, you have to talk about the pressure they're receiving from venture capital. Right? And with that, then gets them to say, okay, in order to achieve that goal, which hires are most critical, and then they'll start going like, we really are going to need this specific type of engineer, we need enterprise account executives, or we need to build out the sales development function, right? And get them to talk about that and why it's so important to reach the company's objectives. And you can do it from the perspective of just asking why you could say, you know, beyond why I need to understand the why because I need to be able to sell that story to candidates and make sure that my recruiters are coached on that.


So get them to explain the why. And get them to explain like, Okay, well, just as I'm putting together my hiring plan, I noticed you have these budgeted for Q1. I want to make sure that we're putting in the highest leverage positions for Q1 that are going to help us grow. Why is this so important? Right getting into that? Or what happens if we couldn't hire these in q2? What's the importance of having them in Q1, and getting them to talk about the pain of not getting those hires? And quickly, once you've done this framework, that's when you can go in and say, like, look, I totally understand where you're coming from. I'm on the same page that we need to get this done. I don't think given the current talent strategy we have in place, we are going to be able to realistically achieve this hiring plan.


Pause, don't say anything. Inevitably, they're gonna get frustrated, maybe a little bit annoyed, and say, well, like, what do we do? What do you recommend, right? And that's what you want. You want them to feel uncomfortable, you want them to feel the pain, and you want them to ask you the questions so that they get in the state of mind of being receptive to feedback into change, as opposed to coming out the gate swinging and saying, Guys, this is what we need to do.


So once you've done that, then you have your opportunity to open up and actually influence change. And you say, look, the best way to achieve this result is to put in performance metrics for every hiring manager, at least every VP, company-wide. Because there is a tonne of things outside of my control as a VP of talent acquisition. When it comes to the hiring process. You can list off a few of the things and you say this is the impact of not having performance metrics in place for each member of the executive team. From there, you want to pull up profiles of the position that needs to be hired for the most that have dropped out, excuse me, candidates that have dropped out of the process over the past six months.


So what I'm trying to say is, essentially if your company needs to hire four engineers at scale, right? And that's a key hiring initiative over q1 and q2, for instance, you want to pull up five profiles of kick-ass engineers that decided to drop out of the process due to a lack of best practices being implemented in the company. So from there, you're demonstrating the pain and also demonstrating how the company is missing out and hiring the best people because they have the wrong talent strategy in place. So once you've shown profiles, a candidate dropped out, say, Hey, this is the caliber of people that we need to take the company to the next level. And the issue is that a lot of these folks are dropping out because of XYZ, and what this ultimately results in.


And then that's where you get into the metrics, the time to fill the conversion rates, right, everything that is, you know, data-driven, that you can share, backing up your argument. And honestly, having the data is critical, even though the most important parts of your conversations, everything we just said, You're validating it by showing those reports. And you're then showing, hey, this is how we can improve these metrics, by getting these performance standards in place companywide.


If you do this in a data-driven way, and in a way where you demonstrate or you get them to share their pain with you and get them to ask you for the solution, you're going to have a much better chance of getting the buy-in, you need to change the strategy. And to take this a step further. If you are working with a C team that is not receptive to implementing this change, then it's probably a good idea to start looking for another position at a different company. Because again, if you are in a position where you are held accountable for results that you cannot control, then ultimately, your likelihood of success is just going to nosedive. And so I think this is a critical best practice and something that when you're interviewing for your next role, you need to make sure that the executive team is either already doing this or too receptive to changing their talent strategy. And hiring top talent consistently needs to be part of the company culture and needs to be part of how every single department within the organization is run.


So anyways, that's today's topic. I hope it's helpful, and I am looking forward to speaking with you next time. Take care. 

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