Recruitment team structure: What are the key positions?

A strategic piece of the entire business blueprint, the talent acquisition team has the significant function of hiring the most valuable assets of an organization, the talent.

Navigating the labyrinth of the current job market, the recruiting team must, in the face of stiff competition, look far and wide, to source A-players to help companies deliver the best products and services to their customers and employees.

Per PWC, a survey of business leaders revealed talent acquisition and retention was ranked second in the risks cited to business (38%), right behind cyber attacks (40%). In fact, the ability to hire and retain talent ranked higher than rising production costs (34%) & covid (25%), amongst other burning issues.

Given the criticality of the Recruitment Team, the same level of focus and dedication must be ensured to put together this ace team. Let’s take a look at what it takes to build and evolve a thriving recruitment team, right from the size, structure, roles to the action plan, closely aligned to the company’s business growth & success.

Why does a company need an internal recruitment team?

Most companies have their founders and other staff handling the recruitment when starting out. Pretty soon, depending on the scale of business and the core services or products, it warrants more focus and due-diligence and hence the need for a dedicated team of recruiters.

An exclusive hiring team helps create and maintain a healthy talent-pipeline of qualified candidates, steering the company towards better growth. Knowing that the quality of the talent hired is driven by the quality of the hiring team, an internal team contributes positively to the overall success of the company.

#1 Enable higher business focus

With the recruitment activities such as sourcing, screening and implementing policies handled by the hiring professionals, the leadership are able to focus more energy on business strategy, and marketing, helping grow the business multifold. 

#2 Compliance

The recruiting professionals are aware of and experts in the local hiring laws and regulations, helping companies stay compliant and in adherence with all the rules set by the local governing bodies. This is especially crucial when hiring in multiple geographical locations. It helps save the company in terms of fines and potential lawsuits through proactive compliance and adherence. 

#3 Reduced Recruitment Costs

While start-ups & SMBs may not need a recruitment team, it is of utmost importance to the enterprise, large & fast growing companies. A dedicated team of experienced professionals helps streamline the hiring process, driving efficiency into the overall hiring practices, helping save valuable effort and cost.

#4 Diversity & Quality of talent hired

Hiring professionals are experienced in reviewing and hiring good talent, based on the company priorities and business projections. With their expertise in sourcing talent and their various and wide talent networks, they are able to find the best business and cultural fits for the organization. With their experience and innovative ways of screening talent, they help improve the diversity and quality of the talent hired

#5 Specialized roles hiring

Some organizations, start-ups or enterprises or of any size, may require a unique category of talent to be sourced based on the highly specialized nature of work, technical or business, for them to service their customers or to build new innovative products. Here, having experienced hands handling the sourcing and hiring enables the companies to be successful in hiring these high-demand talent quickly and efficiently.  

#6 Enhanced Brand Image

A company brand is the biggest customer and talent magnet and hence needs to be managed with efficacy. An exclusive recruitment team helps build a strong Company Brand image, with the compliance, quality of talent hired with a DE&I focus and targeted promotions. With their extensive sourcing networks, they are able to source high quality talent fast, helping drive higher business outcomes.

Talent Acquisition Team Structure

The Talent Acquisition team structure varies from company to company based on many factors such as business priorities, anticipated growth, budget, size and others where the current size of the company is a key determining factor.

SMB & Start-ups

Most small companies and start-ups have less than 10 positions to be filled-in annually. Notwithstanding growth plans, most small companies and start-ups do not require a dedicated recruitment team or even person. It may be handled directly by the leadership or some one who can double up as a recruiter until they get to a critical mass wherein they need focused effort to grow further.

Medium sized companies hire for 10 to 20 positions every year on an average and may need a dedicated recruiter for sourcing, screening, hiring & onboarding. If they have an HR associate, they can take care of all the hiring activities. Alternatively, if they are busy, they can seek part-time workers or freelancers to fill in the gap and support with hiring activities. Here, they can also rely on external hiring agencies to support their growth plans.

Enterprises & large companies

Often relying on High-volume recruitment to fulfill their aggressive growth plans, they require a dedicated recruiter at the minimum to a full-fledged recruitment team. The hiring average for large companies is around 80 to 1000 positions and for enterprises it is above 1000 positions in a year. If the hiring projections are around 100 to 1000 and above, there is a need to build a self-contained recruitment team with recruiting associates, recruiting managers and other operational assistants to help ease the transactional activities and for detailed reporting & analytics.

Key roles in the recruitment team

Every recruitment team comprises a few key roles with different responsibilities, often overlapping and interchangeable based on the company size, structure and business priorities. Let’s look at a few common roles that are utilized by companies the world over. 

#1 Recruiter

The most indispensable role on the hiring team is that of a recruiter, responsible for and overseeing the end-to-end recruitment process from creating job descriptions to sourcing to onboarding of talent. They are also responsible for coordinating the hiring efforts, ensuring all stakeholders are in tandem.

  • Technical recruiters – With companies staffing increasingly complex technical roles, it is important to have technical recruiters who understand the technology landscape and hire highly qualified technology specialists. They are knowledgeable not just about the technical and soft skills needed by the talent to perform their jobs well but also of technology clusters and other complementary skills that would help them provide more value at work. 
  • Campus recruiters – Also known as a graduate or university recruiter, they specialize in identifying and hiring brilliant students for entry level positions or as interns or trainees for their companies. They interface with students at the college campus or at other job or career fair events and promote their company brands in a manner that appeals to the young graduates. 
  • Executive recruiters – Hiring C-suite leaders and other top executives calls for a differentiated approach, with the high cost & even higher expectations implications. Head-hunting for the high-impact and high-pressure executive roles needs the recruiters to not only understand the business landscape but also the strategy and leadership  skills to help them be successful in their roles.

#2 Sourcer

A Sourcer or Resourcer’s job is to source applicants and other qualified candidates for the open job positions. Their role is critical in that they create and manage a healthy recruitment funnel and talent pipelines for the organization to grow steadily. They also translate the company’s vision & values into candidate personas to staff against. They spend time and effort on screening and shortlisting candidates, matching them to open positions, managing them centrally, either in excel sheets or in suitable recruitment tools such as ATS.

#3 Recruitment Manager

A senior role in Recruitment, the Recruitment Manager is responsible for the overall hiring strategy and efficient operations of the recruitment department. They are responsible for streamlining the recruitment process as well as overseeing the everyday operations and tracking the performance of the recruitment team members. They also have to manage other department stakeholders such as Heads and managers from Business, HR & Finance to keep the function running smoothly while being efficient and cost-effective.

#4 Hiring Manager

The business manager who has open positions and coordinates with the recruitment team for fulfillment is known as the Hiring Manager. They initiate the hiring process by raising a job requisition with the recruitment team defining the key responsibilities, skills, & competencies required for the role success. They work closely with the hiring team and manager, defining the levels of interview and interviewing the screened candidates with other senior staff to finally close the positions in their team.

#5 Recruitment coordinator

A junior, entry-level role on the recruitment team supporting the Recruiter & the Sourcer, this entails taking care of the operational aspects of hiring from posting job openings on career sites, company career page and other social media handles to help attract talent. They also help with the screening and sorting of applications, coordinating interviews with candidates and other stakeholders, creating offer letters and other transactional hiring activities.

#6 Recruitment Operations Team

Typically found in enterprise organizations hiring in large numbers, they consolidate all the recruitment data and present the aggregated data as comprehensive reports & dashboards helping leadership take data-driven decisions quickly on critical hiring needs. Depending on the size and criticality of the staffing, it could be an internal team of a few recruitment coordinators or also a stand-alone team, outside the hiring department, directly reporting to the COO.

#7 Recruitment Marketing Manager

Recruiters being the first to interface with potential candidates, they leave a lasting impression of the company brand on the talent, helping influence their decision positively. Marketing is an integral part of recruitment and must be a key responsibility for all roles in the team. That said, the talent competition in the market warrants a dedicated Marketing Manager whose job is to create and run highly impactful and targeted brand campaigns, facilitating the creation of strong talent pipe-lines of highly qualified talent. They are also responsible for the marketing strategy, budget and other branding activities.  

#8 CEO

Playing a prominent role in hiring for start-ups and other SMBs, their involvement in hiring key leadership and technology roles in large companies and enterprises helps create a better engagement with the talent. This not only helps them understand the organization’s vision and culture, it also makes them feel respected and valued. It goes a long way in driving their engagement and performance and influencing their decision to stay with the company.

Strategy to build a high-performing Recruitment Team

Once the high performing Recruitment Team has been set up, it is time to crank up the speed to get the action going. Let’s look at some of the key steps to be taken to ensure the team performs exceptionally well and helps onboard stellar talent. 

#1 Draft Hiring Objectives aligned to Business Strategy

Define clear and measurable hiring objectives on the basis of the business strategy, closely aligned to the vision & values of the company. A well-defined candidate persona with the ideal characteristics of an employee helps structure the screening and interviews accordingly and hire talent with the best skill set and cultural fit. It also reduces costs associated with bad hiring (sunken recruitment cost as well as lost business opportunity cost). 

#2 Define Team Structure and Roles

Depending on the size, business priorities and scale of business operations of the company, the right combination of roles must be chosen for the Recruitment Team. This will help run a lean team with streamlined operations, saving unnecessary costs involved in running a larger team with more roles. The team can evolve further on the basis of the business strategy and grow to include more roles from the list of Recruitment roles given further above.

#3 Build the team

Build a team with high performing individuals against the roles defined in step #2, aligned to the business culture and the ability to clearly understand and translate business needs to job requisitions and posts. With their key responsibility of making a favorable company brand impression on all potential candidates through a great candidate experience, they must be self-driven with the ability to personalize and improvise. 

#4 Define key stakeholder expectations

Define expectations and build relationships with the various departments & stakeholders with whom Recruitment teams have to interface on a regular basis. The pertinent criteria for interfacing and handover helping mark processes and activities as complete must be discussed, agreed upon and documented for a smooth hiring process.

#5 Invest in skilling the team

With the high volume of candidates and active touchpoints with all the stakeholders, it is important to ensure the team works at its highest potential. Towards that, the team must be regularly trained to be competent at critical thinking, being action-oriented & managing all  stakeholders. They must also be well trained in the business & technology landscape they operate in for them to be super productive at identifying and hiring the best talent for the company.

#6 Invest in Recruitment Tools & Software

Recruitment Tools & Software provide immense value in terms of automation of recurring and transactional tasks in the various stages of the recruitment life cycle, allowing the recruiters to focus on improving the quality of candidate interactions. It also helps save costs through streamlining of the recruitment process and higher conversions.

#7 Leverage KPIs to drive performance 

Set SMART recruitment goals with KPIs to measure and drive high performance in the team. A data-driven recruitment strategy with key talent acquisition metrics empowers the hiring team to measure against clear and actionable goals to hire great talent and reduce the overall cost of the hiring.

#8 NPS from key stakeholders

To continuously improve and evolve the effectiveness of the recruitment team and its overall process, it is important to have touch-points for feedback all through the hiring process. Over and beyond that, it is critical to have a commitment to review the feedback, devise an action plan to resolve the concerns and challenges uncovered, both related to the recruitment team members and the recruitment process.

Wrapping Up

An exclusive recruitment team helps streamline the hiring process, ensuring compliance with hiring recruiting laws and regulations, enabling accelerated business growth with an amplified brand image.

A recruitment team structure depends on various factors such as business strategy, anticipated growth and adoption of technology and drives efficiency into the overall hiring practices, helping save valuable effort and cost, while hiring exceptional talent.

While a dedicated hiring team’s cost isn’t justified for start-ups and SMBs, for fast growing organizations and enterprises, a stand-alone recruitment team delivers great value in terms of high quality talent and reduced recruitment costs.

FAQs on Recruitment Team Structure

How are recruitment teams structured?

The key roles in the recruitment teams are as follows 
1. Recruiter  
2. Sourcer 
3. Recruitment Manager 
4. Hiring manager 
5. Recruitment coordinator
6. Recruitment Operations Team 
7. Recruitment Marketing Manager   
8. CEO

What is a recruitment structure?

A recruitment team structure enables the end-to-end recruitment from sourcing, screening, interviewing, hiring and onboarding talent. There are many roles in a recruitment team, with different responsibilities. The roles of the recruitment team depend on a variety of factors such as the size of the organization, skills required, business priorities and the projected growth plans. 

What are the stages of recruitment?

The different stages of recruitment are as follows:
1. Prepare the job description
2. Sourcing candidates
3. Screening candidates
4. Selecting & interviewing candidates
5. Hiring a candidate
6. Onboarding the candidate

What are the three phases of recruitment?

Recruitment consists of 3 distinct phases of 
1. Evaluating the business need for hiring
2. Recruitment process phase – consists of creating a JD & job post, screening, shortlisting, interviewing, background checks
3. Hiring & onboarding

How do you build a strong talent acquisition team?

In order to build a strong talent acquisition team, follow the below 8 step strategy: 
1. Draft clear hiring objectives aligned to business strategy 
2. Define Team structure and roles
3. Build the team 
4. Build relationship with other departments 
5. Invest in training the team 
6. Invest in recruitment tools & software 
7. Use SMART goals & KPIs to drive performance
8. Get feedback from candidates and other key stakeholders

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