Making TA Priceless (Well Not Quite)

Published October 13th, 2016 in WUWUK Blog, WUWUK For Employers | Comments Off on Making TA Priceless (Well Not Quite)

By Shayne Lightner

One of the inherent challenges of the internal talent acquisition model is that from the company’s perspective, it’s an internal cost center. Thus it’s incumbent upon today’s dynamic talent acquisition leader to be ever vigilant about communicating to management the value of the TA department.

While this can be done in many ways, a common and effective one is utilizing the charge-back model.

Using this approach, TA leaders look at their department as if it were an internal search firm. When requisitions arise, the TA department employs a typical search firm process: they meet with internal clients and develop a contract that includes time benchmarks and a conservative “fee” for the process.

This fee is never paid, but if the search is successful, it’s an indication of the cost savings the TA group has achieved through its work (because otherwise, the “fee” would’ve had to have been paid to an outside firm). Thus the “revenues” of this internal “firm” are the cost savings captured.

Other metrics should be looked at as well, including time-to-fill, duration of successful hires and internal service quality. And the internal firm can’t be expected to do everything. For instance, when filling one-off and hard-to-fill slots, it’s often more cost-efficient to use outside vendors.

But by focusing on its value to the company, today’s ever-changing TA departments can quantify their impact, stay aligned with the company’s growth, add to its entrepreneurial spirit and contribute to the bottom line in its own priceless (well not quite) way.


Shayne Lightner possesses over twenty-five years’ experience in executive recruiting and has been responsible for conducting search work at the C-Suite and senior-management level for a wide range of companies globally. He was a Managing Director for both Korn/Ferry International and Russell Reynolds, and Head of Executive Search for Idealab in Pasadena.