Let's put our heads together



    Let's put our heads together



      Building Organisational Resilience: The Journey From ‘TA’ to ‘TEaM’

      Whilst much of the world is in lockdown and corporate HR teams are still grappling with the CV19 crisis, it is becoming increasingly clear that traditional ‘Talent Acquisition’ (TA) functions are losing their relevance in many organisations. We propose shifting ‘TA’ to ‘TEaM’ (Talent Engagement and Mobility)

      Having participated in Hung Lee’s Recruiting Brainfood livestream marathon last week, my team and I have developed some new thinking in relation to the future of HR and TA in a post-covid world. We believe that once the dust settles there will be a wonderful opportunity to re-invent and re-purpose the traditional TA function under a more influential CHRO.

      First though, we have to deal with the fall out from the crisis and depending on your industry sector this will involve varying degrees of down-sizing, right-sizing, digitisation, automation and in many cases OPEX and FTE reductions.

      To better support a heightened focus on organisational resilience, ‘TA’s’ services are going to urgently need to change with greater emphasis on workforce visibility, internal skills analysis and mobility, career transition and support services etc.

      In many companies, traditional external hiring will significantly reduce with businesses instigating hiring pauses and freezes due to the recessionary conditions. In other organisations, there will be increased demand for hiring with a need for scale-ups and the development of reservist pools of critical skills, internal and external to the company.

      Wherever you are in the economy it is clear that a wholesale review of ‘TA’s’ purpose and services are required and for many functions, they will never look the same again.

      On the other side of this crisis, we believe the role of the CHRO will become much more influential than before and this transition will reflect how ‘power’ shifted to the CFO, Risk and Compliance functions following the Global Financial Crisis. The Covid-19 crisis is a global health crisis impacting the basic needs of humanity and is re-focusing business on its broader people strategy and workforce risks.

      The crisis has exposed many companies to the shortcomings of their core infrastructure, technology and people related policies and programs. So much has changed in the past few weeks in order to allow businesses and their workforces to cope. The question we now need to start asking is, what do we choose to keep in the future?

      Companies have identified weaknesses impacting their organisational resilience and some are likely to re-prioritise core HR systems for CAPEX investment, as legacy systems and procedures have not allowed for an effective management of the crisis. The fact that most businesses do not know what skills they actually have within their organisation is simply not good enough. This has thwarted attempts to efficiently re-deploy or mobilise workforces at scale, impacting the operational effectiveness of the business.

      So whilst re-defining its purpose, service design and operating model, ‘TA’ should be supporting the CHRO and providing a clear understanding of where the function has been exposed during the crisis, where it has been unable to support the business and where people and workforce risks are heightened because of under-investment in core infrastructure and technology in particular.

      With service re-invention in mind we think the time is right to move away from the service constraints of ‘Talent Acquisition’ and for businesses to re-frame the function towards ‘Talent Engagement and Mobility’ (TEaM).

      We believe progressive and mature Talent TEaMs will be more relevant and much better placed to support an organisation focused on resilience and people risk mitigation. Let me bring this to life a bit more:


      The right skills deployed to the organisation at the right time for a job, a project, a secondment or a gig. The Talent can be internal, external, permanent, contingent, casual, sub-contractor, agency staff, third party staff, consultants etc.


      Covers strategic sourcing, talent identification and connection, pipe-lining. It also covers hiring, contracting, on-boarding, inducting as well as on-going communication and connection whilst working (Professional Development) and after working for the organisation (Alumni and networking).


      Any move that takes place internally or externally. New roles, secondments, projects, exits etc. Supported by Career Development coaching, programs and initiatives.

      A Talent TEaM set up to deliver these services can pivot based on the economic conditions and business priorities and its relevance is always there regardless of whether there is a recession or growth cycle.

      However, it is important that the Talent TEaM has a highly agile and flexible operating model potentially relying on specialist partners and vendors to outsource or augment some of its services or to provide scale and capacity during peak periods.

      Critical enablers such as TEaM member skills and capabilities will need to broaden significantly with more ‘T’ shaped skills being required, allowing people to move across different service lines, depending on business conditions.

      To deliver some of the new services, radically different technology above and beyond the traditional ATS will be required, particularly to provide companies with workforce and skills visibility and mobility.

      We believe over time this will force the integration of traditional recruitment with talent management teams – at last providing visibility of skills within the organisation (at scale) and visibility of external talent pipelines (as required).

      This is not a pipedream. The opportunity is here now, but we have to move away from ‘TA’ and re-purpose our industry and functions towards ‘TEaM’. 



      As a way to continue driving this conversation forward for our industry, we will be launching the next iteration of TQ’s Talent Maturity Model in the coming weeks. As part this launch, we are releasing a detailed survey that will allow organisations to understand where they are on this journey. If you would like your organisation to be involved (at no cost) please let us know by direct messaging me or tagging yourself in the comments below. 

      Additional Resources:

      I recently spoke about this topic during the Recruiting Brainfood Livestream, you can see the 30 min session here:

      Here is a visual from the presentation summarising what we think should be TA Leaders’ priorities in 2020:




      TQSolutions (TQ) is regarded as Australia’s leading Advisory and Solutions firm for Talent Acquisition, Recruitment and Careers related projects – this is the world of organisational Joiners, Movers and Leavers. We do this through:

      Partnering with organisations about to embark upon significant change or transformation programmes. Our advisory services cover areas such as independent technology, capability and operating model reviews, deep market intelligence, employer brand and candidate experience.
      Our scalable, on-demand model delivers exceptional results for our clients. With a national team of experts, all with at least 15 years’ experience, we deploy brilliant people on an ongoing basis or to support key projects and spikes in activity.
      We curate insights, provide thought leadership, community and training – all geared to help you cut through the noise with the informed perspective you need to make smart decisions.



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