In today’s tight funding environment when startups need to do more with less, Talent Acquisition as a Service (TAaaS) is a compelling new alternative promising speed and talent density that internal teams don’t and service and value that agencies can’t. 

Originally published in Forbes.jobs

Talent is for most companies the single most significant annual investment they make, and for good reason:  all companies rise and fall with the quality of their people.  And while most startup Founders know that, they typically aren’t sure how to go about maximizing their return on that investment.  Internal Recruiters aren’t known for producing results, and the big recruitment agencies most people know are notoriously expensive and unreliable. 

TAaaS is a comprehensive, custom, high performance TA solution that takes the best from the internal and agency models.  When you hire a TAaaS provider, they will architect for you a total TA solution that includes setting up all of your TA tools and systems, advising on compensation and benefits, building your employer brand, optimizing job listings, driving and managing your organic applicant pool, designing and running an equitable and effective interview process, using recruitment metrics to guide decision-making, filling all of your key positions across the company and more.

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One of the key promises of TAaaS is talent that you wouldn’t otherwise have access to.  When you’re an early-stage startup you are more than likely going to have to hunt down your ideal candidates.  You’ve likely already maxed out your personal networks, and the best candidates don’t typically apply for jobs- especially at companies they haven’t heard of.   A talented TAaaS firm will have a massive network they can leverage to get the word out about you and your open roles, selling great candidates on your value proposition and getting them through to an accepted offer.  They will even help negotiate a comp package that makes sense for everyone.  And because no one person can be an expert in everything, a TAaaS provider can bring in specialists for whatever kind of search needs to be performed. 

Running a modern recruitment organization also requires specialized AI, tech and assessment tools that a strong TAaaS company would provide.  Diversity sourcing tools and techniques are another differentiator.  The less diverse your company is early in your growth process, the harder it becomes to diversify your teams later; whereas an effectively conducted diversity sourcing strategy early on can set you up for lasting success.  Some TAaaS providers will even recruit, train and hand over a high performing internal Talent Acquisition team before they’re done.  And because one of the core tenets of TAaaS is modular solutions based on each client’s specific needs, you’ll pay for just what you need and nothing you don’t. 

Cost Savings

Maximizing runway may be the biggest reason rapidly scaling startups are gravitating to TAaaS.  Pricing structures vary, but while a startup having to hire agencies for 2 hires/month should expect to pay $75k or more/ month for that, a typical TAaaS contract would cost less than half that much for one full-time dedicated Recruiter along with their specialized support teams.  Even startups who hire someone internally to manage TA usually end up paying agency fees regularly.  If your TAaaS provider helps you avoid having to pay one agency fee/ month, that would more than pay for itself- and all of the other work your TAaaS provider does for you would be gravy. 

Talent Acquisition as a Service is an exciting new option for early-stage startups that promises accelerated growth, process excellence, talent density, vibrant culture, flexible service offerings, massive cost savings and tremendous value- everything you need to maximize the return on your largest investment, and the likelihood of your success.