The Chief Executive Officer is the authority figure within an organization, often having the final word on which projects to green light, where to invest and how to move the business forward. But visionary CEOs see themselves differently. In today’s hyper competitive global economy, the most critical aspect of a business to innovate and grow lies in its ability to attract and retain the right people to help realize the future. Aggressive strategic planning transforms the mindset of a traditional CEO into that of a CHRO, or Chief Human Resources Officer, who takes action in investing in the best methods to win the war for top talent.

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Talent acquisition needs its own software suite.

CEOs are responsible for building a customer base and increasing sales, the lifeblood of business. In recent years companies have invested heavily in technology, like customer relationship management (CRM) software, to create meaningful customer connections while streamlining business processes. While billions are spent on CRM software to foster authentic, value-based connections with customers, when it comes to talent and hiring, many organizations continue to use outdated technology not designed for the most critical function – recruiting.

In the 2014 McKinsey survey of digitization, it was reported that business leaders ranked customer engagement as their top technological strategic priority. No real surprise there. Yet, the same executives reported their largest hurdles are related to talent acquisition. Today, forward-thinking organizations realize to attract key talent and thrive in a vast, fast-paced, tech-savvy candidate landscape, they need to embrace new talent acquisition technologies. These organizations realize the new breed of CRM is candidate relationship management, a form of recruitment marketing. It needs to be a core business imperative.

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Think talent first.

Getting the right people to innovate and grow the business is more important in achieving overall goals than any other part of a business plan. People are one of the largest, if not the largest, investment a company makes. Mediocre and bad hires, as well as the resulting turnover caused by ineffective recruiting, cost a company money, time and resources.

Companies often treat human resources like an administrative afterthought in business strategy. Smart leaders who innovate past their competitors do so by prioritizing talent acquisition as a long term play and not a transaction at the time of need. Recruiting strategies also give companies flexibility to scale their businesses over time. If HR has upfront insight into the short and long-term vision of the company, they can plan to support all areas of the business.

With business planning, investing and resources, talent and technology are synonymous in the way CEOs need to be tackling their recruiting strategy. All too often we focus singularly on the competition for customers and not on the competition for talent. To be successful, CEOs need to follow through with their concern for crucial talent. By thinking like a CHRO, CEOs can finally design the right strategies and technology-focused processes to cultivate their most important asset: their people.

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