SmartRecruiters Blog
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5 Real-Life Examples of Talent Acquisition Leadership

Leading a team through a major technology implementation is a career milestone. Implementing a new talent acquisition platform often involves months of preparation and focused coordination of internal and external resources.

Every day, the customer service managers and implementation consultants at SmartRecruiters are busy helping one of our customers get up and running—or helping them evolve their hiring practices to adapt to new conditions. Some of these customers are so happy with the results that they take the extra step of telling their company’s story with SmartRecruiters in hopes that others can learn from their journeys.

If you think the challenge at your company is insurmountable, let the talent acquisition leaders whose stories are shared below prove you wrong. Their can-do spirit helped them achieve wins that included building a TA system from scratch, transforming high-volume hiring, attracting and retaining new talent, and supporting the success of people initiatives. If they can do it, you can too! 

You Can Start From Scratch

When Marcel Rütten joined PACCOR, a global packaging manufacturer, as the Global Director of Talent Acquisition & Employer Branding, the company had no system of record for recruiting. With careful planning, he used the time before SmartRecruiters went live to understand hiring practices in PACCOR’s 24 locations in 17 countries so that the company’s configuration and employer branding could be more effective. In PACCOR Builds Mature Recruiting Ecosystem in Less Than One Year, Marcel summed up the experience this way: 

[SmartRecruiters] gives recruiters and hiring managers everything they need to fill positions and track performance across channels.

 We have increased the maturity level within the whole organization so that everyone is capable and can use every available function. We have full transparency about our needs. We have a clearer picture of our target groups and what we need to say to them from an employer branding perspective. And we know what we need to budget.

Reporting on the full picture of hiring is a must for talent acquisition to have a seat at the table for talent decisions. Marcel’s thoughtful work in that first year set the stage for even greater maturity at PACCOR as the years progress.

You Can Transform High-Volume Recruiting

Frasers Group is a UK-based company that operates iconic brands such as Sports Direct, House of Fraser, Frasers, and FLANNELS. The company hires thousands of retail associates during the holiday season and throughout the year. Its previous system was outdated and not purpose-built for recruiting. Here’s what Adam Reynolds, Head of Talent Acquisition, said in Frasers Streamlines High-Volume Hiring with Automation in SmartRecruiters

We found it quite appealing that we could configure the [SmartRecruiters] system to suit all the different needs of what is, in essence, a sprawling estate: 22 countries, 30,000 employees, and 3,000 users of the system.

In the first year with SmartRecruiters, Frasers set a record of 20,000 new hires in one year. Adam added:

It was a game changer to have the templated job profiles, automated messages in our branding and tone of voice, and calendar integration. With the automation inside SmartRecruiters, we can move through high volumes of information from a high volume of candidates in a systematic way.

A great candidate experience is a hallmark of a strategic talent acquisition function. The automated and templated responses help Frasers maintain its reputation in a competitive hiring environment with candidates who are also likely to be customers.

You Can Improve Retention

When Ben Handyside, Director of Talent Management, joined Colliers EMEA, a global real estate services and investment management company, SmartRecruiters was already in place, but adoption had slowed since its implementation. Once he started digging into the metrics in partnership with his SmartRecruiters representative, “the lightbulbs started to go off,” he said in an interview. Over time, the data he brought to the table provoked discussions and moved the needle on behaviors that supported better hiring and ultimately improved retention. 

In conjunction with enhancements to its employer brand, Colliers experienced “a massive uplift in candidates,” Ben said in How Colliers EMEA Reduced Agency Spending with SmartRecruiters. The company began to attract talent from outside its conventional sources. The expansion of skillsets led senior executives to think differently about who Colliers hires, how they hire, and what the company could do to nurture that talent once they turned into employees.

The focus on hiring new types of talent resulted in a big win: Colliers EMEA saw a 25% year-over-year increase in retention for first-year hires. Ben’s experience sets an example for all TA leaders on how to maximize their seats at the table to achieve an overall talent-centric outcome.

You Can Support People Initiatives


Informa, a leading international events, digital services and academic knowledge group, puts a big focus on sustainability. To understand how the company’s credentials as a sustainable business factored into the choice to apply, Ben Wielgus, Head of Sustainability, set up specialized screening questions in SmartRecruiters. In How Informa Uses SmartRecruiters to Measure Sustainability Campaign Success, he said:

Because SmartRecruiters allows us to put the same questions to each candidate and rapidly deploy them to get results at scale, we’ve been able to get a much better understanding of how much our candidates care about sustainability, and how much of a difference it’s making in their choice to come to us.


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is another hiring topic on everyone’s minds, and CityFibre wanted to pave the way for more women and people from diverse backgrounds to work in its tech-focused roles. In CityFibre Hires for Diversity with SmartRecruiters, Richard Hutchinson, Head of Resourcing, explained the company’s data-driven approach:

We used [SmartRecruiters] Report Builder to create a DEI-focused report which helps us develop our attraction strategy, drive recruiter and hiring manager action, report on performance, and engage with our business stakeholders to present accurate and real-time insight into our DEI challenges and results.

Talent acquisition demonstrates its true value by supporting the direction in which the business needs to evolve. With accurate and actionable recruiting data, companies can make progress on even the most challenging goals.

You Can Start Today

What these leaders have in common is a desire to do the right thing: provide an exceptional candidate experience, deliver top talent to the business, and analyze the results of their efforts. They’re on a journey of continually growing their strategic leadership skills as market conditions change. 

In support of your journey, we’ve created a resource to guide you to getting—or making the most of—your seat at the table. Download the ebook today.


Lee Ann Prescott