Talent Acquisition COVID-19 Recording: United Airline's Kristen Weirick 5-27-20

In response to the rapidly developing coronavirus outbreak and its unprecedented impact to business and employers, i4cp has launched a series of weekly standing calls specific to Talent Acquisition Leaders. 

Kristen Weirick, global head of talent acquisition and chief diversity officer at United Airlines, was the Q&A guest for this week's Talent Acquisition COVID-19 Response series call, where talent acquisition leaders from companies such as Axogen, Federal Reserve Bank, Signant Health, and many more discussed how COVID-19 has impacted talent acquisition and HR in a broader sense at their organizations.

Some highlights:

  •  In today’s first instant poll, call participants were asked where talent acquisition reports through in their organization. The largest number, 48%, said TA reports through a CoE, with 19% saying that talent acquisition reports through a business unit or other, respectively. Another 14% said that talent acquisition is a shared services model within their organization. Today’s Q&A guest, Kristen Weirick, global head of talent acquisition and chief diversity officer at United Airlines, discussed the HR org structure at United, and how different that structure might look like post-COVID.
  • The coronavirus pandemic has impacted the volume of recruiting at many organizations, and has led some to staff up in order to accommodate this volume. At United, for example, the airline made roughly 11,500 new hires in 2019. (As Weirick explained, this number came down to about 10,000 after accounting for those hires who actually dropped out during the organization’s stringent background screening process.) The organization has determined a hiring-to-headcount ration to help rightsize its talent acquisition team, which at one time included roughly 60 employees. “That’s a small time to support that [type of hiring] volume,” says Weirick, adding that its TA team is currently closer to 100.
  • Talent acquisition leaders are interested in what sort of key performance indicators should be tracked to measure an organization’s success in terms of diverse hiring. Time to fill, for example, is a metric that talent acquisition needs to monitor, but is not necessarily an indication of success.
  • The talent acquisition function’s time is increasingly split between different roles. For example, TA is not exclusively focused on sourcing or marketing to candidates, and, in some organizations, does not have someone dedicated to overseeing the company’s social media-related recruiting and hiring efforts, which, as at least one participant noted today, makes engaging candidates via social platforms a challenge.

In addition to this recording, please see these resources: