5 ways to revolutionize talent acquisition

For BASF Corp., TA success has been several years in the making.
By: | February 21, 2019 • 3 min read
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The world’s largest chemical company recently underwent a major overhaul of its talent-acquisition function, a transformation that moved TA into a strategic and collaborative role—and, according to TA leaders, has paid off in spades.

BASF Corp.’s TA team members Kate Burk and Tony Lioi led a session Feb. 20 at Recruiting Trends & Talent Tech LIVE! in Las Vegas about the company’s work to restructure its approach to talent acquisition, shifting from a reactive to proactive approach.


“We needed to transform our talent-acquisition group to become a strategic partner for the business,” said Lioi, manager of talent acquisition operators at BASF. Beginning in 2016, the company developed a five-pronged strategy with the aim of bringing its TA teams—which are segmented by exempt and non-exempt, executive, contingent labor and university recruiting—into more collaborative positions. The strategy included:

  1. Understand your case for change and get ahead of the pace over time.
  2. Focus your vision and structure on your critical few areas to drive impact.
  3. Differentiate your strategies based on business need.
  4. Build and showcase strategic capability of the team.
  5. Deliver impact through innovation and acceleration.

This model sought to enable the company to manage rapid change in the TA sphere: innovations in new technology, the expansion of the global market and the evolution of candidate expectations regarding alignment with business culture.

“The center of all of these changes is talent acquisition,” Burk said.

As it set down the path toward transformation, the company identified three strategic pillars to drive business impact in order to delineate its TA goals: strengthen its partnerships with candidates, customers and clients; improve the quality of hire; and pursue continuing improvement and innovation.

Among the myriad steps it took to accomplish those aims, BASF restructured its TA staffing, moving from a coordinator-recruiter-team lead hierarchy to three unique positions that work in tandem: recruitment relationship manager, talent acquisition advisor and outsourced candidate care. It automated many TA processes, including social-media job postings, in order to alleviate the administrative burden on many of its TA professionals, freeing them up to provide more consultative work.

“Historically, the business asks and talent acquisition does,” Burk said. “Now the business identifies a need and partners with TA to focus on a specific area for change, with TA providing a consultative voice to the conversation.”