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Selling the Dream
by Arabella Garvey16th Jan 2019
My job is one that it is hard to describe without using all of those words more commonly found in the conference call bingo games that get posted on Facebook – solution design, innovating, architecting (is that a verb, not sure), talent acquisition, outsourcing, creating effective partnerships. I could go on. This makes responding to the innocuous social-gathering question, ‘So what do you do?’ a tricky one, and one I most frequently approach with a verbal ‘Hard to explain, but I love it!’ and an excited but inelegant wave of the arm often resulting in spillage of said drink. And increasingly this is the way – the self-explanatory job titles are reducing in number. Even my husband (a history teacher, I knew what that was), now that he is in a leadership role, he is a “Director of Teaching and Learning”. It's particularly challenging when I meet someone who is a perfect fit for our ever-growing team or the roles we are currently hiring for, as they may not initially "get it." Hopefully, this blog can alleviate all of those challenges
In this world of increasingly complex nomenclature, it becomes all the more important for those responsible for talent acquisition to find simple and effective means to remove the complexities and so to promote each vacancy with clarity and conviction.
To sell each respective dream begins not in the design of an advert, show-reel or other marketing mechanism, but rather in securing the understanding of the job and its talent requirements. The pace of workforce change is substantial and we have to question the best approach to gaining such understanding, when organisations with job libraries are finding that much content quickly becomes obsolete as teams, departments, and their industries, evolve with speed.
Perhaps the key to understanding each role and its talent requirement requires a rebalancing of the responsibilities within recruitment. We should blend business and talent acquisition expertise so that TA advice begins in the creation of the role, not in the initiation of the ‘process’. Let’s use the expertise of the business leaders to explain the context and the vision for their function and required responsibilities. And then let’s also empower our TA teams to step forward to interpret this business content, applying the lens of micro and macro workforce objectives, to recommend the most relevant personal qualities that should be sought, not just for corporate ‘values’ but to the needs of the business.
I’d suggest such collaboration to expertly define the talent-need will be of greatest impact for brand new roles resulting from fast-changing industry needs, or else in existing positions where a wide variety of experiences can be sought. In both these areas, personal qualities and potential are as important (if not more so) as technical expertise, so leveraging TA knowledge to define these personal qualities is a quick win. The relationship between business and talent acquisition can then continue as an advisory partnership as a true TA partner applies insight and knowledge to guide on the most effective talent engagement approaches.
Selling my Dream
I do have a lengthy post-script as a practical example. The Global Solution Design team at AMS is further developing and we are currently hiring Solution Architects. In my (biased) view, it is the best role in talent acquisition – very visible and full of variety. As solution architects, we design all aspects of total talent and RPO solutions for new prospective partners, create the next evolutions of our service design for existing clients, and support in the delivery of organisational design consultancy programmes.
This is the time where I normally wave my arms around inelegantly, but this time it was also when I engaged with our own in-house TA team to seek their expertise in effectively defining our need. I knew that a demonstrable understanding of talent acquisition and recruitment could easily come from a variety of backgrounds, and together we scoped that it was the personal qualities of perception, influence and imagination that would be critical. My TA partner went on to guide that we’d need to think creatively in how to best highlight the opportunities. Perhaps in a blog ….
And, if this sounds like a career you'd be interested in, we are hiring! Reach-out today.