In 2019, it’s sort of embarrassing to say that we still take things all too literally at times. Consider the vital function of a talent acquisition strategist. In a nutshell, it’s to bring in the right people for the right jobs. And how do they determine the right match? The good old interview. A handful of them to identify the skills, knowledge, attitude, and behavior. At the end of the process is an offer letter that you simply can’t refuse.
Well done, everyone! Particularly the talent acquisition strategist. The role couldn’t have been fulfilled without their effort.
But here’s my concern — how do we know if the candidate we placed is naturally talented at the roles and responsibilities he needs to perform? Sure, interviews work and there’s a thing called getting pretty good at nailing interviews. And that skews up our theory about assessing the right candidates by studying their body language and responses.
Another argument could be that it’s the employer’s responsibility to do something about the employee after getting placed. If there are performance issues they can take appropriate action to put things in order. And sure, they can. But what value did we provide as a talent acquisition agency/professional?
I think the key is to get creative and prescreen candidates in a way that it doesn’t feel like a chore to them while you have the opportunity to study what they’re really talented at doing. Would they enjoy a collaborative environment where everyone’s literally at each other’s throats to get things done or prefer to sit in a cabin and focus on smashing some of their biggest business priorities? It’s a valid question but mostly considered an afterthought.
I remember an incident where I was looking to hire a powerpoint specialist for a project. A very capable graphic designer applied for the position. As expected, he cracked the interview and even nailed the creative test I had for him. During the final interview, I asked him what he truly enjoys as a design professional. His response literally said, “I hate constraints and it suffocates me!” I couldn’t help but counsel him to seek freelancing opportunities where he can pick and choose the projects he wants to work on instead of a design or an advertising agency. Of course, he didn’t listen! He went on to work with a major advertising agency. Is he happy? Nope. But he’s earning well and gets his bills paid on time.
That’s not a priority. That’s insecurity.
And I can bet a fortune that someone else is perhaps a better fit for the role this person is holding on to. Why? Because they may be talented to work within constraints and in turn, deliver greater value to the organization.
Aligning the right resources to the right roles isn’t easy. It takes time, patience and a lot of effort. It can get downright impossible to convince candidates to sit through a prescreening or assessment so that you’re able to help them find the right role that fit their talents.
Everyone’s good at something and everyone can utilize their strengths to find opportunities that are fulfilling. I think that’s where the talent acquisition professionals come in handy. That is the value they provide. Not finding candidates. Job boards can do that too! Someone needs to rethink this and until that happens, I believe a mismatch is inevitable if no attention is paid to talent in the function of “talent acquisition.”