In a somewhat interesting conversation on ERE, I’ve observed a trend in response to a Talent Acquisition Director seeking information on how to implement a Sourcing Process into the current mix. Fellow TA Directors seem to be extremely guarded against any non-TA thought processes or insights from ‘outside-the-bubble’ per se. Being a vendor in the space is met with near-immediate disqualification, which is greatly unfortunate, however not for the reasons that might immediately meet the eye.
(For a disclaimer, trust me that I understand the guarding against being continuously sold. It’s the same exact scenario for me as well. Every time I turn around, there’s a new product, service, or solution being presented to me.)
Personally, I would encourage Directors of Talent Acquisition to be careful of the exact opposite. I wrote a blog post the other day about “Blindly Worshipping At The Altar of Best Practices”, and I would caution Talent Acquisition professionals against doing so.
We are in the early throws of a function that does not (yes, does not) have a seat at the executive table for a number of reasons. One of them is because there is a bias that the best and brightest do not man the TA or HR function. A portion of that stigma is due to TA professionals blindly following the ‘best practice’ or fad of the day, not because it stands to enhance overall organizational performance, but because it stands to improve otherwise myopic objectives (i.e. those specific to departmental performance only).
A perfect example is an overview of the demand that exists in our space for circa-1930 marketing solutions and 1950s Henry Ford assembly-line recruiting process improvement. Despite having more information about our customer segments (candidate pools, if you will) than any other business function (yes, including marketing), we continue to operate with outdated and archaic philosophies.
There is a great deal to be learned from great business minds outside solely the HR and TA functions. I would encourage all of us to read more of Malcom Gladwell, Tom Peters, Peter Drucker, Seth Godin, or anyone else that piques your curiosity.
I know some former CEOs of F500 companies and current VPs of Marketing that would absolutely blow us away with their ‘outside-the-bubble’ insights and observations. Please, please, keep an open mind and don’t put up immediate blinders because the point of view or paradigm isn’t directly from someone in HR, Talent Acquisition, or Organizational Development. Again, please keep an open mind – it’s the only way to leapfrogging our current state of growing innefficiencies. We’re smarter than Upper Mgmt gives us credit for . . . but it all starts with us recognizing and embracing that fact.