The Talent Fix by Tim Sackett - Book Brief
3 Key Points for Talent Development Folks to Support Talent Acquisition
Keeping and attracting talent is the rage these days. We're in the midst of The Great Resignation, The Great Reset, The Great Reshuffle - all labels are fitting and apropos for today's Talent Management challenges. And once we are beyond these challenges, keeping and attracting talent will still be all the rage.
In doing homework for my HR department, I came across a book published by Tim Sackett, called The Talent Fix, Tim is a Talent Acquisition expert. I've hovered on the periphery of Talent Acquisition and knew of Tim via Fistful of Talent, but hadn't followed him directly. Well, issue resolved. I am now tapped into his witty, candid wisdom, and appreciate the forthright advice he offers to Recruiting Leaders in this book.
There are also gems in The Talent Fix helpful for Talent Development Folks. Oftentimes, Talent Development and Talent Acquisition find themselves on two different teams, and that's just fine. We should, however, consider how we can support each other in closing organizational talent gaps quickly.
Thus, while The Talent Fix is written for Talent Acquisition Pros, I have three key points salient for Talent Development Folks:
Hiring Managers get the final say in who they hire on to their teams.
Succession planning is a win for Talent Development and Talent Acquisition. It's faster and more effective to fill open positions with internal candidates.
Talent Development can play the role of brand ambassadors within an organization to ensure the internal employee experience matches the external employer brand.
Book Briefs offer talent development-specific application from business, leadership and sundry books. Not a review. Not a synopsis. A few bullets that you can apply to your daily TD life. Check out these other Book Briefs:
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Alright, three key points for Talent Development Folks from The Talent Fix:
Hiring Managers Get the Final Say in Candidate Offers - Let's Help Them Make the Right Choice
An early comment in the book that caught my attention and rang a gong in my brain: "Talent acquisition doesn't own talent in any organization. Leaders need to own the talent on their teams" (p 7). Bam. I agree with Tim 110% on behalf of Talent Development Teams, as well. Hiring Managers are accountable for the performance of the individuals on their teams. They have responsibility for firing employees, thus they should also own the hiring of them. This takes amazing pressure off Talent Folks - whether Talent Acquisition or Talent Development. Our jobs are and should be talent consultants. Let leaders have the final say in who they bring on their teams and hold them accountable accordingly.
Please hear me - I'm not saying we dust off our hands and wish them good luck. Whew, finally, a vacation. Nope (though, I do hope you take a vacation). Tim goes on to say that "Talent Acquisition is the tool that helps [managers] attract the best talent, improve their talent and uncover talent" (p 8). Likewise Talent Development is the tool that trains, counsels, coaches and holds leaders accountable for hiring diverse, quality candidates who fit the organizational culture. For example, what about several brief modules to "certify" hiring mangers or others who interview regularly to ensure that they are skilled in your organization's interview process, what to look for in candidates and the questions / topics to avoid during an interview.
Talent Development Folks can ensure leaders have the right skillsets to spot the right experiences, potential and backgrounds in candidates to round out their teams. Hiring managers that don't flub up interview questions, who challenge biases and insist on diverse candidate slates, who assess culture fit effectively - that's a big win for us + our Talent Acquisition partners.
Succession Planning Supports Internal Recruiting Efforts
Succession Planning is all about building internal talent pipelines and ready candidates for critical roles. Imagine an effective succession plan with candidates ready to step into open positions. An internal pipeline of internal candidates skilled and eager to step into an open req. I mean, really. That's a dream.
✅ Check for efficiency
✅ Check for quick fills
✅ Check for saving the Talent Acquisition Team time and effort
✅ Check for employee engagement via career development
"…the success of a talent acquisition leader is predicated on making it easier for your team to fill really difficult positions and if you build an internal workforce pipeline through succession, you can look like the most amazing TA leader of all time" (p 18). I'm in for making our Talent Acquisition partners look like heroes.
Talent Development as Internal Brand Ambassadors
Employer branding is what makes your company stand out to candidates from all the other employers vying for their attention. Employer branding is the internal employee experience manifested externally. It's key that the employee brand that Talent Acquisition advertises matches the brand that employees experience day-to-day (p 102 - 103). We can help here as brand (and employee experience) ambassadors. Tim shares that the best way to build employer brand is through storytelling and that the best stories come from employees. That's where we come in - helping to cultivate and tell those stories. One point in the book indicated that we aren't telling those stories just to employees, but to our business partners and stakeholders, as well. Bringing them along on the internal employee experience + external employer branding story is important. Make employee stories their stories to share (p 110). I appreciate this guidance. I can get to moving and churning forward with my team and forget to bring our stakeholders along, building their excitement.
You might consider engaging that program experience of yours to help Talent Acquisition launch a brand ambassador program that gets employees actively involved in sharing their stories and supporting the employer presence. Tim shares this idea from a colleague at GE (p 111 - 113). Love it. I can think of other uses for a brand ambassador crew, too - culture applications, new hire onboarding, guest speakers in learning modules. Crowd sourcing is a great way to share the load for employee-focused initiatives.
One last thought for you Talent Development Folks: in general, building knowledge of the Talent Acquisition process is an excellent investment as you consider a talent strategy for your organization. Make time to connect with TA partners on your HR Team. After all, many hands make for light(er) work.
Have a talent, HR or business book that you'd like to share with the community, leave a comment and share the wealth.
Sackett, Tim. "The Talent Fix: A Leader's Guide to Recruiting Great Talent." SHRM. 2018.
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