Inevitably, throughout the history of any career, industry, or financial cycle, change occurs. Change is the only certainty in life and if we are able to move with change as a transition then we usually weather that period well. And if we resist, the change seems to be more difficult, more cumbersome, and more stressful, leading those that commit to resistance to stay in an era that simply no longer is valued or of worth. You will notice that I have not focused on a person’s self-worth or how they value themselves, but instead on their approach to change, their perspective.

From time to time, there is a period where an industry, a financial cycle, or a career experiences transformation where the way things get done are not tied up in improving what has been in place but rather a complete shift, a new paradigm, a new reality. Such a time is upon those of us who call talent acquisition our professional home. Let me explain.

We who earn our keep in the talent acquisition profession are seeing multiple shifts in both the “how” of our business and the “purpose” of our function, two completely separate, yet related, topics. In the “how” component of our roles we are seeing new technologies, new attitudes, new client delivery models, and new approaches that are flooding the market. Take for example, the explosion of aggregators, coupled with a Client Experience delivery model focused on the journey, and the consultative approach to candidate management and market intelligence. No longer, is the value of our process, the hiring of qualified people, a transaction.

And what about the purpose of talent acquisition. We have completely moved from a back seat at the table to a leadership role in the strategic discussions and function that talent acquisition now plays in directing corporate decisions and profitability. Talent acquisition professionals are slowly, and surely, becoming recognized as Subject Matter Experts, a complete departure from the fee based approach of a by gone era.

When you couple the two converging paradigms you are left to wonder why this is all happening simultaneously. The answer is simple. They have to. There is no longer any room for the disassociation of the two. There is no longer any place for Talent Acquisition to be looked upon as a cost center and a necessary corporate pariah on budgets or resources. And there is no longer any space for the fractured approach that the industry itself has promoted for over 2.5 decades. But with the new paradigm moving into how we conduct business, there comes a greater level of accountability and responsibility.

Our market intelligence analytics must be both historical and predictive. Our advice must be more strategic and less role based. Our use of technology must be for the benefit of our customers and not simply to report out on our successes and manage our candidate inventory. And most importantly, we must see the professionals and workers we seek as whole, human beings who need to work and, if qualified, deserve the opportunity to compete for a position they are skilled for and passionate about. And we have to do all of this by getting out of our own way and intentionally seeing how this all occurs from the experience of others.

Yes, we are in a time of transformation. Who else is excited that we are?

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