Talent Talk | 3 talent acquisition lessons I learned from a love guru

Last updated:
July 28, 2021
December 18, 2021
min read
Sim Samra
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Welcome to Talent Talk. Here, you'll find a collection of thought leadership articles from industry experts in the recruitment and HR tech space.

When there is a crisis, our intellectual horizons become narrowed. We do not get as many incentives and stimuli each day. These days, our minds ponder questions about everyday life: Can I ever hug my best friends again? Where do I buy a good face mask? When can I dance in the sun at a festival again? But also, what does my ultimate talent funnel look like?  

During my lockdown, I was listening to Esther Perel’s (relationship therapist) podcast about love, loss, loneliness, and humor in lockdown. I started to notice comparisons between Perel’s’ relationship therapy discussions in relation to the crisis we’re currently experiencing in the talent acquisition space.

1. Shake things up

When facing a crisis, we have an opportunity to sketch bigger dreams and bigger ideas for ourselves as we’re forced to get creative in the way we work. This is a huge opportunity to change how we’ve done things for years.

We finally have the time to deep dive into our own candidate journeys, and ask questions such as: how is my candidate funnel organized? Who is my talent persona? What’s a project I’d love to accomplish in the next year? Or in the next few months?

This is the moment to rethink how your funnel should be organized, and consider how you might wish to do things differently in the future. Start with where you are now and sketch your dreams and ideas. Start with small steps and ask yourself; what can I do today to start moving things along? What can I do to bring myself a bit closer to that goal?

2. The Joy of Complaining

The openness about our vulnerabilities can unlock a more genuine form of connection with friends, but also with strangers.

In her class about ‘the joy of complaining’, Esther states that there is a way to release stress, namely, complaining. In these times from isolation, with many of us cut off from our families, friends, and colleagues, we’re likely to experience an acute sense of loneliness. Yet, in this need for connection, we also have a unique opportunity to build stronger bonds based on an honest admission of our fears and hopes.

This way of destressing; is in Esther’s eyes ‘The Art of Complaining’. “To express your feelings it will keep you from being bitter and in the end, you will get closer to your colleagues, to your friends and to yourself. You form social bonds when you both can be open about the good and the bad stuff happening in your life.”

So, as a recruiter, you should not take this too literally. I am not saying that you should start talking about your annoying colleagues and kids, or about your awful wifi signal during a candidate interview. There is the right way to complain and you should take this powerful anti-stress method to improve your results, improve your relationships with your colleagues, and prevent yourself from a burn-out situation.

One right way to complain is by using humor. When you use humor, people tend to feel closer to you. Humor is the best way you can deal with stuff that you cannot control.

The second tip would be to stick to one thing that you want to complain about. Be concrete and keep your tone civil and specific. Complaining can be useful in our personal or professional lives when we address it effectively.

For example: Rethink your interview style and make space for candidates or colleagues to vent aloud. Give yourself permission to complain. It invites sympathy, it keeps you from getting bitter and it just feels so damn good!

3. Play around and experiment!

The last learning is about your mindset. The ‘New Normal’ is here and it requires a new mindset—a curiosity about what we want for ourselves, with our partners and families, with our dates and friends, and with our work lives.

The loss of stability and security allows room for growth instead of staying put. The loss of plans is a chance to break patterns.

We can be resistant to change, and stick to what we know. But we can also make use of this period where we slow down and let our minds have the freedom to try something else. As we cannot go on an adventure outside, give yourself the opportunity to go on an adventure within your work, and test different types of ways of doing things.

Experiment and play with interview-styles when you have a digital meeting. Go build that chatbot and look at what it does to your conversion rate. Add that extra questionnaire to test if your quality of selected candidates improves. Your candidate funnel is your playground where you can use data and optimize this by playing and experimenting.

I can’t think of anything that sums up the power of her teachings better than this quote:

“You can look at the unknown as a place of fear and loss. You can look at the unknown as a realm of possibility and progress. The reality is, it’s both.”

That’s the power of your mind

Do you need any help with setting up experiments in your talent funnel? Do you want to shake things up, but don’t know how? Or fancy having a digital coffee? You can check out my LinkedIn or my website to see what I can do to help you!

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