This year’s theme at ATC2019 is High Performance Talent Functions and based on this topic I hope to see a black market for tickets come about because the event is SOLD OUT. Hoards of TA professionals looking to quench their thirst for learning and development through James Elliott’s keynote, as well as the many breakout sessions and workshops.
But sadly, this won’t be the case. Why? Because I am convinced most Talent functions are playing the equivalent of an amateur sports competition but judged/measured against a high-performance sporting code.
How often do you hear a company say that hiring good people ranks in the top three challenges their business faces in the immediate to near future? Almost all the time. But how often do you see a company put the money where its mouth is and investing in the Talent function? Not always.
Let’s stick with the example of elite performance within sports. Players don’t just show up on game day and participate, they have been training extensively throughout the week to prepare. What they eat, drink, how they recover and sleep, they are always looking at ways to improve performance.
Amateurs might do a bit of training, enjoy a drink or two after training and show up on game day hungover, score a few points and head home. Sure, amateurs are not getting paid…well most aren’t, but you certainly are, and it is expected you compete against both amateurs and elite professionals.
Now let’s look at other professions. Most of which require multiple year degrees, and/or years of training (trades). Yes, this also applies to folks in various functions within HR, but when it comes to TA it is a different story, which also applies to me. Most fall into it, get some on the job training if any and away they go.
The great people around have continued to learn, hone their skills through their own self development, and occasionally if they were fortunate got some formal training. Whether that be through InsideJob/HCMS, DDI, or SocialTalent. Heck, let’s not forget Ross Clennett and Greg Savage with an agency perspective.
So why is it that the investment in corporate TA professional development is so low or even non-existent? I frequently hear:
“We don’t have budget to attend X, Y, Z conference/workshop.”
“I’m too busy to attend that half-day workshop.”
And yet, the expectation is that we/they solve one of the top three issues facing the business?
I would have thought that investing in the internal capability of your team would help you achieve those business objectives? Compared to throwing more expensive resources at the issue, or outsourcing to an agency, surely the ROI for training your people can easily be put to the business and approved? So why is it so difficult?
Take SocialTalent for instance. An online self-paced learning platform for not only recruiters but hiring leaders. It covers all things recruitment and costs a couple thousand dollars. There are great content, valuable tips, and more tricks than Dynamo the magician. I have used it. It was a great refresher, and I learnt new things. There is enough in there to see it pay for itself ten times over in my opinion.
If you are a leader with a big team, there’s an awesome dashboard to see how everyone is tracking. If you’re a business pushing recruiting accountability to hiring leaders, then this should be a no brainer. And no, I don’t get anything from SocialTalent for mentioning them. It is the only online learning platform specifically for TA I have seen and used that is so extensive in its content.
I’m going to make a big call here and say the amount you invest in your TA team’s professional development would directly correlate to:
- How well it performs against competitors where little to no spending occurs;
- How well the team performs to business expectations;
- Increased engagement and retention of team members.
To those attending ATC2019 in June, great to see you there and congratulations to your employers for investing in you. For the majority of others complaining about the performance of their TA functions, you might want to take a look at how you are investing in them and if you aren’t, or not doing enough you may want to reconsider.
Play with the amateurs if you want, but you can’t compete with or expect great performance without a strong training regime.
Cover image: Shutterstock
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