“Complexity is the enemy of execution” – Tony Robbins
One main reason we add complexity into talent acquisition is a concept known as the sophistication of fear. It’s the same reason we use long words when we could just use short words. It’s why fancy restaurants have a dress code to keep the riff raff out. It’s why we tell our kids, “you just wouldn’t understand." We say it's complicated when it’s probably not, but we just don’t know how to answer or don’t want to answer.
We invent these complexities as a safety barrier. Safety from not being questioned on why we can’t accomplish something in our control. Safety from being found out we might be a fraud in what we say we can do.
Talent acquisition is known for this.
“We have to change our processes, and build our employment brand, and develop interview guides and select an assessment, and…” before we can pick up a phone and call a candidate to see if they would want to come work for us.
Talent acquisition simlified
Talent acquisition is about connection. It’s actually really quite simple.
All we really need is a phone. You pick it up, you call one
person, and you talk. They might be interested, they might be annoyed, or they
might be happy you called.
We fear this simplicity.
Within this simplicity is failure. That’s why we add the sophistication. It allows us to have something to hide behind when we fail.
I truly think the best talent acquisition pros have one major trait in common. Great talent acquisition pros and shops are fearless. This is who we are, and we love it! We don’t have to hide behind complexity and process. We don’t need sophistication.
Start your talent acquisition strategy with the basics
Great talent acquisition shops start simple and nail it. Once they do simple really well, they begin to add things around that core that will make them even better. Average and poor talent acquisition shops do this entirely backwards. They, first, build sophistication into all they do, and then they try and do the simple things. Most fail.
I love recruitment technology as much as anyone, but I do think it hurts organizations that can’t do the basics. Technology allows you to do what you do faster, not better. If you suck at talking candidates into why they should come to work for you, technology will allow you to suck at that faster.
I get it! Everyone who works in talent acquisition, including myself, wants HR and the rest of the organization to think what we do is strategic and complicated and we are all irreplaceable. If it looks like what we do is simple, people could judge us as a function anyone can do.
But, here’s our dirty little secret. We know that isn’t true! Recruiting a candidate to your company isn’t easy and most people, given the chance, would fail at it. You don’t need to be sophisticated to be successful. Work to simplify everything you do in talent acquisition. Eliminate sophistication for the sake of sophistication.
Let’s get back to talent acquisition in its simplest form – you and me, having a conversation about why it would be great to work here.