Breaking Through Talent Myopia to Get Through a Tough Economy

One of my favorite scenes from one of my favorite movies is when Robert Shaw, Roy Schneider, and Richard Dreyfus sit around the table on Quint’s boat in Jaws and share stories about their scars, both physical and emotional. Live life long enough and we all accumulate scars. They can serve to remind us of past pain, but they can also serve as guideposts and lessons on what to do differently in the future.

My scars and I will act as guides through these uncertain times during an ERE webinar I’ll be presenting on Wednesday, Sept. 30 at 2pm ET — “Breaking Through Talent Myopia to Get Through a Tough Economy.” 

Right now, if you’re like many talent acquisition professionals, you’re struggling to steer your TA strategy to respond to today’s tough economic times. But to plan for a better future, it’s critical to look to the past. In order to get through this recession successfully, it’s important to learn TA lessons from past recessions.

And although this is my first pandemic, this is not my first recession or period of uncertainty.

Sadly, a younger and less wise Jim did not always handle situations well during those times. I earned the scars after the fact, but wish I would have had them prior to guide me through those rough periods. In other words, my first reaction wasn’t always from a place of calm, earned through experience, or with a view to a larger, less myopic picture. This had negative effects for me, but even worse impact on my teams and on my customers.

That myopia manifested itself in not understanding the true value that my team was capable of bringing to the table in trying times. I had bought into the belief that the work we did was transactional and easy to replicate, and that what looked good on paper — like “TA is easily scalable” — was true. (Well that’s actually partially true.)

In my heart I knew that there were keys to greater value, but in my mind I couldn’t find them, and worse, I had no one to show me. When business and, more importantly, people are relying on their leader to show them the way, but the leader is lost, things can only end poorly.

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So let my scars show you the way! Tomorrow, I will discuss what to do in uncertain times based on my own success and mistakes. I will use my 25 years of experience and lessons learned the hard way as a roadmap for bringing all of your team’s skills and talent to bear. The aim is not only to ride out the present uncertainty but to ride it out well. Because sure, you might be scrambling to keep the lights currently by trying to maintain the status quo. After all, if a strategy has been working well, it’s understandable why you might aim to keep it going. But that’s a mistake — because had the strategy really been working well, you’d have been better prepared for the current economic climate.

By unlocking the value that your people can bring, not only will your team have stability, but they will thrive and grow! 

I hope to see you Wednesday, Sept. 30 at 2pm ET for the webinar. Let’s help elevate TA and our people!   

Register here for “Breaking Through Talent Myopia to Get Through a Tough Economy.”

Jim D'Amico is a globally recognized TA Leader, specializing in building best in class TA functions for global organizations. He is an in demand speaker, author, and mentor, with an intense passion for all things talent acquisition. Jim currently leads Global Talent Acquisition for Celanese, a Fortune 500 Chemical Innovation company based in Dallas, TX, and is a proud Board Member of the Association of Talent Acquisition Professionals.

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