Most people working in recruitment in any capacity will have experienced the phenomenon of how a job title can vary wildly between sizes and types of organisation; a "Head of Operations" in a small, local business comprising a handful of staff, for example, would be incomparable to a position of the same name in a global corporate institution.
The same principle should then apply when sourcing for talent. it doesn't pay to get hung up on key phrases, job titles or even qualifications when looking for a candidate shortlist. Instead, it seems more frequently, current wisdom says we should be looking at experiences, at inferred or explicit skills, qualities and attributes and asking what value, in combination, would that bring to the need the company has?
The pandemic has shaken up the recruitment market is immeasurable ways. There is a glut of free talent in some spaces but a chronic and unprecedented shortage in others. So in the latter cases, taking a perhaps more pragmatic approach "from leftfield" is the sensible option, for a number of reasons. If the classic, ideal candidate is simply not identifiable, look to the inherent qualities of those high performers in the same role within the organisation and ask where those skills might also be found or could be cultivated.
This interesting article from Recruiter (link below) sparked my thoughts on this. If you're short of time, skip to the "Key takeaways" section which talks to cultivating a skills based work force, the difficulties faced by using fixed terminology for skills in a changing environment and the advantages of decoupling people from roles.
At Peoplescout, we apply a similar approach to client solutions. One of our key principle's is client first, not process first. Although we have a suite of solutions to base our client offerings around, we always approach a situation with an open mind and a lack of preconceived approaches so that we are ready to divert significantly away from an existing solution if modifying or amending it gets to the route of the client problem more effectively.
I've overseen recent projects where due to the impact of social distancing and lockdowns, projects such as film creation, virtual assessment and even new business bids amongst others have been approached from a "problem first" angle to great effect, although not necessarily following a conventional route. As always, please get in touch if you have a current business problem that we can approach creatively on your behalf!
Decoupling people from roles brings a new lens to talent planning. In the new world of work where the talent pool is bigger and more diverse, break down the role and consider what needs to be done rather than who and where a role should be