When my son was 6-years-old, he was discouraged. It’s a painful thing to see your child discouraged. He was little and trying to learn new things in sports. It was hard. It was almost gut-wrenching as a parent. But as his little, upset face looked at me asking what to do, I told him when he was ready, I would tell him the secret of life.
There is something remarkable about telling someone that with a little time and patience you will tell them the secret of life. All things stop when that happens. All upset is resolved. Interest is piqued. But the key in my mind is to have them wait for it. I wanted him to stop thinking about his perceived failure and I wanted him to think about what could be. I told him when he was really ready, he could come get me and we could talk about it. A few hours passed. He was calm. He came to get me and told me he was ready. I asked him if he was sure. He said yes. I said really sure? He paused, thought about it (because that is who he is) and said, yes, mom, I’m ready. I drew in a breath and I told him:
The secret of life is deciding.
It’s that simple kid. You decide.
Once you decide, you have to commit. You have to work. You have to work hard. You need to make a plan and bring that decision to fruition. So, you want to be good at baseball? You want to learn to jump a wild animal over a 3-foot fence? You decide. You commit. You work. Hard. You listen. You learn. But before you do any of that. You decide.
You may be asking what this parenting moment has to do with you? With Talent Acquisition? It’s simple.
We are broken. We can’t get the talent we need to do business. We can’t stop losing people who don’t support our missions. We have created experiences that people kinda hate and it is not working. We ask for more than we give. We get mad when they don’t send thank you notes. We get mad when they like us too much. The net: modern recruiting is bordering on Dumpster fire.
Which goes back to my great (my point of view) parenting moment: Most of the people I talk to in TA are actual TA leaders. The people who call the shots. The people who DECIDE!
So, it is with all the love in my heart that I tell you this:
TA leader: You want to find great talent? You want to bring the best people into your business? You want a seat at the c-suite? You can have ALL OF THESE THINGS. You just have to decide.
You get to decide that you are done with the status quo. You get to decide that the business is not in a position of power in the employer-employee dynamic. You get to decide to build experiences that are egalitarian. You get to decide to create experiences that are fair. You get to decide that you can give as much as you get. And when you decide, you have to commit. Do the hard work. Fight the good fights.
I am giving you permission to decide because you actually have the power to change the way things are done. You have the power and authority to impact the way people find their dream jobs and how you find A-players. If you need it, I am giving you permission to not only decide. Just decide. The world needs you to do it. Your decision has the power to make the world a better place.