Resuming a Chapter: 6 Learnings From the Past Years into Tech Talent Acquisition

It’s Monday morning, you wake up in rush, get arranged to run to office, can’t decide what to wear and it should be something that makes you feel comfortable and look good too, tough one. Jeans and grey t-shirt would have made life so easy to many of us! It’s your first day at work, there’s going to be many eyes on you.

Off you rush holding tight the phone pointing out the direction you should take and you almost feel clumsy as you never took this route. You choose the straightest one so that you don’t get lost, and take advantage to take a bit of walk towards the office to capture some first time ever shots of your new office neighborhood. Autumn is settling in, trees have got covered in a ton of shades and the wind reminds you that you shouldn’t care about hairdo cause it won’t stop from messing it up anyway.

You recall so many memories, so many thoughts run through your mind, an entire palette of feelings and many still scattered snaps of the upcoming future in this new country, new city, new job role.

And then you enter the building and a whole new chapter begins to be written.


Two weeks ago was my first day at work in a totally new setup, marked with an emotional goodbye to the previous chapter, with many hopefully see-you-soons and a ton of stuff to wrap up.

It made me think about how the last years of my professional experience have been, how much I have learnt, how many times I had to unlearn and how to constantly try to get a better version of oneself.

Here’s summarizing top 6 learnings:

  1. The worst that can happen is that it won’t work, but what if it does? 

The global workforce is changing day by day, technology keeps pushing for new boundaries and perception of work is being constantly redefined. In this context, trying to reinvent through experiments it’s so practical. There is that great conversation about a topic, some randomly thrown ideas about an issue, let’s give it a try. To give an example, I have been particularly experimenting about social media usage in recruitment and giving it a structured approach, across channels and audiences. I am not an expert in social media, but I like it a lot, I have been learning about it, it gets you to surprising people and places and it’s fun! The result? Better outreach, lots of new meaningful connections, stronger personal branding and so many learning about dos and donts. I guess expertise gets built one day/trial at the the time and there is so much more to learn and experiment!

  1. Never ever give up. 

I have been leading technical recruitment for teams across Europe for the past several years and if you are familiar with concepts like talent shortage and tech recruitment crisis, welcome to my world. If a project is challenging and everyone runs away from it, I am in. What a great opportunity to learn something new and maybe break some stereotypes. This is how we (I say we cause it’s always about the teamwork) got to build teams from scratch, we got to find creative ways to find new colleagues, the wonder of learning so much about new-news and in the end, keeping a positive outlook has always helped out reaching the desired outcomes. Of course it comes with a lot of pain, with endless discussions and meetings, yet keeping in mind the importance of doing all the work and the final goal, makes the entire experience rewarding in itself.

  1. If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room. 

A colleague that was sitting next to me many years ago said this to me and years after years I keep on coming to it. The people that we work with, colleagues and team mates and stakeholders and partners, they influence who we are becoming much more then we think. Learning is a constant in all the activities we do and reaching a point where the glass is full, you’ve learnt it all, it’s a trigger that tells us to look for something bigger, bolder, somewhere where you can learnt and stretch yourself. Nowadays it’s just a matter of time until so many of the jobs existing today will disappear therefore keeping up with the new developments, constantly learning and upgrading ourselves is essential.

  1. Just be yourself. 

A Mercer study says that people who are able to bring their authentic self to work are having a higher job satisfaction and are most likely to have a better performance too. It took me a lot of time to realize how important it is to be in a place where you are fully you, where you don’t need to seek approval for the way you are or the things you do. It’s such a relief when you feel great for who you are and you are having the right conditions to just explore more about yourself, capabilities, skills, habits, etc. It might sound idealistic yet in reality it’s just a matter to make sure that the company culture fits your values and principles, and of course you’re having a good match with your boss, peers etc. Being in place where you feel appreciated and where you can fully express your personality, it’s the most fulfilling feeling ever!

  1. Have fun! 

If there was a degree for team outings and special team moments organizing, I would have a PhD in it! I think enjoying and having fun is something that is really important, why do a-many-hours job if you don’t enjoy it? It got me to learn so much about the colleagues and partners I work with, showing the human nature of who we actually are and things we enjoy the most doing in life. And that brings good vibes and positive energy and it’s fun!

Another side of this is sharing and getting to cheer up the environment through day to day little stories and learning. That’s fun too!

  1. Be in charge of your career development. 

Most of the companies have systems and tools and programs and all of that to measure, evaluate, support, enable and develop the capabilities of the workers. And that’s great. Yet there is no tool and no manager in this world to tell you what do you like the most, what’s your talent and passion, what’s that dream job or dream professional to-do. And therefore bridging the gap between what the environment offers and supports you with and your own flame, remains in your hands. From all these years into recruitment and speaking with thousands of people around career development my conclusion is: Me and you should take more ownership of our own career and its development, being proactive in searching for that thing that makes us shine, and asking help to reach out there (watch this TED talk around the same lines).

 

Looking back at all these years, all the amazing talented people I met, the ton of learning and experiments, all the travels and teams I worked with and the much greater things that can be build in the talent acquisition area, it makes me feel so energized and excited about what’s coming next.

 

Resuming after some beautiful years in tech talent acquisition,

Geekie yours,

Ana