What I learned about TA from my granddaughter

I have been in Talent Acquisition for 25 years and just as I thought I am a little too seasoned, a little too weathered, and have almost seen everything, my little granddaughter appeared in my life and changed it all.
Being a grandfather to beautiful Chloe for the past 20 months has brought me down to earth, as I found some new perspectives on TA that surprised me.
Here is what I’ve learned:

1. Focus on needs and wants

I have grand plans for what I want to do on my afternoons with Chloe, I dream of taking her to yum-cha, of making a mess and new friends in the process. But what does a good afternoon look like for her….? Probably my standing outside in the freezing cold pushing her on swings and following her around the playground so she knows I have her back should any baby turf wars arise.
Many times, we unconsciously focus on what we want from a candidate, hiring manager or client. We complete a call plan and have an ulterior motive in mind for most meetings.
I am not saying that we should not have this but in doing this, do we really listen and seek to understand FIRST? This listening sometimes gets subjugated to the point when we can get to what we want to accomplish.
I have become more aware of my shortcomings in this area as a result of spending time with Chloe, and I now focus more on seeking to understand and truly listen.

2. Live in the moment but think long term

What does Chloe want to do this afternoon?
Should I pull her favourite dummy back out of her cot and let her suck on it like a lifeline whilst reading to her, and risk breaking the sleep association routine that my daughter had worked hard to embed – not allowing Chloe to have her dummy during the day. Or should I distract her with something else?
The paradox of holding two thoughts in my mind, which is what is going on here right now, and what will this mean to her long-term development?
Many times with the stakeholders we deal with, we do not focus on both short term and long term simultaneously. Even when we do, are we really able to time and express our communication in a way that we take people on the journey?
This is a skill that I am sure we can improve on and this will enhance our relationships with our candidates.

3. Have fun

Do tracksuit pants and tutus go together? Not really, but does Chloe care? Not one bit, it is fun and makes her happy.
Do we take ourselves to seriously? I know that having fun and laughing at myself have become easier as I get older. However, I think mostly we do take ourselves and what we do too seriously.
When I look back at work that I have done and reflect on the importance of it, it does tend to lose some of the value I placed on it.
Also, in placing lots of importance on doing something, did I actually enjoy the journey? I think having fun is really important and certainly enhances the experience for all stakeholders.

4. Be agile & flexible 

I often look forward to finding out what happens at the end of a story we are reading together, but Chloe would rather half-read her way through 10 books and she swaps to the next just as we get to the good part.
Be prepared to go in a different direction. I learned this lots when I made plans for us but Chloe had other ideas. Just going with another person’s plans can be freeing.
This sounds a little silly I know, but overall, being prepared to go with another person’s ideas is important in learning and growing. It allows us to take a step back and become more perceptive and observant, which could lead to better ideas and outcomes.
As I reflect on the above, I realise it may be simplistic, but simple things often can have great impact. The key lies in how we perceive and what we do with these thoughts and ideas.
Thank you Chloe for your guidance, nagypapa always loves you.

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2 Responses to “What I learned about TA from my granddaughter”

    • Trevor Vas

      Totally agree I think we lose our ability to think widely and children give us a new perspective on life and how we think. Thanks for the comment


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