Down the rabbit hole: Curiosity & Innovation in Talent Acquisition

Down the rabbit hole: Curiosity & Innovation in Talent Acquisition
Down the rabbit hole: Curiosity & Innovation in Talent Acquisition

I talk a lot about being curious, whether that’s with my teams, my colleagues and quite often in LinkedIn posts.

I’ve always been curious, I’ve always had this need to ask how or why. Could it be different, could it be better? I like to understand stuff.

It’s something I try to encourage in my young daughter, to be curious and want to keep learning.

I genuinely believe that being curious has benefited my career (and personal life) in so many ways.

During my early agency days and many ‘power hours’ of sales calls, I was curious as to if there was a better way of winning new business besides being hung up on or leaving voicemails. I began learning about email marketing and other techniques I could use to win new clients.

It began working, I tweaked and refined it, it worked better again. I hated cold calling, I was useless at it, I despised it. Guess what, my curiosity meant I’d never have to do it again. I’d found a better way of hitting my targets.

Again, during my agency days, when working on some front end developer and web designer roles, I was fascinated looking through candidate portfolios and wondered how they where designed and built. I knew from my role as a tech recruiter that most where probably built in HTML & CSS with a bit of JavaScript maybe, but I got really curious and wanted to know specifically how they were built.

I went down a rabbit hole, I learned HTML, CSS and some basic JavaScript. I learned Photoshop, I studied up on wireframing and prototypes. I built some websites for some small businesses in my spare time which not only earned me some additional cash but allowed me to further develop these new skills. It also made me much better at my job as a tech recruiter as you can imagine.

Fast forward a fair few years, I co-founded a business and we needed a to design and build a website. Rather than spending cash (which in all startups is tight), I had the skills to be able to design and build it inhouse. I had no idea all those years ago when I’d first started learning that I’d need and benefit from those skills in future.

I bagged my first inhouse TA role some years later, I wondered if there was a better way to get more qualified candidates applying to my jobs and responding to my InMails. I found a few videos on YouTube about copywriting, again curious how I could apply those methods to my job. I experimented, I failed, I tweaked, failed a bit more, tweaked again and finally got some traction. It made me better at my job, it saved me stacks of time to go and focus on other areas of my responsibilities and get better at them.

My first TA Manager job, I’d spend hours every week updating and refreshing weekly reports and adhoc data requests from the leadership team by data dumping from the ATS and then messing about in Excel to get the answers. There’s got to be a better way of doing this? I went down that rabbit hole again, I discovered PowerBi and began learning the basics.

Reporting now took me minutes rather than hours, I had insight on demand when requested which improved TA’s credibility with the leadership teams tenfold. I then had more time to go and look at other areas of my role I could improve.

I’m almost 20 years into my career, today I still use some of things I picked up by being curious 5, 10 15, 20 years ago and I’ve zero doubt that my career would look very different if I didn’t have that curiosity bug.

I’ve probably got about another 20 years to go in my career, am I going to stop learning and being curious? Not a chance.

Being curious has taught me new skills, gave me different perspectives and opened so many opportunities for me, why would I stop now when it’s only half time?

Find an hour in your week, get curious about something and go down that rabbit hole.


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