To lead a talent acquisition area you need to drive your team towards an agile mindset

Recently, I’ve had a few really thought-provoking discussions with my HRD colleagues that drove us all to pretty sad conclusions – and I’d risk the statement right now – in the digital savvy world we work these days still too many organizations have been recruiting in the wrong way.

And to clarify beforehand, it has absolutely nothing to do with the competencies or professionalism within the talent acquisition teams itself (no, there are so many great recruiters out there!). It’s more about operating in a fixed mindset model of hiring people – focusing on IQ rather than EQ, making hiring decisions based on PAST experience rather than candidate’s POTENTIAL to play a new role – approach that is required by organizations, top-down. Why is that? 

With digital as a top priority for more than 90% of corporate leaders and digital business transformation spending forecast that will eat up 53% of IT budgets – $7.4 trillion between 2020-2023 (IDC) – HR leaders must be prepared to play the right role in enabling this transformation and focus on hiring future-fit talent.

How many of you have recently hired people based on their motivation to actually do the job and/or a level of a candidate’s self-awareness? 

Resumes do not talk to mindset. Limiting the talent pool to certain attributes (such as education, certificates, industry track record or background) simply reduces your organization’s capacity to innovate. You may miss out on the individuals that have THE attitude and adaptability that will help your agile journey evolve.

I’m not saying it is easy. To look beyond the resume, you need to get creative in your means to find and attract the right people. You will also need to interview really well. So, where to start?


  1. start with your job adverts. Still too many include the following sentence: ‘experience in this or that sector is crucial’. There is too little evidence to support the fact that employees chosen in a copy-paste way become high performers or succeed in a specific role. 
  2. be aware of your brain’s shortcuts. Interviews are where biases most easily show up. 
  3. bet on diversity!
  4. instead of strictly selecting recruitment assessments, invest in digital solutions that will make clear and transparent what is challenging and fun about the job. The psychologist John Wanous proposed giving applicants a realistic preview of what the job is like. Google has found a way to do this with i.e. gamification – job seekers see what the work would be like by playing its game version. Marriott implemented the same solutions, even for low-level employees.