The Journey to Innovation In Five Steps

Innovation in talent has never been more important than it is today. With a noisy space becoming more chaotic, mergers and acquisitions muddying the market, and more competition for top talent than ever before, Talent Acquisition Leaders are not only expected to participate in innovation but to lead it.

If you’ve taken our Innovation Cycle Quiz, you’ll know where your business innovation strategy falls on the spectrum. For those who didn’t score as high as you had hoped, don’t worry. Innovation doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, driving innovation at your company, particularly on your Talent Acquisition team can be downright fun!

Here at Talent Tech Labs, we work with a lot of companies at all stages of growth on the vendor side and enterprise leaders stuck in an innovation rut on our corporate members’ side. As we’ve watched Talent Acquisition professionals move through the innovation cycle, here are the 5 common steps that lead to breakthroughs in Talent Acquisition innovation.

The most innovative TA leaders didn't get there by being safe. @TalentTechLabs has the 5 common steps that lead to breakthroughs in #TalentAcquisition innovation. Share on X

Stop Playing it Safe

The most innovative TA leaders didn’t get there by being safe. While no one in the hiring space will tell you to do anything dangerous or illegal, there are ways to try new things that may feel risky at first. To truly embrace your business innovation strategy, you have to be willing to make the investment of time, energy, and yes, a certain amount of risk.

In fact, that risky business is what separates Talent Acquisition as its own entity, in addition to HR. One talent leader thought he had a great idea to create a massive campaign around a digital/traditional hybrid career fair. He was unsure if it would work given the sparse population in the area. But after planning it out, it was a resounding success but not without some serious internal grumbling.

In the end, this TA Leader won an award, hit the hiring goal, and got more freedom to try new ideas, all because he took a (calculated) risk.

Invest in Your Professional Learning

It’s lonely at the top, and you’re at the top of your game. Professional learning and mentorship are crucial to avoid getting stuck in an innovation rut. Professional learning in Talent Acquisition can look like:

  • In-Person Events
  • Live Chats or Classes
  • Webinars or Research
  • Mentorship

Investing in your professional education can make the difference between feeling stymied in your company, and getting the confidence and decision support to move forward with innovation strategies. Melissa Lamson writes for Inc:

“According to a study done by LinkedIn, 27 percent of North American businesses are going to spend more on internal learning programs in 2017. Specifically, the research showed that the subjects both small and large companies most want to focus on are 1) management and leadership skills, 2) technical skills and 3) career development.”

Separate the Urgent from the Important

We’re all guilty of spending days, weeks, months even spinning our wheels while still feeling overwhelmed. While checking your email every five minutes may just be the dopamine hit you need, it’s not going to spark any innovation. In fact, many TA leaders who excel at innovation will tell you that your brain needs rest time and thinking time in between meetings, interviews, training, strategy sessions…not to mention your actual work.

Creating a visual reminder of what is important will help you focus and delegate. How often have you wasted valuable time doing something you could have given to a more junior employee (Bonus, that might spark innovation in them!)

To truly embrace innovation in #TalentAcquisiiton, you have to be willing to make the investment of time, energy, and yes, a certain amount of risk. Here are the steps you need to take to get there: Share on X

Ask Others

No one creates the very best ideas in a total vacuum. Humans are social beings, and we work better together. And since you’re in Talent Acquisition, I bet you’re very good at talking to people.

The trick is to not just to ask people at the same level, or in your industry even. Ask your kids, the guys in your strength class, the barista who makes your coffee in the morning, your brand new intern, etc. When you bounce ideas off others, you see things you didn’t see before. And by becoming open to others poking holes in your ideas, you encourage people to come to you with their own.

Create Space

Not just physical space or time, but truly space for others to take those risks. If you’re not being an example of how to innovate, how will your team know what’s okay to try, and what isn’t? Younger employees often confuse innovation for authority testing. By showing them how to push the entire team or department forward without alienating their coworkers, you’ll have created a stronger team and a stronger business innovation strategy.

To learn more about how we can assist companies and TA Leaders, take a look at our membership opportunities.