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How Do You Become A Talent Strategist?

How Do You Become A Talent Strategist?

Welcome to our very first 2021 LinkedIn Live, hosted by yours truly, Sara Dalsfelt, Adway’s Senior Advisor of Digital Talent Acquisition. Joining her is Jim D’Amico—globally recognized TA leader and Board President of the Association of Talent Acquisition Professionals (ATAP). Get ready for a high-end (& high energy) educational session where Sara picks Jim’s expert brain about how Talent Advisors can take the crucial steps to becoming Talent Strategists.  

Background Check 

With 25 years of TA and HR experience, Jim brings a lot to the table in any strategic discussion. Currently, Jim leads global talent acquisition for Celanese, a chemical innovation company based in Dallas, TX and one of his best-known traits is taking a non-traditional approach to TA.

A fun fact about Jim: earlier in life, he became a standup comedian as a way to attract women. It ended up attracting men who still lived in their parent’s basement 🤣. It also led him down his long path to becoming a TA leader.  

A Brief Word About ATAP  

ATAP was formed with a mission to provide services and support to TA professionals around the world and increase their strategic value in the communities and company’s they serve. They offer:  

  • A global community for TA professionals to think, learn and share. 
  • Enriching & educational programs like their year-long, cohort-based training program: the Diversity, Inclusion & Equity TA Center of Excellence.  
  • Online events such as their 14-hour Global TA Day.   


Talent Advisors Focus on Best Practices. Talent Strategists Focus on Next Practices 

Talent strategy is the next evolutionary step in what Talent Advisors do, no longer existing just to fill positions, but increasing the value of the business – for shareholders, stakeholders, and employees. How? By:  

  • Gathering and analyzing data at a higher level and using the trends they uncover to shape continuous improvement in the organization.  
  • Designing and leading the programs TA Advisors execute and being highly skilled in process management and communication. 

  • Tying themselves into leadership at the highest level of the organization.  
  • Being the gurus and guides for how we build and use technology to service our organizational needs well into the future (not just today).  
  • Not being afraid to run TOWARD the big organizational problems and pain points.  

The Evolutionary Timeline ➡ Talent Advisor to Talent Strategist  

The “Look, Listen & Learn” Stage 

  • Learn the core human and technology skills of TA.  
  • Learn how to tell stories and be a relationship builder and communicator.  
  • Don’t just learn the tools, learn how they work and why they’re relevant. 

  • Learn how your company makes money and what your connection to their work is.  

The “Apply What You’ve Learned” Stage 

  • Learn how to integrate new best practices and become someone who can truly assess talent based on the company’s needs.  
  • Start to seduce candidates, not just attract them. Convince people who aren’t necessarily searching that your company will benefit them.  

The “Let Data Do the Talking” Stage  

  • Know which data to measure to make the biggest impact on the organization and confidently present it using engaging storytelling. Now you’re ready to start strategizing with your leaders!  
  • Show real time data about exactly where the candidates are dropping off to determine whether you are seducing them or simply attracting them.  
  • Partner with the right technology companies to help you design the next steps of your data journey. Don’t be afraid to demonstrate the technology!  

Move From “Order Taker” to “Decision Maker” 

Speak the same language as your leaders. Acquire the business and financial acumen to speak strongly and correctly. Focus on results and tie those results into company performance and quality. Don’t just discuss today, talk about tomorrow. 

Successfully Educate & Manage Your Hiring Managers 

With data! Not just time-to-fill statistics but by being honest about all the parameters at play. Hiring managers don’t live in this world, so you can work backwards to build the appropriate hiring plan by bringing the right data to the table (turnover, performance, etc.). Show them we’re all in this together, be a strategic business partner, and get your budgets approved.  

Use Storytelling to Meet CandidateExactly Where They Are (24/7

You might have to woo a high-level candidate for many months. Keep using storytelling to engage them in a way that keeps them coming back for more! If you want to build stories that connect with people, they have to come from an honest place and resonate with the candidates. Technology (especially social media) is a tool that helps us spread the story.  

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