While watching the Academy Awards, I noticed there wasn’t much bling this year. I made a comment on Facebook: “Where’s Charles Winston on the red carpet this year?” I was immediately corrected that it wasn’t “Charles,” but “Harry” Winston.
I guess names do matter, but I guess I have always known that. Names and titles matter. They brand us, tell others who we are, what we do, where we sit in the hierarchy, and of course often create first impressions. There may some irony to the fact that names and titles matter, but didn’t Shakespeare get that long ago?
I have been thinking a lot about the title of our profession. We have many names, including but not limited to:
- Talent Acquisition
- Talent Management
- Human Resources
- People Services
and any combination of the above. Yes, our profession has changed a great deal since our days as Personnel (oh I may be dating myself here). But, isn’t it funny that we can’t all agree on who we are today?
In my last corporate role, I changed my title often and with the changing times. I changed it from Recruiting to Staffing and eventually to Talent Acquisition, all within one year. The last one was powerful. It allowed me to take a stand and declare that our team was different and that we were changing the way we did business. People used to laugh at me for changing my title all the time (and my department), but it worked. It set a new tone, clarified, and energized my team and our clients in our new world.
I am not sure what the answer is to what we should call our profession right now. But I think about this often. I do find myself changing the title I use, depending on the audience. But, maybe I lean a little more towards Staffing these days. It’s safe; we catch the recruiters and the people that deal with internal mobility, too. But, at the end of the day, what we do is recruit talent, right? Yes, there is so much more to that role today, but what’s wrong with being a recruiter? Maybe people don’t like “recruiting,” because it makes them think of Army recruiters. But, what’s wrong with that? They have a very difficult job and do pretty well at it, especially these days.
But, I’ve never played it safe. So, I challenge us to shake things up a little and take a stand. I think it is time that we have a meeting of the minds and collectively decide on what we want to be called. If the current titles don’t work, lets make up a new one.