Updated: Oct 20
Thanks for reading! This is a new series, designed to shine a spotlight on Talent Acquisition professionals and highlight their career journeys and learnings so far. Today, we're joined by Sophie Power; if you'd like to be next, please reach out to a TTC Community Manager.
Hello! My name is Sophie Power; I’m a community manager for TTC, a former admin for the DBR network, a podcast host, and most recently, I was Talent Acquisition Lead for Zinc. I’m currently looking for work: my speciality lies in Talent Attraction, Employer Branding, Candidate Experience, and cost-effective recruiting.
Can you walk us through the key milestones in your career in the talent acquisition space? What were some pivotal moments or decisions that shaped your journey?
The first big milestone was the move to in-house: I managed to jump over fairly quickly by leveraging my network to help me. 4 years later, I moved from Corporate environments into start-ups and have evolved my career exponentially since. Another big milestone for me was becoming actively involved in the TA community via DBR: having access to a wide network of amazing peers and mentors helped me grow my practice and become a better recruiter 100%.
In this rapidly evolving industry, what strategies or practices have you adopted to continuously enhance your skills and stay ahead of the curve? Do you have any resources or learning methods you'd recommend to others?
I’m a talker! With that, I am always talking shop with my peers, and I’ve never been afraid to hold my hands up and say, “I don’t know”... Always quickly followed by “Let me find out”. Staying involved in the industry, even when not working allows me to stay up-to-date with trends, and dare I say, it even gives me the time to really deep dive into learning in a way that in a hands-on/operational start-up role you rarely get time to do.
An area I could improve on, however is formal training: I’m passionate about Talent Attraction, and I’d love to take some marketing classes in SEO and Social Media/Content Creation to build my skillset further. Any recommendations, please let me know!
What has been the most challenging aspect of your career in talent acquisition, especially when you were actively seeking work? How did you overcome it, and what advice would you offer to others facing similar hurdles?
Being made redundant just as the pandemic was kicking off, having moved out of contracting for an exciting perm opportunity was intimidating. I had to very quickly kick into gear, reaching out to my network and shouting loud about the fact I was looking. Fortunately, I landed a contract that lasted a year, with a great company that I enjoyed working with. But it was nerve wracking: I spent 3 days in the office and then went fully-remote for the first time in my career!
The recruiting world can be fast-paced and demanding. How do you strike a balance between your professional commitments and personal life? Are there specific routines or rituals you follow?
This is something I struggled with for a long time. I’m neurodiverse and am prone to hyper-focus which is great in short bursts of productivity but when it goes on for months, winding that back to “regular output” to protect my mental health can look like a dip in performance. Now I’m much more aware of how my brain works, I can communicate more clearly how I tend to work and move into a better work-life-flow.
As someone involved in talent acquisition, you've likely witnessed various technology and trend shifts. Which technologies or trends do you believe have had the most significant impact on the industry, and how have they influenced your role?
I think it’s less the technology, and more the adoption and subsequent impact that’s changed my work. So the pandemic really changed business perception around the viability of video interviewing. Nowadays, we tend to only invite people in face-to-face for final stage interviews which when you think about it makes so much sense: you’re asking people to make a commitment of time, travel costs, and energy on top of what they’d bring to a video interview it’s great to see how quickly everyone adjusted tovideo interviewing.
As a recruiter, it had a huge impact: I’ve had pipelines fall apart in my earlier career because I couldn’t find meeting rooms! I’ve lost out on candidates because managers couldn’t make availability. Now I only have to do that for one stage of the process, for a handful of candidates, and that saves me hours of time and keeps the pipeline moving swiftly, which benefits everyone.
For those entering the talent acquisition space or those looking to pivot within it, what's the one piece of practical advice you'd give to help them thrive, especially if they are actively job-seeking?
Good question! Never underestimate the value of your network, and never get so buried in the day-to-day that you overlook it. Setting aside even 30 minutes a week to dipping into community blogs, a slack group, watching a crowdcast, listening to a podcast are all easy ways to keep learning from those around you and may even help you build connections. Be generous with advice when you have something to offer, you never know when that good karma will come back to you (it always will though).