What We Do Takes Heart

It’s that time of year again. The time when love is in the air. When retailers pack their stores with greeting cards, chocolates and other Valentine’s Day artifacts. When we stop for a day to celebrate those whom we love in our lives and send tangible expressions of that love. And I’m all for it! I love when February rolls around, but this year, it got me thinking. How many of us can say we L-O-V-E our jobs?

For many of us, our jobs are a means to an end. We work to live, rather than live to work. But what if it was the other way around? Take a second right now to think of a person you know who really loves their career. I’m guessing it’s someone who is not only satisfied in their job role, but who is truly engaged in everything they do. Someone who gives that extra effort all the time. I can tell you one secret—that person you are thinking of has not only the capacity and capability for the role, but is also a great culture fit for their organization. Because when you get people in a job that fits them in these three areas, they will not only love their job, their job will love them back.

Head + Heart

As part of the talent acquisition profession for more than 15 years, I have seen, learned and experienced first-hand that helping people find where they fit best makes a tremendous difference not only for the individual, but for the organization. According to a recent article in Entrepreneur, research from the University of California found that “motivated employees were 31% more productive, had 37% higher sales and were three times more creative than demotivated employees. They were also 87% less likely to quit.”

And while this data is extremely compelling and speaks to the business impact of finding the right talent for the right roles, there is also an emotional side that we can’t—and shouldn’t—overlook. In fact, it’s one thing that our organization never forgets. That we are in the business of people. That business is personal. That what we do matters in people’s lives. And it’s why it’s the second statement in our own Great On Purpose employee value proposition:

What we do takes heart.

IBM is driven by science and innovation—but in IBM Talent Acquisition & Optimization, we rely on a different kind of science. Our work is understanding what makes people great at what they do, then helping them find where they fit best. Success doesn’t come just from technological feats, but through individual people who are inspired in their work. Our technology is state of the art, but applying it takes more than brains—it takes heart. It brings a different perspective to our corner of the company. And it proves that we’re dedicated to pursuing innovation wherever it leads.

Let’s start a love train

I guess what I’m saying in this season of love is that as talent acquisition professionals, it’s easy to get caught up in the rational, intellectual side of finding and attracting talent. To reduce people only to hiring metrics. To stop seeing the soft side of what we do and focus only on time-to-fill or cost-per-hire. Remember, when it comes to ensuring your people love their jobs, it starts with your own organizational culture and making sure that you are attracting people who will excel within your company.

So if you need help or have any questions on what it takes to get the right people for the right roles in your company, let me know. I’d be thrilled to talk with you about your own talent acquisition initiatives and see if we could help revive the passion of your people. After all, who doesn’t love a good love story?

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