Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Titles, Talent and Twitter

Lipstick on a pig?

(h/t to Michael Homulka for that phrase, and he has a much better picture and post here)

I saw the following short "conversation" in the "What's your view?" section of the Morning News Beat blog. It deals with the hiring of Director of Talent Acquisition by PriceChopper, a chain of food stores run by the Golub family. I posted on the hiring of Paul White yesterday over at my Best Practice Exchange blog.

Here is the short exchange:

Finally, we had a piece noting that Price Chopper/Golub Corp. hired Paul White to be “Director of Talent Acquisition,” which prompted MNB user Geoff Harper to write:

Fascinating job title. Sounds like the Golubs are tackling the industry-wide future talent conundrum head-on.

That title didn't look especially unusual to me. Most of the readers of Morning News Break are from various sectors of the food industry, with a lot coming out of retail.

This makes me wonder if:

  • the title sounds "fascinating" because of the industry which the respondent may work in?

  • are titles driven by their industries, or does this reflect the level of industry sophistication?

Does this also indicate that talent acquisition in the retail sector is lagging, or not even reallty off the ground if this type of title/hire is viewed as innovatove by insiders?

Could it be that reatil folks are too busy trying to sell stuff and make a buck for them to be bothered to be making up fancy titles?

What do you think?

Immediate feedback from Twitter:

@Animal To me Director of Talent Acquisition sounds like saying custodian instead of janitor @TalentSynch @MikeVanDervort - or Dir Custodial Svcs

@MichaelHomula @Animal @talentsynch @mikevandervort the diff is in what they do and how they do it. Otherwise it is just HR putting lipstick on a pig.

@TalentSynch @Animal @MikeVanDervort Do a goog search for the phrase & see what u get - board. Used to be a sign of "evolved" thinking about the function

@TalentSynch @Animal @MikeVanDervort - definitely universal. I prefer that wording over recruiting or staffing but still think we can improve on it

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