Ed Davis: HR Doesn’t Own Talent

Some words of wisdom from Ed Davis, star VP of staffing, leading a workshop today from the ERE Expo in San Diego on competency-based interviewing:

On the 80-20 rule:

Find out what the most critical 20% of jobs in your company are. “The 20% the CEO is really concerned about, that sweet spot. You have to be great at producing top talent in that sweet spot and good at everything else.”

On competencies and diversity:

So many pilots now are female, but there was the time when “people assumed you had to be in the military, you had to be a fighter pilot …” to prepare yourself for a pilot job. But when you break down the job into core competencies, you can identify what’s really needed to do the job, and those experiences and skills aren’t exclusively male.

On panel interviews:

“Panels can work very well if you have the right structure. The only caution is what you don’t want is ‘groupthink.’ Be cautious. Make sure your hiring managers aren’t thinking that everyone has to agree to hire the candidate. That’s the route to non-recruiting.”

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On managing meetings to review candidates and similar meetings:

“Smart executives let everyone else go first … if you go first, what you’re going to say colors what everyone else says.”

On the relationship between HR and line managers:

“HR doesn’t own talent. They own talent. We’re here to help, we’re here to facilitate, but at the end of the day,” managers own it.

Davis is the writer of some killer articles for the print Journal of Corporate Recruiting Leadership (for leaders in recruiting), as well as the author of the online article about the role of the hiring manager in recruiting.


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