How credible do you think you are?


I want to ask you a question. How credible do you think you are? 

It’s a question aimed mainly at those of you who work in corporate recruiting and talent acquisition although I guess it could apply to lots of us.

And the reason I ask is that we did a webinar and a follow up paper recently looking at the process of assessing, buying and deploying HR and recruitment technology, and one of the speakers was Alex Wilson.


Watch the vlog here:

Alex used to be the Group HR Director at BT so he is well versed in making big decisions about HR tech spend and his three key points in his decision making process were:

  • Are there measurable outcomes over a timeline with some associated risk analysis
  • Who are the other internal sponsors of the business case
  • How credible are you

It wasn’t meant as an insult. In fact I would say it’s just a variation on what investors will ask about a CEO or a management team when they are considering an investment. They call it ‘backable’ rather than credible but it’s essentially the same thing. 

And it occurred to me that this may not be a question you ask yourself when you’re preparing your business case for what ever it is your asking for. 

Now it may be you are well established in your particular organization with a track record of delivering large complex projects on time and on budget. 

Or it may be that whatever you’re asking for is a major step up from previous projects. 

Or perhaps you’re relatively new to your employer and even if you have a great track record previously it’s pretty standard to have to work that bit harder to get your plans accepted if this is your first time of asking. 

So, of course, credibility is contextual. And it’s perishable. If your last big project was, say, more than 5 years ago, then don’t automatically assume your credibility is as strong as it was. 

So it’s always a good idea to set yourself the ‘credibility challenge’ because if you can spot where there might be an issue and show you’ve recognised it, more often than not that will help rather hinder your cause.

And this is more important than ever because even if you have a stellar track record, all of us are in uncharted territory. 

The scale of the challenges your organizations face and the speed with which you will be expected to respond are most likely different from anything you will have experienced in your career so far.

So one of the guaranteed results of this crisis is that the value of your personal credibility will go up or down, whether you like it or not because doing nothing definitely isn’t an option!

Demonstrating knowledge and insight rather than opinion elevates credibility. This can be internally focused and for TA leaders a detailed understanding of your internal metrics is crucial. However this insight becomes even more powerful if you can also demonstrate knowledge of the external market. 

Our Talent Acquisition benchmark programme was designed to help talent leaders understand how they compare to a relevant sector cohort as well as the market more widely and, therefore enabling them to make better decisions and hopefully adding some extra currency to your credibility

You can download the guide to investing in tech report I’m referring to and also find out more about the TALiNT Benchmark Programme here.

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