Jennifer Daly on how to become a Talent Operations expert

Devenir un expert des talent operations

We met with Jennifer Daly who works as a Recruitment Operations Analyst for Accenture in Ireland. In this interview, she describes her job, what she enjoys about it, and what she thinks is absolutely essential for taking on a role as a Talent Operations expert.

Jennifer Daly
Accenture is an international consulting firm that currently supports a portfolio of 7,000 clients in more than 120 countries and employs 720,000 people. Jennifer is one of these employees. She plays a pivotal role within the recruiting team as a Recruitment Operations Analyst for the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East and Africa).

What are the daily tasks of a Recruitment Operations Analyst?

No two positions with the same role title are exactly the same. The tasks involved will depend on the company and how the rest of the team is structured. At Accenture, Jennifer has several strings to her bow and works on a variety of topics within her team. Jennifer’s main responsibilities are as follows:

  • Nurture accurate knowledge of the market and share her understanding and recommendations with HR executives to better manage recruitment planning;
  • Transform the recruiting department into a fully-fledged business partner and adviser to all HR stakeholders;
  • Define recruiting KPIs in accordance with stakeholder objectives, and communicate results with the rest of the company;
  • Implement a long-term recruiting strategy which includes actions for attracting passive candidates, establishing candidate pools based on specific skills, etc.;
  • Monitor and screen applications, and conduct interviews with the HR team.

Jennifer adds that her job is highly and especially people-oriented, both in her interactions with candidates – “it’s my mission to match people to their dream jobs” – but also with the HR team she works with: “I have a determination to ensure my team are happy and clear on what we need as a team to achieve our personal goals and in turn hit our team goals”.

Candidates and team members aren’t the only human interactions Jennifer engages in. She states, “I work closely with my clients to ensure I know exactly what they need for the project. Alongside that, I basically match the person to the perfect role for them”.

What academic and professional background do you need in order to become a Talent Operations expert?

According to Jennifer, there is no “magic” background to land a job like hers. She admits that getting to where she is now was much down to chance. After a BA in English and Philosophy with a view to becoming a teacher, Jennifer spent some time working in the financial services sector before dipping into legal studies, health insurance, and even beauty therapy – a background that reflects her adaptability and curious nature. She always says that “knowledge is key” and her watchword is “resilience”, which is an extremely important quality for Jennifer and a real asset in the world of recruiting, and Talent Operations especially.

I don’t believe there is a typical path to take – in recruitment we all come from so many diverse backgrounds.” Jennifer doesn’t think it is necessary to have previous experience as a recruiter in order to become a Talent Operations expert, even if it can “give you a foundation to build upon”.

One of the main qualities a Talent Operations specialist should have is flexibility: “needs change rapidly and you need to be able to adapt”.

What qualifications would you need in order to work in Talent Operations?

There are a great many diplomas and training courses and/or certifications that can prepare people for entering the world of Talent Operations. These vary according to each country because supply and demand also vary from one country to another.

It is worth noting that these diplomas or certifications aren’t necessarily aimed at this specific branch of recruiting. According to Jennifer, “you can of course complete degrees, certificates, diplomas in any of the HR disciplines in order to specialise in a particular area”, but skills are more important than training.

This is especially true seeing as Talent Operations encompass a variety of specialisations. Some focus on strategic activities while others revolve around change management or involve defining KPIs and managing recruitment tools.

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What type of training do you need in order to successfully apply for Talent Operations job vacancies?

By browsing vacancies for these types of positions, we noticed that training and diplomas weren’t necessarily mandatory to fill the role.

For instance, a “Talent Operations Specialist” vacancy at Redwood City School of Medicine (USA) specified the following as required education and experience:

Bachelor’s degree and two years of relevant experience, or combination of education and relevant experience.

The description clearly states that experience is valued more than training. The rest of the vacancy also contains a longer and more precise list of required skills and knowledge.

All this goes to show that companies are prioritising finding candidates with relevant experience rather than diploma qualifications.

Our advice: If you’re already in the recruiting industry, why not consider supplementary training funded by your company or through government funding for personal training courses? Figure out first of all which aspects of Talent Operations you are most drawn to before making any decisions to switch careers.

Find out more: 4 key takeaways on Talent Operations expertise

Talent Operations, a blooming career path

Jennifer believes it is important for companies to get Talent Operations-oriented profiles on board because they are the ones with real expertise in new recruiting processes.

Companies and HR teams are increasingly obliged to change their approach and engage in data usage and monitoring, implement new automation tools, adopt new AI-assisted recruiting processes, etc. Resorting to Talent Operations specialists is therefore paramount.

Jennifer reminds us that the recruiting world is a dynamic one, where things are constantly changing and where she says, “the sky is the limit”. You need to know how to adapt to it all.

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