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The Talent of Focusing on People

When I joined Avature's Talent Acquisition team, I came across a vision of recruiting that totally changed my mindset. I discovered processes that are 100% people-centric, where the exploration and depth achieved in conversation is much more valuable than the titles or work experience listed in a CV.

This organic approach resulted in me learning to do a new kind of recruiting. Today, I’ll try to summarize the (extremely interconnected) principles that make this approach possible, aimed at putting aside preconceptions and opening up space for exploration, following our own interests, and discovering new ones.

Don’t stick to the obvious

Sometimes I meet candidates who tie their presentation very closely to the limits of a job description. Often, they're trying to stick to what they already know or stay within the boundaries of the experience on their CV. This is when I jump in and do my best to accompany them in getting out of that mindset. I explain that, at Avature, there are many paths to explore and that we aim to adapt our process to their particular interests, staying open to new possibilities. Many times, a simple "why?" ends up being our best friend and leads us to discover what we really want to do, even if we haven’t done it yet.

Getting there means you need to stop thinking that what you’ve done so far in your career is what you have to continue doing. Not all of us start out with a clear idea of what we want our careers to be, and I think we should encourage and naturalize the possibility of trying out different roles – not just as individuals, but as organizations.

In order to do this, it’s essential to have a structure and process that support that approach. And that’s exactly what I found at Avature: a place that enables everyone to develop professionally – following their own curiosity – and where growth itself is understood as a creative process.

Focus on skills acquired, not years in a role 

It’s common to look for a specific skill or years of experience in a CV, but in talent acquisition, we have to go a step beyond. I believe we need to understand where the potential lies: not in what you have already done or achieved, but in what you could do with what you’ve learned.

Milestones such as the university you went to or the companies you worked for are relevant, but it’s the knowledge and skills gained along the way that matter most. That’s what you really bring to the table when starting at a new job or role, so it’s what we especially focus on. This requires looking closely at what each person’s journey was like, with special attention to soft skills and the underlying potential represented by their whole path.

There’s more than one way to be an ideal candidate

There really isn’t an ideal candidate that will fit neatly into a particular role, but rather many people that can each bring their own value to a team. When thinking about a position, the first idea of what a candidate for it would be like isn’t necessarily the best option. Searching with those parameters can create unnecessary limits that lead to missing out on something unique. Besides, teams change all the time, so the “tried and true” of yesterday might be obsolete tomorrow. We need to keep an open mind and get in conversations with people from all kinds of backgrounds, looking to understand what each could bring.

I would be remiss if I didn’t see this on my own dear talent team. Many of us come from long years in recruiting, of course, but I’d like to share the variety of backgrounds we have on Talent Acquisition and Talent Management at Avature (and this is just a sample!):

  • Carlos Medina, Sourcing Specialist – A software engineer for 20 years who worked in (and led) tech teams in the oil industry. He worked at Avature as QA before coming to our team.
  • Bárbara Witek, Talent Management Analyst – Before joining us, she spent 13 years as project manager, information architect and more, always dreaming of working in talent management. You can read all about it in her article!
  • Jeremías Nemerovsky, Talent Acquisition Specialist – He initially joined our Consulting team, and learned a lot on that role, one of his first corporate jobs. Then, he decided to take on the challenge of learning it all over again and join Talent Acquisition.
  • Sabrina Bullrich, Talent Acquisition Specialist – Spent 8 years working in functional analysis and project management, but always wanted to work with people and that’s the path she took when joining Avature.
  • Nuria Moss, Talent Acquisition Specialist – Initially joined Technical Support, then Account Management, where she learned a lot about our area through interaction with our clients’ talent specialists.
  • Theres Schneider, Sourcing Specialist – A geographer, she worked in different industries and roles, but showed interest in working with people during the interview process and was given the opportunity to join us.
  • Constanza Vanolli, Talent Acquisition Specialist – She worked in Account Management for over two years, but always knew she was meant to be a part of Talent.

Hire for the future

We trust in people’s potential and what they will be able to bring to Avature as they grow. We enjoy witnessing the professional development of Avaturians, and giving them every tool we can to enable that. While it’s true enough that identifying potential is much more complex than determining things like technical knowledge -and varies a lot from person to person- there are some traits we look for that are markers of an Avaturian: curiosity, motivation, analytical capacity, communication, creativity…

Looking at Avaturians in leadership positions today, most of them have done their entire career with us. They’ve learned a lot along the way; some of them even had their first professional experience with us! Giving someone an opportunity by betting on their potential can often lead to building long-lasting relationships with people who’ve really experienced how a company functions.

What matters is that we need to focus on each person’s potential and figure out what they will add, what they might need to learn, and what might be difficult to adopt. We usually choose to invest in people with great potential, whom we know can grow tremendously if given the proper tools and provide them with everything they need to thrive.

Wrapping up

In the end, there isn’t a perfect recipe for building teams, since it all depends on the needs of each organization. But I wanted to share what, in my opinion, makes the talent acquisition process at Avature the richest and most human I’ve ever known: a focus on people. Getting to know each person as deeply as possible and basing our decisions on their interests, enables us to offer them a role and place that connects with them. This opens up greater potential for both them and our organization.

And it’s the people that make up what companies are, they determine how an organization functions and evolves. So building a place where everyone can bring something unique and creating an environment that enables them to develop their careers in line with their particular passions, will help us find many new ways to grow as a company.

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