What is Talent Acquisition and What Does it Have in Common with a Popular 80s Sitcom?


Image courtesy of NBC.

February 25, 2021 - 11:30pm

By Debra Jacklin, Manager of Talent Acquisition, Development and Retention Strategies, long-time employee, former VIU (Malaspina) student (dates not available)

VIU’s office of Talent Acquisition is home to one of the longest job titles on campus: Manager of Talent Acquisition, Development and Retention Strategies (does this even fit on a business card? wait, what is a business card?)! Here, we’ll explore the talent acquisition part of this role. Talent Acquisition involves sharing the VIU employment experience with potential candidates, nurturing the employment candidate pipeline, recruiting employees and promoting available jobs – the underpinning of all these important duties is the building and stewarding of the VIU employment brand.

The ‘employment brand’ is such corporate terminology to use in our un-corporate, academic environment, so what does it mean to VIU exactly? The employment brand incorporates all the elements we know a business brand to be – in this way our employment brand is no different, in that it’s based on reputation. VIU’s main brand connects with the public with the tagline, ‘matter here’ and the employment brand is really no different: work where you matter. I translate this essence to what I like to call the ‘Cheers approach to employee recruitment: we know your name and we’re glad you came’. For those of you born after 1993, this is the smartest thing ever written. For those of you who have the opportunity of a longer history on earth – you remember that show, where everyone yelled ‘Norm’, at their buddy, when he entered the room? Well, Norm showing up mattered to his Cheers pals and, at VIU, you matter here. While this is a large organization with about 1,800 employees, each individual plays an important role. Whether they are public-facing, or face a computer screen; whether they teach or manage labs or the spaces we work in (well, used to work in – pandemic protocols and all), it all matters.

If we know this and, hopefully we feel this, then how can we let others know about the VIU employment experience? Well, it is woven through everything we do in the Talent Acquisition office: how we speak to candidates or potential candidates, how we network with our communities, what we say online and in the images we choose to post. It’s part of our promotional activity and it is built into content we share in all corners of the marketplace. At no time was this clearer than when I was working with a potential candidate, a professor in California who was interested in making the move to VIU, “I know what VIU stands for and I’m sold – now I just need to find the right opportunity to make the move there”. This hasn’t changed – we still talk.

All the components that comprise the employment brand and all the work we do recently culminated in our second consecutive win of the BC’s Top Employer prize. While some provincial businesses with local outlets are on that list, VIU is the only mid-Island based organization to take home this honour.

We may only get one trophy (ok, we ordered two), but the effort that goes into winning such an accolade is collective. In fact, it took all 1,800 employees to get there. To each of you, thank you; your work matters here.

Tags: In the Community

Sign up for our VIU news and experts email