Industry Associations: Identifying Talent

There are a number of reasons to attend industry association events

And identifying talent is just one of them, as Chief Executive Officer of the Northeast Human Resources Association, Tracy Burns, knows firsthand.

“It is very clear to me that the key differentiator for professional success today is building relationships with colleagues you meet through industry associations,” says Tracy. “I have seen dozens of highly-qualified human resources professionals who don’t know what is going on in the industry, don’t stay current on best practices, and, quite frankly, don’t know their colleagues.

I took a different route. By engaging with industry associations early in my career, I benefited in endless ways. Through my relationships with colleagues, I’ve been connected to job, teaching, and speaking opportunities, introduced to my master’s program, and provided invaluable professional advice – on and off the record! By engaging with industry associations, I always felt that I had career options.”

It’s important to think about and identify your reasons for getting involved with your industry. To do so without a compelling reason will not be sufficient to muster the energy, support, and time needed.

Identifying Talent

Identifying talent is just one of many reasons to get involved in your industry’s associations. Due to changing demographics, the employment marketplace continues to be highly competitive. Fast-changing technologies make some skills instantly obsolete, and some skills inordinately valuable. Your organization’s strategic growth demands that a talent pipeline exists at all times, not just when a need arises.

While talent is easier to find due to technological advances (i.e., resume readers) and social media (i.e., LinkedIn), talent is harder to land as everyone else is using the same technology and social media tools. Industry associations provide rich reserves of talent that you can tap to help you and your organization fill the pipeline.

Some of these individuals may be between jobs, while others are actively and happily employed. Regardless of their status, you will meet many experienced colleagues who can fill current or future needs through industry associations.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay


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Ed Evarts is the founder and president of Excellius Leadership Development, an organization focused on coaching mid- to senior- level leaders and their teams in business environments. With over twenty-five years of innovative leadership and management experience, Ed possesses the ability to build awareness, create action, and deliver results. Known for his business acumen, his ability to resolve complex human relations issues, and his enthusiastic, accessible and responsive style, Ed partners with managers, leaders and business teams to explore clarity and communication, and traverse conflict and change.