Earlier this month, The Association of Talent Acquisition Professionals (ATAP) held it’s first in-person Board Meeting in Atlanta, GA. This meeting was a huge step forward for the organization as the Board came closer together as a team, and several key decisions were made that will shape the direction of the organization and its mission moving forward. The following are highlights of key outcomes from this meeting.
Bylaw Revisions – Expanded Board Terms
The Board came to the realization quickly that revisions to the Bylaws for the organization may be necessary to improve its ability to accomplish key goals while the organization is still in the process of being established. Board President Tom Darrow is leading the effort to develop proposed revisions to the Bylaws, and will bring those up for review and approval at the next Board Meeting.
Committee Formation – The Power of Volunteering
ATAP is for the time being a 100% volunteer-run organization. Therefore, all Board Members and the Executive Director will be rolling up their sleeves to get work done, and will be forming committees to support that work. Several committees were identified and are currently in the process of being formed with ATAP Members, including committees focused on Body of Knowledge, Membership, Marketing, Sponsorship, Community Development, Advocacy, Communications/Media, International Development and more. Additional Board Committees/Task Forces were also formed to focus on the business of the Association, including focusing on Governance and Finance/Audit/Compensation.
Membership – Growing the ATAP Community
While the meeting was in progress, ATAP’s 100th member joined, a notable achievement for an organization only 6 months old and having launched only on a limited basis to this point. Although the Board understands the value of membership, it was agreed that the organization needed to more effectively articulate the value of membership. A survey of current members was commissioned, and work should be completed soon by the Marketing Committee, led by Robin Montri, to improve how ATAP attracts and engages new members.
Coming into this meeting, a plan was finalized that would offer membership fee discounts and additional benefits to companies/groups that were interested in purchasing individual memberships in bulk. For more information on corporate/group membership, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sponsorship – Linking Vendors to The ATAP Mission
It was also determined that sponsorship value needed to be better articulated before a major push was made to approach potential sponsors. The sponsorship committee, led by Tim Sackett, is currently developing that value proposition and that work should also be completed soon to help ATAP attract and engage new sponsors.
Marketing – Building and Communicating ATAP’s Value
ATAP’s website was launched just prior to this meeting, and new members were already registering through the site. The new Marketing Committee, led by Allison Kruse, will be building out a marketing strategy, to include a social media plan and a plan for participation at upcoming TA Conferences. One direct outcome from the discussion on this topic was to add an ATAP Members-only Facebook Group. This group, open only to paid, registered ATAP Members, will be used to facilitate conversations with membership about key topics of interest in the profession.
Board members also were recorded on video sharing their thoughts about ATAP’s role and mission. These videos will be released and promoted through the ATAP blog and social media channels in the coming weeks.
Continued Launch of the Organization – Building It To Last
A soft-launch of ATAP was conducted in late September 2016. In order to ensure that the organization is set up for long-term success, the Board determined that a number of actions needed to occur to strengthen the organization before a full, formal launch would occur. The Board brainstormed what should be accomplished in the next 3 months and next 6 months to build up membership value, financial strength, organizational visibility, and short-and-long term deliverables aligned to educational, measurement and ethical standards, advocacy and community. Board Treasurer Jim D’Amico will be leading the effort to ensure that ATAP is financially strong, and the committees mentioned prior will be tasked with this completing this work.
Community – Bringing the Profession Closer Together
One of ATAP’s guiding principles is to not replicate positive actions currently taking place in the TA Community. This includes the work of many formal and informal local TA Groups. It is the intention of ATAP to work with the leaders of these local TA Groups to build a mutually beneficial affiliation networks, one that will allow these organizations to benefit from collaboration and knowledge/resource sharing, yet allow them to continue to operate autonomously. A discussion was also had about the concept for a unique virtual community for the profession, one that would go beyond the conversation and focus instead on collaboration and action.
Advocacy – Representing the Profession
Initial discussions were had around potential topics for the Association to build policy positions around, and an initiative to define for the business world What Good Looks Like (WGLL) in terms of high performing TA functions. The need to become the voice of the profession with media was also discussed. The Advocacy Committee, led by Tara Amaral will address these issues moving forward.
Body of Knowledge – Defining the Profession
The Board agreed that the first step for the Body of Knowledge Committee will be to define the protocol for how the Body of Knowledge will be developed and curated, and then what portions of the body of knowledge ATAP will focus on. The Body of Knowledge Committee, co-led by Tara Amaral and Eric Dunlap will start work shortly to address these critical issues.
Board Training – Becoming a Great Board
Since the ATAP Board is brand new, it was going to be useful for the ATAP Board to learn together what it takes to become a high-performing Board of Directors. Cindy Cheatham, President of Good Advisors, LLC, led a highly informative two hour training that gave the Board great ideas on how to work effectively as a team in support of the mission of the organization.
The next ATAP Board Meeting (virtual) is scheduled for March 31st.