Becca Collis

Senior Manager Talent Acquisition – Projects

1. Do you remember a time when you were happiest as a child? Where were you, who were you with and what were you doing?

I was seven years old, riding a pony that I didn’t know at a gymkhana (think school sports day races but with the added complication of a four-legged beastie that often has its ideas about what to do). I was there with my Mum, who was loved by all at the stables where the event was held, and I had just been placed “Second Champion”, of the whole gymkhana. This may seem a small achievement but to seven-year-old me, who was picked last at school for every sport you could name, this was huge as was seeing the pride in the smile that reached across my mum’s face.

2. What seemed like an inconsequential decision at the time, but in hindsight turned out to fundamentally reshape your life?

After a relationship break up in my 20’s, I took my first girls’ holiday to Tenerife. I had a brilliant time and when I returned home, all I wanted to do was get back out there. I applied for a job as a Holiday Rep and ended up back in the resort just a few weeks later. It was an intense role and I learnt so much, autonomy, resilience, teamworking, the value of connection and collaboration to name but a few skills that come to mind. These skills and this experience opened up my world and my mind to the power of having dreams to chase.

3. What habit or behaviour or belief have you recently acquired? Why is it now in your life?

Journalling, 100%! I tried keeping a diary as a kid, it didn’t really work for me and soon the discipline to complete it dissipated. I returned to it after attending a webinar as part of the course I am attending at present on Business Writing. We were required to simply write on a given subject continuously for five minutes. I found myself solving problems that I had been puzzling over, arriving at novel solutions and it convinced me to start a journal that I now maintain.

4. What do you think is true that most people think is false? What do you think is false, that most people think is true?

I wouldn’t like to say most people, but I believe that when we die, that’s it, there is nothing beyond. Even for those in Western society that do not identify with any religion, many believe in fate. I do not, I believe that we are entirely responsible for guiding our own journey.

5. What is the number one thing you would recommend every person in the world to practice from now on in order to increase their happiness and wellbeing?

To condition oneself to think toward, rather than away from. It is thought that our unconscious cannot distinguish between “don’t” and “do”. I.e., when we think, “don’t push the red button!”, we feel compelled (as anyone with children can attest to) to take the opposite course of action. The unconscious mind does not hear, “don’t”, or any other negative reinforcer, just “the red button!”, and so we are seemingly inextricably drawn towards. Therefore, when we programme ourselves to code only in positives, our unconscious is able to draw that which we want towards us and us to it.

6. What personality trait has got you in the most trouble? What kind of trouble does it get you in?

I need to know why. For me to act, in most cases, I must first understand, and this is not always a popular trait. On the occasions where I am directed to do something that doesn’t immediately make sense to me, I question it. This trait does not always make me popular with Managers that prefer to direct rather than consult.

7. In current industry conversation, what is an example of ‘making a mountain out of a molehill’?

AI and ML. Like with Supermarket staff who fear that they will lose the ability to work to self-checkouts, Talent Acquisition (TA) is bursting at the seems with those who believe that AI and ML will take their jobs. I believe that AI and ML will remove elements of TA, but in wise organisations, only the tasks that do not require the human touch, which in turn frees TA up to add more value to both Candidate Journey and Hiring Manager experience.

8. When was the last time you felt like an outsider in a group? What/How did you learn?

I was a part of a social group that started out as a great place to discuss and solution for societal issues. I was on the inside of this group until it became clear that those that held and articulated a differing perspective from Admin and more often “the currently fashionable view”, rather than being debated, would be silenced for sharing views that were not acceptable to share, or rather only acceptable to share where the person sharing would immediately apologise for any offence and return to nodding their head with the rest of the group. I learnt from this that I have little interest in entering a dialogue with those that will silence rather than engage with opposition. I know now that I wish to surround myself with those that are different from me and challenge my perspective without the need to dismiss mine. This is were we learn and grow, together.

9. What’s the last image on your camera roll? Care to explain?

This, as anyone that works with me will know, is Drax. Drax came into our lives in December, and he has the biggest personality. Working remotely can at times feel lonely, he keeps me company and more than that, he helps to keep me cantered on days where my core is harder to find.

10. What’s your favourite meal? Can you say why?

Easy! One that is shared with people whom I value. Breaking bread together nourishes more than the body, it calms the mind and feeds happiness. It is as human as running from a predator or the sensation of your eyes becoming heavy when you are in your own bed after a busy day, and you succumb to rest.

11. Which fictional villain do you find yourself sympathising with most? Why?

Elijah Price in Unbreakable.

“Good cannot exist without evil and evil cannot exist without good”.”

“Now that we know who you are… I know who I am. I’m not a mistake! It all makes sense! In a comic, y’know how you can tell who the arch-villain’s going to be? He’s the exact opposite of the hero. And most times they’re friends like you and me. I should’ve known way back when, y’know why David? Because of the kids! They called me Mr. Glass…”

I felt sympathy because he had spent his whole life trying and failing to understand who he was, he didn’t actively decide to be evil, it was all a voyage of self-discovery, I found that profound, rather more so than the monster he had arrived at learning that he was.

12. Aside from family & friends, if you could invite any 3 people - living or dead - to your final dinner party before the end of the world, who would they be and why?

Axel Rose, Carl Jung and Sue Knight (NLP at Work writer, trainer and advocate). I would love to hear them share space as I think that they would bring such differing perspective to conversation.

13. What’s the best piece of professional advice you’ve ever received? Who gave it and when?

Sarah Newman – 2016

Sarah told me that to succeed as an entrepreneur, “find what you are great at and enjoy, focus on this and pay other people to do the things that you are not good at”.

14. What's a skill that isn’t on your resume, but your former bosses would recognize as one of the reasons you are successful?

When analysing I can see in front of me, the whole of a process or system and simultaneously, the potential roadblocks and/or interoperability that may require mitigation.

15. What’s the one bad quality you wouldn’t mind in a colleague? Why?

I don’t see this as bad myself, but I know that others do. An inability to stay focused on work that doesn’t interest them. I have found that when this is common for an individual, so is the ability to apply a deep focus to that which does interest them and so as long as you are prepared to look at the workload from their perspective and flex responsibilities, you can usually get further ahead than you otherwise might.

16. Have you ever been the weakest member of a team? How did you handle it?

Yes, I have and in one short word, badly. As I touched on earlier, at school I was always picked last for sports teams. I hated the feeling of standing there next to my peers knowing that soon they would be standing together facing me whilst one of the selected leaders was forced to have me trudge over to join them, I was the booby prize that no-one wanted to carry. Having said this, now I am usually among the first picked for sports teams, not always because I have the skills that I lacked as a child, but because I am a good team player and bring with me positive energy that we support the all important team spirit.

17. What’s one industry challenge you don’t actually think will ever get solved?

I really hope that I am proved wrong here but, the CV. We have been using this document as the ticket to open a dialogue that may lead to a role since Leonardo De Vinci and I personally would love to be part of the team that develops an alternative that provides a better way to assess potential candidates.

18. What common wisdom in our industry needs to be debunked?

That TA is a numbers game. We are often told that we need to satisfy, volume, quality, and speed, pick two, you cannot have all three. For me quality of candidate, candidate and hiring manager experience are vital.

19. If you could add a question for the next person to answer, what would it be?

“What is the last thing of value that you learnt and how has applying it impacted you/your life”

20. Who would you recommend to do the next 20 Questions With … ? And why?

Chantelle Jones because I think that she would embrace it and that it is, in itself, a worthy journey.

Thank you to Becca Collis for taking 20 Questions for The Brainfood Tribune. Make sure to follow Becca on LinkedIn.

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