Strivin & Thrivin Ep 39. John Dawson – Tech & Talent Advocate


This week on Strivin & Thrivin, we speak with John Dawson, Global Director of Talent Intelligence at Ceredian.
John has worked in recruitment agencies, corporate recruitment and he’s led talent acquisition teams. He says his first role in recruitment was the same story as everybody: falling into it backwards.
“Nobody grows up and says, ”I really want to be a recruiter”, but it’s an awesome industry. It’s an awesome space and you get to impact people every single day and hear amazing stories. So it is an amazing opportunity.”

A friend of John’s was doing exceptionally well working at one of the big agencies, and he dove into it! After that, he went to a boutique agency in hope to have an impact in intimate relationships with customers. But decided it wasn’t for him after a while.
“It doesn’t work in today’s market anymore. And so I think I felt the ripples of that early on and saw that if I really wanted to be successful in recruiting and actually build a profile in talent acquisition, I was going to need to understand the mechanics, not only behind how to find candidates, but how do organisations actually decide when to hire who to hire and what process to put them through? And so when I was given the opportunity to leave agency and go lead talent acquisition at a mid-size company, I jumped at it because I didn’t know what was behind the scenes.”
John oozes confidence, and it’s something we wanted to know more about – where does it come from and is it something we can try to adopt ourselves?
“I always like to fail forward. So, you know, I’m not falling back on something. I’m failing, I’m tripping. I’ve fallen on my face a million times and made more mistakes than I would ever admit to. But through each of those comes a learning, right? And so from that learning, I just learned not to do it again.”
With someone so deep in the recruiting game, how does he switch off?!
“I definitely set time apart or aside for things like friends, family, socialisation. I love spending time trying new foods, restaurants, you know, part of being in this social world that we live in, especially from a startup space and having travelled the globe, is the experiences I gain, right? And so I love going and trying new foods or reminding me of times I was in different countries because it grounds me, right? I think we work in a global workforce, and then too many people are too siloed.”


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