The Ever-Changing Titles of Change Management: A Recruiter’s Approach
Change Managers. Change Enablers. Change Professionals. Change Capability Leaders. Even Ladies/Gentlemen of Change (yes, really).
The titles of change management are undoubtedly fluid.
Yet ask the above individuals to describe their key roles or responsibilities and, in many cases, you’ll find they’re largely the same.
This situation can pose a problem for recruiters. When looking at a person’s title and brief job description on their CV or LinkedIn profile, how do we know we’re looking at our perfect change management candidate? The reality: we don’t. We can’t know whether someone is a good fit for our change management role by making snap-judgments in an industry filled with unusual (and sometimes interchangeable) job titles.
A phone call to a potential candidate should always be the next step. This lets you ask specific questions to help understand the breadth of the candidate’s change management experience.
Make sure those questions are appropriately targeted – you want to ascertain the candidate’s specific contribution to a given project or change capability, not simply what the overall project team or capability achieved. Questions that yield useful results include:
- “Were you personally responsible for delivering business impact assessments?”
- “You said you assisted with training material – does that mean you created training material from scratch, delivered the training material to relevant stakeholders and co-ordinated training modules? Please elaborate on that for me.”
- “How did your responsibilities in the role of ‘Change Capability Leader’ differ from some of the other change management professionals in the project team or change capability?”
- “How exactly did you engage with senior stakeholders? Via workshops, interviews, email and/or phone?”
- “Did you help establish the framework for the change capability or were you working purely on a project basis?”
For the recruiter, questions like these will help convert unique or unusual job titles into something more concrete. They will help you sort your change managers from your change analysts, program change directors from project managers, and generalist business consultants from change consultants.
The key message, however – never judge a book by its cover. In the world of change management, always call, always clarify and never assume.
Ben Robinson – 2017