September 18, 2017 | Written by: David Whittingham-Jones
Categorized: Talent Acquisition
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Rebecca Pearce serves as a Client Solutions Executive (CSE) with IBM Talent Acquisition Optimization, leading sales strategy for the UK & Ireland and Life Sciences across Europe.She is passionate about building strategic relationships with clients and helping them realize a return on their talent investment.
Where did you receive your education and what is your prior experience?
I studied history and philosophy at The University of Manchester. After graduating I entered the world of recruitment, beginning my career at an HR firm, establishing new markets (Sales and Corporate Banking), running teams and leading business development for key accounts.
During my time there my passion for establishing and building strategic relationships with business leaders became my focus, so I entered the world of MSP/RPO. I joined IBM four and half years ago, starting in a business development role and progressing today as a CSE.
How long have you been working in talent acquisition (at IBM or elsewhere), and what roles have you filled?
I have been in talent acquisition for 12 years, almost equally split between recruitment delivery in the agency world and business development in MSP/RPO.
What are your new responsibilities as CSE?
In my new role as CSE, I am responsible for UKI and Life Sciences sales, accountable for strategy and client engagement and leading a team of trusted advisors within the talent acquisition industry. This is an exciting time in the HR world, with ongoing disruption and global trends. Organizations are recognizing the need for a holistic approach to talent acquisition, combining strategy, execution and delivery to achieve transformation objectives.
I am passionate about the power of IBM, and the possibilities of using science, personalization and analytics to support talent acquisition to impact business imperatives.
What excites you about your work each day?
There is a famous quote from Albert Einstein — “Once you stop learning you start dying” — that sums up one of my key motivations in life. I am naturally inquisitive and am motivated to continue to learn. Thankfully, at IBM I am surrounded by intelligent, driven talent acquisition and business professionals in a culture of collaboration, so each day I continue to learn new skills.
I love working for a thought leader in the world of work, and love being part of an organization that delivers value beyond filling jobs.
My other passion is people, working with clients and colleagues alike, and importantly having fun!
Over the years, what has been the biggest change in talent acquisition?
The biggest change has been in the past couple of years, where we have seen a shift in the mind-set of our buyers. No longer do they see talent acquisition as a means to an end, or just filling jobs. Organizations understand the importance of talent, and leaders want to elevate talent acquisition up the value chain, delivering return on investment. The ability to do this depends on a number of variables and has allowed my role in client engagement to become more strategic.
Another observation I see from the past few years are that the trends do not vastly differ. We are still talking about initiatives such as diversity, internal mobility, employment branding and analytics. However, the talk is turning more to action with the availability of data and insights.
This is an exciting prospect for me as I think about how we can differentiate and deliver unique value at IBM.
What do you consider an ideal day when not at work?
My ideal day would involve the outdoors and nature. I recently returned from a weekend in the forest with my family, including five energetic nieces and nephews. A highlight was the Owl Experience, where we got to “fly” the owls. (Not literally — as my three-year-old nephew pointed out that we are too big to “fly” them!)
I also love to travel to new places, which I was lucky enough to do earlier this year. My husband and I traveled the world, visiting Africa, Australia and South East Asia.