SeekOut's Talent Visionaries series features innovative leaders and their extraordinary work in creating and scaling high-performing teams. The personal philosophies and invaluable insights of these workplace champions offer new perspectives in an ever-evolving talent landscape.
Sean Murphy is Head of Global TA Operations for GE’s corporate offices. He has over two decades of experience in talent acquisition strategy, digital transformation, HR operations, talent management, and program execution. Sean is a board member for TALK (Talent Acquisition Leadership Keynotes), the world’s largest society of talent acquisition professionals. Sean shares his perspective on building strong networks, storytelling in recruiting, and the opportunities for tech talent in the aerospace, defense, and energy sectors.
On the importance of building strong networks
At the start of my career, the best advice I received was to imagine myself as an aircraft taking flight. You must accelerate at full throttle to get off the runway, and once you reach flight altitude, you can navigate your career wherever you want. The reputation you build in your early years through hard work will carry with you for the duration for your career.
My advice for recruiters today is to build a great name and reputation for yourself. Foster deep networks across the industry.
Recruiting in the aerospace and defense sector has always been challenging. Focus on cultivating relationships with cleared talent; that credential is always in high demand. And go where the talent is. If you’re looking for engineering talent, attend engineering-specific conferences to engage new talent and cultivate your growing network.
On telling your company story to new talent
Over the past few years, we have focused on equipping recruiters with the necessary tools to effectively communicate the GE story to incoming talent. A great recruiter should be a great storyteller. We have developed a clear employee value proposition, company purpose, and brand for all of GE’s businesses.
“A great recruiter must be a great storyteller. We have developed a clear employee value proposition, company purpose, and brand for all of GE’s businesses."
On opportunities in aerospace, defense, and energy
Our industry is at an inflection point. With commercial airspace travel returning to pre-pandemic volume, there is a pressing need to rebuild staffing levels to keep up with demand. Material shortages and supply chain bottlenecks have compounded the situation, making it crucial to hire top engineering talent.
“There is enormous opportunity for tech talent in the energy industry.”
The next frontier is developing green and smart technology to drive global de-carbonization. As we think about electrifying the world and dealing with climate change, GE is among the few companies uniquely positioned to take meaningful action. Talent that helps get us there is in high demand.
On must-read books for talent leaders
I recommend two books to my teams. The first is "Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done" by Larry Bossidy, a former GE executive and the former CEO of Honeywell. It is simple in its approach and focused on how to achieve tangible results.
The second is "Extreme Ownership: How US Navy SEALs Lead and Win" by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin, both former US Navy SEALs. It underscores the importance of taking responsibility for every aspect of one’s career and life.
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