Monday, February 21, 2011

Talent acquisition.

Just recently I got an email solicitation from a "Talent Acquisition Specialist," asking me if I'd be interested in talking about such and such an agency.

I was ok with the word talent in her title. I guess I am considered talent, though I tend to use talent as an adjective and not a noun. As in "she's talented" as opposed to "she's a talent." I probably would amend the title to "Talented Person Acquisition Specialist." I'm also ok with the word specialist, though what this particular person does or has done in her life to make her a specialist, I'd like to know. I suppose if you're in the air force and you've jumped 100 times from a plane you might be considered a parachuting specialist. You might even get an embroidered patch for your shoulder. Has this person an embroidered patch?

The word that really got me was "acquisition." When you acquire something, you own it. If I am "brought in" by a talent acquisition specialist, does that particular agency then presume to own me? If I acquire a rare book, it is mine. Same for an apartment or a pair of jeans. However, when I'm shopping for dinner, I never call myself a meatloaf acquisition specialist. It all seems so linguistically imprecise and, even, medieval. As if people or talent (me) are like chattel and can be acquired.

I wrote back to the Talent Acquisition Specialist:

"Dear Talent Acquisition Specialist,

"Thank you for regarding me as talent. And I'm glad to find out you're a specialist in acquiring that talent. That said, I am not available for acquisition. Only rental. If you're interested in that, please write back.

"Sincerely, g"

I haven't heard back from her.

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