Walk & Talk with John Reaves Whitaker




John Reaves Whitaker is the Vice President of Talent Acquisition for DentalOne Partners.  He is a new columnist and contributor for the HR Exchange Network.  Editor Mason Stevenson sat down with him to discuss his new column.

 

Mason Stevenson

What’s the name of your column?  Can you explain its origin?

 

John Reaves Whitaker

I decided on “Walk & Talk” – it’s an inside joke of sorts, as my team knows whenever we’re going to have a 1:1, it’s going to be in motion, so get your shoes on. Not worried about taking notes, so it becomes a conversation – and who likes sitting in an office all day anyway?

 

Mason Stevenson

What topics will you focus on?

 

John Reaves Whitaker

It’s not about the “what”, it’s about the “how.” I like to be the person in the room who says what other people are thinking, I like to write the same way.

 

Mason Stevenson

If you were asked to give a speech on the State of HR, what would be its theme?

 

John Reaves Whitaker

Now, more than ever, be the voice in the room. The competition for talent is crazy, the value of retaining talent is critical – you need to always be asking the question “what can we do to attract and retain the best talent?” Everything else plays into that.

 

Mason Stevenson

What are the top three challenges you see for the average HR professional?

 

John Reaves Whitaker

Lack of experience outside of HR; lack of support from Senior Leadership; aligning HR initiatives with corporate initiatives

 

Mason Stevenson

How do you mitigate or address those?

 

John Reaves Whitaker

With the first, there’s always rotational assignments, but some companies are not designed to offer that option. I’m showing bias because I was originally in sales/operations before moving into the HR suite, but there is definitely a perspective gained.

 

Mason Stevenson

Fun question:  Favorite television show of all time?

 

John Reaves Whitaker

That’s a tough one, but I’ll go with Arrested Development.

 

Whitaker’s new column “Walk and Talk” begins in October 2018.

Co-Contributor


John Whitaker
Vice President of Talent Acquisition
DentalOne Partners

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