Big Fish in the Talent Pool Episode 27: Around the (Talent Acquisition) World with Sheila Crosby Powell of GHD

Truly global Talent Acquisition leadership starts with understanding the business, the people and the brand, according to Sheila Crosby Powell, the Global Talent Acquisition Leader for Engineering, Environmental and Architectural Construction Services Firm GHD.  This employee owned, global consulting firm has 10,000 people covering most of the globe in Australia/New Zealand, greater Asia, Europe, Middle East, and North America, giving Sheila plenty of opportunity and challenge.

In Episode 27 of the Big Fish in the Talent Pool podcast, Sheila outlines her approach to applying 30+ years of global TA experience – all with one company, Accenture – to upgrading GHD’s candidate experience, TA technology, and talent brand – globally. And she’s up for the challenge.  “As a company, your brand is tied to the kind of people you’re going to attract and the kind of company you’re going to become.  And as I look back on my career, the things I enjoyed the most were the ones where there wasn’t something already set up, when it was new, when there was a clean slate and we had to figure it out.”

What’s the best way to do that as a new leader? Experience tells her that “You can’t assume people are going to trust you and believe in your expertise just because you have a title.”  The key, she says, is to seek to understand first, gather the information, pull the best people to work on things and then make it happen.  Sheila also observes that to build an effective team working globally across many time zones, healthy boundaries need to be established.  She gives her team plenty of encouragement to do just that, setting the tone for collaboration, respect and flexibility, especially for those who end up sacrificing personal time to be on team calls at odd hours.

Regular listeners to my podcast know we often talk about the tradeoffs that are necessary to build a great career, such as moving to a new city or country.  Sheila is based in Phoenix, Arizona, and has moved only once, from San Francisco, but she has worked and traveled internationally for most of her career, having been to Australia, Europe, and Asia dozens of times.  This makes her a bit of an expert on balancing relationships at home with global business relationships, and that’s exactly her focus in all contexts – relationships.  But don’t be fooled – Sheila is tender but tough, and she’s a “get-it-done” woman with high standards and a lot of energy.  All that and more of Sheila’s interesting global experience and insights available via the link below.  Enjoy!

We hope you enjoy the fast-paced chat on Big Fish in the Talent Pool – the podcast for Talent Leaders.  If you do, please be sure to rate and review us.  We’d love your feedback and it will help others find us.

Erin McDermott Peterson is a Partner with PeopleResults. She has led TA and RPO globally for some of the most successful organizations in the world including Accenture, Aon Hewitt, and Amazon and now serves clients with global recruiting interim leadership, RPO advisory, and ensuring a great candidate experience.  Follow her on Twitter @ErinMcPeterson, connect via or email at and listen to her Podcast for Talent Leaders: Big Fish in the Talent Pool on iTunes and SoundCloud, or wherever you access podcasts.