5 minutes with…Julie Fletcher, AMN chief talent officer

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Why did you choose HR?
I was actually one of those fortunate people who knew very early in life I wanted to be in HR.  I fell in love with my business classes in high school and then was exposed to psychology and how to motivate people. For whatever reason, the concept of marrying a brilliant business strategy with the right talent felt very natural to me, and I chose HR as a career.  In my opinion, you can have the best possible strategic plan, operational intentions, vision, mission – I could go on and on – but without the best talent in the right roles to carry out the plan, chances are it may fail.  
What does it mean to you to be promoted to chief talent officer at AMN?
I'm truly so humbled that my CEO, Susan Salka, thought enough of my team's work to recommend the promotion. The personal message I take away from the promotion is that our intense focus on talent will remain front and center at AMN Healthcare.
How would you change the HR industry?
I wish people would stop saying they would like a seat at the table or if only they had a seat what they could do for their company.  At the end of the day, HR professionals have every opportunity to earn that seat.  They need to wake up every day thinking about their company’s product, strategic direction, annual operating plan and initiatives, and figure out where HR can drive their company’s performance to truly make a difference. Although the industry is evolving, there are still a lot of people that don't put their businesses first.
To whom do you look up professionally?
A lot of people. I have had the incredible fortune to work for many amazing leaders and partner with brilliant business executives.  I am always looking to learn from those who surround me so I think I've learned the most from my various leaders, peers and team. 
What has been the highlight of your career?
I would say I'm at that point right now.  I'm at an organization with an unbelievable culture in that we put our values out in the forefront of everything we do.  In the HR world, those opportunities don't come along many times in a career. I really have learned so much about the healthcare and the staffing industry and absolutely love my job every day.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve done on the job?
I dressed up in a Frosty the Snowman suit and danced with several executives (including my CEO) on our auditorium stage in front of a packed house.  We are a work hard/play hard culture that doesn’t mind making fun of ourselves from time to time. 
Complete this sentence: If I wasn’t in HR, I would be…
WOW, that’s a tough one.  I'm in exactly the role and at exactly the company I would choose to be at so I pinch myself often.  Having said that, I love executive coaching, and that is another passion of mine. 
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