“Fit in. Blend in. Be normal.” No, I’m not giving advice on how to survive middle school and high school. These are the things that the business world largely expects from the minions who clock in and out each day. Notice I said that this is what they EXPECT, but what they SAY is the opposite. They say they want to be cutting edge, creative, the first of their kind, innovators – but when it comes down to it, those things scare business leaders to death. The fear of the unknown. Will it be accepted? Will anyone buy it? Should we give up a known thing to begin a new thing?
Let me start by saying that I have always been one that can tolerate the status quo, but it just doesn’t taste very good to me. No matter how successful something is, I always believe there is a way to get just a little bit more out of it. For this reason, I think I have done some of my best work when I have been a one man show and was creating something from nothing. I’ve been in that scenario quite a few times over my career. I was a Youth Minister at churches for many years and the ones that I was drawn to were the churches that didn’t have any teenagers attending but wanted them. So, I would go in and get things started that no other church in town offered and work really hard for a couple of years. At the end of two years, the church would have pretty large group of teenagers attending regularly, and then I would leave and go start all over somewhere else. When I moved into the business world, I started my own graphic design company and I targeted places that weren’t known for having a “cool factor” to their brand…and I was able to make it cool.
Then I entered the world of recruiting. What I found intrigued me. I asked a LOT of questions early on, and I still do, so I can understand overall strategies and processes of an individual or an organization. What I found was that so many recruiters do the things that they do because it was the way they were taught and they haven’t varied from it much at all over time. Some of the tools they use to accomplish those things have certainly changed, but the strategy and mindset behind them never changed. In a highly competitive role of recruiter, either agency or corporate, you would think that they would be open to doing things that would help them be better, faster, and more productive…but no.
There a couple of reasons that this bothers me:
- Their priority is their process and not the person. See, we have this evolving and transitioning workforce. The new generation workforce doesn’t operate in the same way that previous generations did. Let me ask you: How has the internet reshaped how business is done? Obviously it has changed it in dramatic and extraordinary ways! So why is it when we look at the first generation to grow up with the internet accessible to them every day of their lives, we think they will communicate, research, evaluate, problem solve, and approach business the same ways that their grandparents did? The way recruiting needs to be done looks dramatically different than it did 5-10-15-20 years ago BECAUSE THE PEOPLE that we are trying to influence require / demand it. Each company is unique and has its own unique story to tell. There is no “one size fits most” approach to recruiting. Your company needs to focus on making your recruitment efforts uniquely YOU. Stand apart from your competitors.
- Warning: This is totally selfish! I have my own consulting firm (www.DX2Consulting.com) that helps organizations improve recruitment effectiveness and efficiency through innovative recruitment strategies, processes, technologies, social media, team structures, etc. Those of you who are responsible for the overall Talent Acquisition function at your company, when you have the approach that “this is the way we’ve always done it and it’s still okay,” it makes it really hard for me to provide for my family 🙂 Seriously, I have partnered with companies and introduced new strategies, processes, etc. and the result was reduction in turnover by 20-30% annually and the ability to generate pipelines of candidates for their open positions. In other words, I saved them enough money that paying my fees were not an issue. Could it be possible that you have room for improvement as well?
As a business owner, I have purposefully designed offerings for my clients that are unique. There are so many consultants available for just about everything imaginable, so I wanted to make sure that I stood apart from them by offering much needed and highly valuable services that others haven’t even considered. Things like:
- Generational Training – Most organizations have a multi-generational workforce and are struggling to get co-workers to work as a team. This is because of learning styles, leadership styles, expectations, and the world they have experienced around them as they grew up. In this training we bring to light those differences and help people realize why they don’t see things from the same point of view and how to work through those differences. They’ll also discover areas where they have things in common. The goal is to bring everyone together into a team concept where they can utilize their unique perspectives, experience, and talents for the ultimate benefit of the organization.
- Recruitment Process Evaluation – A thorough evaluation of an organization’s current recruitment strategies, processes, technologies, spending, team, social media efforts, and metrics. This typically requires a full day spent with your key players to gather information, then detailed short term and long term recommendations are provided that will improve the organizations efforts. Most organizations like to start a consultancy arrangement through this effort as is requires little time and resource commitment. This is a stand alone service, meaning you are not committing to anything long term by having the Recruitment Process Evaluation done.
- Interview Training – Many organizations promote people into management roles who have been top performers in previous roles, but they do not take the time to train these new managers in proper and legal interview techniques, and how to evaluate one candidate vs another in order to make the best hiring decision. Seasoned recruiters also appreciate ideas regarding current interview techniques and ideas to improve their effectiveness. This training provides you with written, classroom, and role play training so your management can feel confident in their abilities to conduct solid interviews.
- Retention Evaluation – With this new generation workforce coming into a place of dominance today, some have made changes to their recruitment processes to get them in the door but haven’t addresses management styles and the culture within the company to focus on retention. Look, it doesn’t do you any good to get them in the front door if they run for the back door shortly after arriving. It costs your company dearly in money, resources, and damages your brand.
I even led a webcast a week ago where I introduced, what I believe, is a more effective alternative to RPO (Recruitment Process Outsourcing) called IRM – Integrated Recruitment Model. It’s a blended model that has a mix of corporate recruiting and agency recruiting, but set up in such a way where both sides work together using their unique strengths to make the process run as efficiently as possible. You can find out more if you are interested at a group page on LinkedIn by clicking here.
Will my unique approaches work? I believe they will, but I’m just getting started and, quite honestly, I can’t afford for this to be a long running experiment…hahaha! It better work!
My encouragement to you – no matter what your role, what industry you work in, or what geographic location – do what you do just a little bit better than everyone else. Never stop looking for areas of improvement and pursue them. When you go pitch your ideas for improvement and you are met with resistance by those who are still doing things the same way they did 20 years ago, you’ll have to evaluate how much of an issue it is for you personally. For me, I have to keep pressing towards the next greatest thing, and when I get there, I’ll have to find a way to make it uniquely mine and immediately look for ways to make it even better. It’s what makes me…me.