The New & Improved Me?

better meI usually do research before writing a post to share professionally, but today – I hope that you’ll grant me permission to just speak from personal observation and introspection. I’m not quite sure how to formulate the point I wish to make, but thought I would give it a shot nonetheless.

I find myself in my mid-40’s…a Gen X’er…who lives and works in an exciting portion of history. We have so many reinventions occurring regularly that impact the way business is done. Many of those changes come with technologies that are being created, and I do really well at grasping them and learning them and using them in effective ways. But one of the reinventions that seems to be proving more difficult is for me to change who I am naturally in order to meet the expectations and preferences of new generations entering the marketplace.

I speak very often about how the new generation workforce is wired differently because they have had the internet available to them every day of their lives. Because of this, it has changed the way that they build community, communicate with others, solve problems, take action, their ideas of leadership and what should be done, etc. One of the biggest struggles that organizations now face is the balance of multi-generational workforces and having them not only be able to coexist, but ultimately thrive in working together. Companies are now trying to find the balance of catering to the desires of Gen Y, but also making sure that existing employees or other generations feel valued as well by keeping some policies and standards in place that they can appreciate.

In addition to the whole internet every day of their lives thing, Gen Y is also the generation where we started giving everyone a trophy, stopped keeping score, declaring winners and losers. We didn’t want to hurt their feelings. We wanted them to feel like everything in life will always be fair. But now, as adults, they are sometimes seeing for the very first time…it’s not fair. We do have winners and losers. We do have timelines to keep and budgets to maintain and profits that must be generated – and sometimes, even though this may horrify you – you must stay late on a Friday or come in on the weekend in order to accomplish it and sacrifice a little work/life balance. Sometimes a boss will be upset and will raise their voice a bit for emphasis…it doesn’t mean that they hate you.

So, back to this struggle that I must reinvent myself and change who I am naturally in order to make another generation feel better. This isn’t just me…we see it all the time through beliefs or convictions that we once held close, but now “society” has deemed those as narrow-minded or hurtful. I’m not sure who “society” is, what their qualifications are, and how they determine the standards for absolute right and wrong. By nature, I am someone who likes to joke around, make comments that poke fun at people (nothing too bad, just good natured teasing). But I find myself more and more having to refrain from any of that because someone will be offended or they’ll take something WAY beyond the way it was intended.

A couple of years ago, I had cancer. It was serious and there were some moments where things could have gone very badly. That encounter changed me in big ways. It reshaped my priorities. It made me value deep, personal conversations and connections. I tolerate but do not enjoy conversations about the weather we’re having or how the big game went over the weekend. I want to know the other person. What are you passionate about? What are your insecurities? What victories are you seeking currently? Tell me the stuff that other people don’t know about you, or even care enough to ask. These questions are not common;y asked and therefore, people do not know how to respond to them or know what to think about me as I ask them. Is he a nice guy or is he a “creeper?” By the way, I’ve learned from my teenage daughter that “creeper” is not the same meaning today as it was back in the 70’s and 80’s. hahaha

Several years ago, we had a new young lady at my office. She had just relocated to town and accepted a job with us for a new project. She had been working as a bartender until she found something in her field upon arriving in town. Well, I was asked to train her. In our conversations, I found out that she had come from out of state, had this bartending job to get by, but that she was really in desperate need for some money as she wouldn’t be getting her first paycheck at this job with us for a couple of weeks. She was still going to bartend at night and on weekends until that first check came. Over the weekend, I had her resume on my computer and it had her mobile number on it. I texted her to see if she was working at the restaurant that night and said I may come by to see you. My plan was to go and have dinner, by myself, let her serve me….and knowing that money was tight, I was going to surprise her and leave her a large tip when I left to help her get by until payday. Nice guy, right? Nope. She was bothered that I texted her on the weekend and was going to come see her at work.

My intentions were pure and kind and good. I never went to the restaurant because she never replied to the text, but when I arrived at work on Monday morning though, my boss made it known to me that she didn’t feel comfortable with me texting her and wanting to come by. That’s just one example of how the worst is now thought about you and you are condemned without ever being given the benefit of the doubt. I drive my wife insane sometimes because I like to surprise people by doing nice things for them, but sadly, the day and age we live in now doesn’t know how to respond to it. To me, this is the most frustrating part of today’s generation. They seem to be so skeptical of kindness. There is no benefit of the doubt any longer. The charitable side of me having to change to instead be guarded and protected is the most difficult of the transformations for me.

The ministers at my church won’t even tell a lady that they look nice today, and encourage all of the men to not compliment any woman who isn’t your wife because they are wary of lawsuits and complaints. Really? Are we really headed in the right direction when we can’t even say, “I like that new haircut. Is that a new dress? You look nice today.”

I know there is slowly becoming a new me, but I’m not so sure that societal norms are improving me, or any of us. Some of the old tried and true philosophies of my life are being thrown out – love your neighbor, do unto others and you would have them do unto you, don’t let the sun go down on your anger, better to give than to receive, etc. My hope is that these trends will begin to reverse themselves in 2014.

Surely there are others who are feeling the same things as me. Let me hear from you!


Now Booking Final 2014 Dates

DX2 - Speaker AdIf you are seeking a passionate, entertaining, humorous, and relatable speaker for your upcoming conference, consider Doug Douglas. While his business expertise lies in the HR world (recruiting / talent acquisition), he is also experienced and comfortable speaking on a wider variety of more general topics. SHRM (Society of Human Resource Management) currently has Doug rated as one of their top 5 speakers.

Through almost 20 years as a minister, Doug honed his skills as a speaker and learned the art of meeting the listener right where they are. His ability to engage a senior executive, or a fresh college grad in their first job, has proven to be very beneficial for him. Doug enjoys keeping his audiences off guard by using a non-traditional catchy title, top-notch presentation graphics,  and humorous stories to illustrate a key point. Douglas states, “I believe it’s important not to be predictable when speaking to an individual or an audience. It keeps their interest high. But you better know your stuff if you take this approach because you can only get by so long with fluff. We live in this information overload world where we can find data on just about anything. I don’t want to repeat what everyone else says. I want to identify the issue at hand and then bring the listener alongside me as together we discover the resolution.”

One of Doug’s most recognized and requested presentations deals with Gen Y. Listeners rave about the information received at the conclusion of this presentation because of its accuracy, identification of business issues that need to be addressed, and how to swing the odds in your favor of attracting, managing, and retaining this generation. Even Gen Y listeners unanimously admit after this session that Doug “nailed it.”

Another unique aspect of Doug’s life is his battle with cancer just two short years ago. He endured three major surgeries in six weeks to remove 16 tumors, including a life saving emergency surgery when he was fading fast. Prior to this experience, Doug’s priorities were wealth, recognition, power, reputation, winning at all costs. He went into the hospital as a cut-throat and aggressive man, but he left a humbled, gentle, and appreciative man. This experience reshaped and refocused Doug’s priorities to those of faith, family, and friendships. He is still a believer in hard work, and he still wants to have a comfortable life for himself and his family, but he places a higher priority on meaningful conversations and getting to know people at a deep level. His message and story of survival will inspire your audience.

Take a few minutes to consider if you, your company, your group/association, or your event could benefit from having Doug share with you. For more information, you can reach out to Doug directly at He does not work through an agency, so he does have some flexibility on working with varying budgets.

Score and Comments from one of Doug’s most recent SHRM presentations:

Effectiveness of Doug Douglas as a presenter: 97.3% (16% higher than the average presenter on SHRM)

Usefulness of the information: 99.1% (one of the best scores in the history of SHRM)

What grade would you give this presentation: A/B = 96.8% (average score for A/B is 90%)

Quotes from attendees:

  •  As always a great presentation from a great presenter. Please continue bringing Mr. Doug Douglas back!
  • Doug Douglas was a very engaging presenter.
  • Doug Douglas was an amazing presenter; he has a true message and passion for his work and has linked it to giving back.  I heard so much echoed of my own thoughts and feelings toward recruiting.  Thank you for bringing him to SHRM. I will be contacting him.  WOW!
  • Doug Douglas was on the money – excellent !
  • Doug was a great presenter! He added humor, facts, human perspective and inflection in his message. I found it very interesting and am trying to figure out what my role is in sharing this information!
  • Excellent information, will follow Doug Douglas.
  • Greatly enjoyed the learning experience as presented by Doug Douglas.  I will definitely be an avid blog follower after this presentation.  Thank you for having him present.
  • I will attend additional SHRM presentations based on my experience with this one.

A Resolution to Rev Up

rev upWell, we made it! Another year is coming to a close. For some it might have been smooth sailing and highly productive, and for others it might have been filled with difficulties and setbacks. But there’s a cool thing that happens around the start of the New Year – in our minds we see it as a place to draw a line in the sand and firmly commit to doing some of those things that we know we should have been doing…but just kept putting it off for some reason or another. Some see it as a way to wipe the slate clean and get a redo. Others are just bent towards trying to improve constantly. Or maybe we make these resolutions because of peer pressure and a sense of obligation. 40-45% of Americans will make at least one resolution as they kick off 2014. I’m not sure what exactly it is that makes us believe that January 1 is a better day to begin doing what we should than December 31 – but it just happens that way.

One of those things that a lot of employers put off – even though they know they need to make some changes and see improvement – is in the area of recruiting (talent acquisition). The most important decision that a business owner can make is who they will hire to go and represent their brand and deliver on their solutions, products or services. It’s important! It’s not about who has the correct skills and experience on their resume, but it’s about the total candidate. That means considering the candidate’s functional ability to do the job for sure, but it also addresses motivation, personality, drivers, and behaviors and how those match up with your existing team. How many times have you hired someone who looked perfect on paper, but when they came aboard you discovered that their attitude and motivation was the opposite of your team and it was a disaster? That can sometimes shut down a team.

It’s more than just picking the right candidate out of the bunch though. That would be like taking your car in for a tune up and all they do is check the tire pressure. It involves many elements of recruiting:

  • Strategies
  • Processes
  • Technologies
  • Social Media efforts
  • Spending
  • Metrics
  • Team structure
  • Team performance

As 2014 rapidly approaches, consider having a recruiting tune up – a comprehensive one. Let me ask you: If I could lower your turnover, reduce your recruitment costs, reduce your lost opportunity costs, and increase your productivity and profits – wouldn’t that at least be worth a quick phone call to explore the possibility? 2014 will certainly pose challenges for companies: healthcare, for some needing to stay at 49 employees (maybe adding contractors instead), some will need to make sure workers stay at 29 hours per week so they won’t be considered a full-time employee, shortages in skilled workforce, etc. Don’t let recruiting be another challenge for you. Let’s get that fixed and ready from the very start.

If interested, reach out to me at

Keep Calm and OPTIMIZE

Keep Calm OptimizeRecruiting is very much reactive in nature. Someone quits, retires, or is fired – and for the most part, we begin at that moment to search for a new person who can do the job. And recruiters are creatures of habit…we go back to the well that has proven to be successful for us in the past and we run it dry. I’ve also taken note that most recruiters still recruit today the way they were taught years before – same strategies, same mindset, same beliefs, same models. I will grant you that they sometimes will try a new technology or an app or something along those lines because someone recommended it to them, but the core of what they do, most often, remains unchanged from their first days as a recruiter.

Recruiting is also reactive in that we go to extremes when critical times hit. If something isn’t working – turnover is high, recruitment costs are rising, lost opportunity costs are costing the company dearly, and finding qualified candidates is harder than ever – management is starting to notice that recruiting has some issues and they start to demand better, then we go from an internal corporate recruiting team to outsourcing everything in a RPO engagement. Fear of losing your job makes change a bit easier to swallow! For some, that’s probably a good call….but how do you know? In a Staffing Industry Analyst survey, 30% of companies were already engaged in some type of RPO engagement, with another 23% who were considering going that route over the next couple of years. The other 47% held fast to the thought that they would never make that transition.

The truth is that a fresh objective perspective from someone who knows multiple recruitment strategies, processes, and technologies, might be what you need instead a drastic and sweeping changes. It might just take some adjustments here and there and some revised strategies to make the results effective, efficient, and maximized. I’m talking about Recruitment Optimization. If you Google it, you won’t find much about it…I’m one of the few that focuses on this at the core of my business.

The idea behind Recruitment Optimization is that someone who has experience with multiple recruitment strategies, processes, technologies, team structures, and challenges can come spend time with you and go through a full evaluation of everything that you do from a recruiting perspective. After understanding what you are doing, what challenges you face, the ways that your organization is spending and losing money through the recruitment function, this expert can provide recommended changes to you that will address trouble spots and ultimately do three things:

  1. Lower turnover by making better hires
  2. Reduce the lost opportunity costs that are hurting your business by being understaffed
  3. Make the overall company more productive and profitable by providing a significant ROI

Recruitment Optimization should be your very first choice when facing recruitment issues of any kind. Like any profession, the people who are currently doing the work care deeply about it and often take the approach that they “own it.” While we can applaud their passion for what they do, it sometimes comes at the expense of objectivity (we see things differently because we are too close to the situation).

One of my clients is currently doing business in 5 states, but they are expanding in 2014 to 25 states. That’s a big undertaking and something that their current recruitment team would not be able to support. They asked me to come see what they are doing and hear about their plans for future growth. I came back to them with recommendations on the best path forward and we are in the process of rolling those recommendations out. They are handling some of them internally, but for others they have me come back and help guide them through the change/growth process. This approach is far less expensive than shifting their entire structure to an outsourced model, it causes less anxiety to the current internal staff, and they are seeing solid success so far through this engagement.

Another company that I worked with saw a reduction in their turnover rate from 47.8% to 13.4% in the first year alone. Another was having trouble finding qualified people for their hardest to fill position – and the lost opportunity cost was eating them up. Within 1 year, they saw a $12 million ROI from that one job title alone.

Recruitment Optimization can work for a corporate recruitment team, or if you have an outsourced RPO partner already. The goal should be to make your efforts the best they can be, regardless of who actually does the recruiting. I’m sure your RPO provider would agree.  As the new year starts, what better time to assess, evaluate, and optimize? It might just make 2014 your best year in a while.

Coming Up Short: The ATS World

just shortIn the early 2000’s, I had just started working in recruiting and didn’t know anything about the industry or its tools. My first week on the job, the company was implementing a new ATS (Applicant Tracking System). Dave, the guy who was leading the implementation, didn’t show up my second day on the job and soon the announcement was made that Dave had left the company and was moving. I walked into the CEO’s office and boldly stated, “I don’t know what an ATS is, but if you’ll make me the admin on it, I’ll learn everything there is to know about it, finish the implementation, and have it running as smooth as butter.” For some reason, he believed me and gave me the reigns to the company’s most important technology. I followed through with my declaration – finished the implementation and knew the system (and the business reasons) inside and out.

Over the next several years, we served clients who had different needs when it came to an ATS, so I ran through deep demos with all of the major ones on the market, and I don’t mean a demo with the sales guy who constantly has to say, “I don’t know the answer to that but I can find out for you.” When I would do demos, I would tell the sales guy that I needed the developers and product managers on the phone with me for the demo. Once we started in, the sales guys quickly saw why I wanted the others there. I wasn’t judging the tool based on the user interface or how shiny and cool looking it was – I had very precise strategies and processes that I needed the tool to handle quickly and efficiently. Many times, my demos ended within 5-10 minutes as they already had too many hurdles to overcome.

In addition to implementing numerous ATS’s, I’ve also been a user on many client systems.  I say all of this to let you know that my knowledge and expertise when it comes to an ATS is deep. I’m not just a casual observer of these systems. I know them.

What I have discovered over the years is that many of these tools shouldn’t even be available (an Excel spreadsheet would be more useful than what some offer), but there are some that get so close to hitting the mark…but then they leave out, forget, or ignore something so simple, so logical, that would make it far more useful and effective. I know I’m probably going to hear from several vendors at the end of this telling me how their tool does this or that, but it’s not about it you have that one thing or a couple of things….it’s why can’t someone put together the ultimate ATS with everything?

So here are a few of the things that should be included in every ATS…

  • Give design and admin rights to a power user so we don’t have to come back to you and ask for every tweak that we need made to a workflow, a tab, a field, etc. You slow us down by putting us on your “to-do list.” it literally would take me less than a minute in most cases to change what I need changed and then I’m on with my day.
  • Combine CRM, Onboarding, and Payroll capabilities to integrate seamlessly with your ATS. Having one system that can handle a client and a candidate through the entire lifecycle would be stellar.
  • Give me the option to create (on my own) multiple workflows within the ATS. Recruiting for an entry level hourly employee is just different than recruiting for a VP or a COO. There are different stages of the recruitment process that each must go through. Your one size fits all approach doesn’t fit all.
  • Multiple Talent Portals would also be great – even for a corporate recruitment team. You could have separate pools of talent for divisions, career levels, etc.
  • Weighted and scored pre-screen questions that can be attached to the application process. I can hear all of you sales people now – “We have that! We have that!” Most of you don’t. You have the capability to create a generic list of pre-screen questions that all candidates answer regardless of what position they are applying to. That’s not what I need. I need the ability to create a unique set of pre-screen questions for each requisition within the ATS…and I don’t want them stored in a library somewhere eating up space, slowing down the system, and slowing me down as I have to go search through 480 sets of questions for an Inside Sales requisition to find the exact one that I created previously. I want them contained within the requisition. These also need to be downloadable so they can be sent to a hiring manager.
  • Give us the ability – within each unique requisition – to create screening questions so we can ask each candidate the same questions in the same order and evaluate each equally.The recruiter should be able to fill in answers to these questions as they are speaking with the candidate. These also need to be able to be downloaded and sent to a hiring manager.
  • Gain partnerships with personality and behavioral assessment companies so we can select the core competencies we want to measure and send a quick link to the candidate to complete online. Have their results brought back into the candidate’s profile and have the recruiter notified that this step is complete. The same can be done for background checks.
  • When we are ready to send a candidate to a hiring manager to be considered, provide us with a menu of things that we can include in this presentation (and it needs to be unique each time, not a one time universal selection). Let us select a resume (without or without contact info included), pre-screen application questions and candidate responses, phone screen questions and responses, personality assessment results, etc. and place it all in a single PDF document and attached to the email.  In the body of the email, provide a response section for the hiring manager – Yes, I’d like to interview / No, not interested for this reason ____.
  • Sourcing capabilities from within the ATS. Let us use our subscriptions to job boards, social media boards, and also do deep internet sourcing on candidates and keywords and boolean search strings. Have them system source from all of these places at one time, or let us select which of them we want to source from. When we find someone we are interested in, let us click a button and have that person added to the ATS and to a specific job, parsing their info into the appropriate fields. If that info can show up in real time, instead of having to wait for hours before they appear, that would be great as well.
  • Connect your ATS with a GPS tool so when we send interview instructions to a candidate (day, time, etc.), it will also generate a map for them or give them a link so they can get driving instructions on their smart phone from the candidate’s location.

There are many other functionalities that I can think of. I’ve seen some of these in some tools, and others in other tools, but I’ve never seen one that nails everything. When I ask my question about these things, I don’t want a “work around” solution because they always take more time than they should and often don’t work the way they should. I’ve also learned that you have many of these capabilities, but you have to pay extra to get them added to your base model. Make that clear upfront instead of showing us the Mercedes in the demo and then we find out we got the Kia when we started using the tool (and there is absolutely nothing wrong with Kia cars…I would drive one if someone gave me one).

The most important thing to a recruiter is speed and ease of use. Count how many clicks it takes to do what you want to do, then find a way to cut that number of clicks in half. That extra click may not seem like a big deal if you only have to do that process one time. But for recruiters, we do the same things over and over and over. That one click turns into 30-40 clicks by the end of the day, and if you add that time up, I could have screened another candidate in that amount of time while I was clicking and waiting for the page to load.

One of the services that I offer through my consulting firm is to assist in the evaluation and selection of a good ATS that matches their unique needs. It’s vital that you know your process first, then find the ATS that can execute that process. Don’t get suckered into thinking, “This one is well known and well respected so I’ll get that one.” The best known and the best respected may not match your needs at all. Let me help you if you are going through this process. Contact me at

RPOld School

RPOld School LogoRecruitment Process Outsourcing. This phrase burst onto the recruiting scene in the past 10-15 years or so, but the concept of it has been around for much longer. It was consistently used in the 1970’s during Silicon Valley’s very competitive market for high tech labor – it was very hard to find good, qualified, and available talent. RPO was still dramatically different back then from what it is today. RPO in the 1970’s was basically companies buying lists of potential candidates from a recruiting firm – like a sourcing list.

In the 1980’s and 1990’s, Human Resources Outsourcing (HRO) became popular by companies outsourcing part of their processes like benefits or payroll to a third party company. This would be companies like ADP, Paychex, Ceridian, Gevity, etc.

Then right around the early 2000’s is when companies seriously started considering outsourcing their recruiting efforts because it was such a significant cost for companies to run internally. The earlier movements with companies beginning to outsource various smaller parts of their business made them more comfortable with outsourcing a larger and very expensive piece of their business as well.

RPO today is when a company will outsource all, or part, of their recruitment needs to another company who specializes in locating, qualifying, and delivering candidates to the hiring company to consider.

Why has RPO received so much attention in the past few years? Why do people see the benefits of it now? Well, the labor markets are just different today than they were in the past:

  • People are more likely to make a job change now than they were in the past. My father worked for GE for 20+ years before starting his own business. My mother worked for Sears for about the same amount of time. They came up during the time where if you had a job – you kept your job – even if it meant not climbing the ladder as quickly as they might hope.
  • We have more contract workers and temporary workers now than in the past. Some companies only seek to hire contractors or temp-to-hire workers now as they use the “try before you buy” approach to finding good staff.
  • With unemployment rates high, you simply have more candidates now than you may have experienced in the past – which means that it takes more time, more money, more people, and more resources to work your way through potential candidates to find the perfect fit. 7-8 years ago, you could post a job and get 50 candidates. Today you could post the same job and have 300-400 or even more apply.
  • RPO has a history of reducing recruitment costs significantly when compared to paying repeated recruitment fees.

As someone who has managed RPO engagements, sold RPO engagements, led teams to deliver on RPO engagements, and individually recruited on RPO engagements, you might think that I believe RPO is the greatest model that has ever existed. I have seen and experienced the benefits of RPO repeatedly, and I readily admit that RPO isn’t for everyone. It’s not a one size fits all fix for certain!

As someone who was beginning a new RPO engagement with a new client, one of the most challenging issues that had to be faced was what to do with your current internal corporate recruiters in this new engagement. Almost 100% of the companies that I worked with on a RPO (at whatever level) all presented a challenge when we would begin a “pilot program” with them, and the internal corporate recruiters heard that this outside firm was being brought in to try to do what they have previously been doing. Well, what do you think their first fear is? “Am I about to get fired???” For that reason, those employees were hesitant (sometimes difficult) to work with because they didn’t want to see an outside firm be successful.

There were certainly other challenges that are faced too – understanding the culture of the client, dealing with various personalities, the change in process (change of any kind is always difficult for some people), grasping what each individual hiring manager finds acceptable in a candidate, etc. When you put everything together, it wasn’t a plug and play type change and it took a lot of change management expertise to pull it off.

So, there has to be a better way – one that provides the benefits of outsourcing with the benefits of having an internal corporate team. I created a new model…one that I believe is far superior to the old school RPO models that exist today. It’s called “IRM.” An Integrated Recruitment Model is one that, I believe, addresses all of these common issues up front and makes the transition much easier for everyone. Here’s briefly how it works.

IRM is based on the strengths that both sides bring to recruitment efforts, having them work together to form a delivery team, and taking the “us vs them” mentality out of the equation.

The corporate recruiter has an advantage in knowing the company culture, knowing the hiring managers and having access to them more readily, and having a deeper understanding of the company and what types of people tend to “stick” there. The outsourced recruiter typically has a wider variety of tools and resources to execute with, operate with a greater sense of urgency (as commissions are riding on their quick placement of candidates), and usually are more creative in their approaches to finding pools of qualified candidates. Of course, there are always some exceptions to these observations – but more times than not, these are “normal.”

By designing a hybrid mix of internal and external – with each using their strengths to make the team function at a higher level of productivity – this gives the company the best result. A hybrid team might look something like this:

IRM Team Sample




The lone remaining issue is how to get the team to work together and incentivize them to perform with urgency and accuracy. Traditionally an agency recruiter works off of a commission only or a base + commission model. In the IRM model, you would replace individual commissions with a team bonus so that everyone is rewarded for hitting key targets and performing well. Would every agency recruiter out there be interested in this model? There’s no question that this isn’t the model for every recruiter, but if you paid them a higher base than normal, and they still had the opportunity to gain a performance bonus – many would be open to this idea. You could even structure your bonus where each team member gets the same bonus amount, or you could weight it based on the difficulty of roles and reward those who invest more time in the effort or have a more difficult role receiving a higher percentage of the bonus amount.

Asking those major RPO providers out there (The Baker’s Dozen award winners) to change their models and do this will likely be met with resistance. However, the next tier RPO companies should consider making this an alternative for their clients. The hiring company will still be involved to a greater degree and that could make this an easier transition for them, and the RPO providers can negotiate to set up a custom strategy and process that fits their client need. It’s a win-win.

For more info on the IRM model, join my IRM – Integrated Recruitment Model group on LinkedIn, or reach out to me directly and I’d be happy to discuss the model with you at a deeper level. Please note…I do not work for a recruitment firm. I have no financial stake in this at all. However, I can refer you to short list of agencies for you to negotiate with who might be open to this type of structure.

Future Leadership – Bright of Dim?

future_leadersI love speaking to groups. I started out as a minister many years ago before entering the corporate world. Now I speak at conferences and events of all sizes and types. I lead webcasts for SHRM and I’m a contributor to ERE. I have a monthly audience of about 1500-2000 HR executives and leaders who listen to my thoughts and ideas around Talent Acquisition. But today was an interesting challenge. I went to my daughter’s school and spoke to a class comprised of sophomores, juniors and seniors who are focusing on business.

It’s funny how much I had to change the lingo and terms that I am so accustomed to using every day with business leaders. I think we sometimes forget, regardless of the industry we are in, that not everyone lives in the same world as us and doesn’t understand what we are talking about, even though they may look interested and shaking their head in approval. I shared with them the importance of preparing and setting themselves up for successful careers now and the things they could be doing now – even though they may not have a clue what type of job they may have in the future. A few of the key points were:

  • Do something that you love. I asked them to just make a short list of things that they love to do and wish they could find a way to get paid for it. (It was amazing how many people wanted to know how they can get paid to sleep – but there is a career for that!)
  •  Find a mentor to help you prepare. This part was interesting because they can see the value in it, but they aren’t really sure how to go about finding someone that they would match up well with. It will be interesting to see what/if anything they do with that piece.
  • Networking. I used a spider web as an example. If a spider simply shot one strand of web out there, it would never catch anything. But by shooting multiple strands in multiple directions, eventually it builds a wall where things can’t help but to stick.
  • Practicing business communication. Young adults and teens today are accustomed to interacting more electronically than interpersonally. So when you put them in a face to face situation, it’s hard for them to look you in the eye, sit or stand confidently, and speak at ease with someone (even in a casual environment).
  • Internships. The only true way to know if you would love doing something is to go do it. While some may see that as wasted time if it turns out to be something they didn’t enjoy, we spoke of the lessons that can be learned through the experience and the freedom it provides to know that is one less thing to have to target for a career.

There were other topics discussed as well, but that was the meat of the conversation. My takeaway is that our society sees kids today as growing up more quickly than previous generations. I admit that I had that take on them as well prior to today. And while I do think that they do have more opportunities to do more things, they’re still kids. Do we really want them to grow up more quickly, or should we encourage them to be kids as long as they can? I mean, we all know that once you take on the “adult” role, responsibilities, mortgages, car payments, credit cards…it’s really hard to be a kid again (even at heart). There were some very sharp kids in the classes I led today, and I’m going back tomorrow to lead two more classes. I think they’ll be fine when all is said and done, but I still wonder when their journey should begin.