Entrepreneurship has been described as taking a blank piece of paper, with all its uncertainty, and then developing it into a work of art. Recruiting is more of an art than a science. All the processes in the world cannot stop Joe Candidate from cancelling his interview with you five minutes before it was scheduled. Rigid procedures cannot prevent Jane Employee from not showing up to work the first day. Because of this uncertainty, flexibility and creativity are huge factors for success in the recruiting industry. The other day, I asked one of my staff members, Matt Greenburg, to write a recommendation for me. Here’s what he said:
“Jenny is a new wave entrepreneurial management type who is hell bent on macro- and micro- growth and development. Working under Jenny was a decision essential for my growth both professionally and personally. Jenny’s management style brings out the best and highest qualities of her team.”
The key words here are growth and development. With the new Generation Y workforce, we cannot ignore their values, which are different from that of their predecessors. In surveying a number of Gen Y recruiters in Silicon Valley, what they believe to be a successful work environment are:
- A competitive but supportive atmosphere
- Advancement opportunities
- Work hard, play hard with strong accountability from management
- Little to no micro-management
- Teamwork with shared goals
- Open, fun company with a family atmosphere
- Recognition for hard work
- Change and innovation
They expect their manager to foster this type of environment. Vipin Gupta, management professor at Fordham, and Ian C. MacMillan, director of Wharton’ s Sol C. Snider Entrepreneurial Center, uncovered that the entrepreneurial leader must fulfill two charges:
- Build commitment: Promote a willingness among employees to work toward a common goal, in the sense of traditional, motivating team-building.
- “Define gravity:” Break down team members’ self-imposed perceptual barriers and stereotypes about what can and can’t be done, in order to produce integrative and decisive actions. An entrepreneurial leader will have a sense of the degree to which people resources have been undervalued.
Steve Jobs, who I consider to be one of the greatest entrepreneurs ever, once said in the video “The First Macintosh” that “the greatest people are self-managing — they don’t need to be managed. What they need is a common vision, and that’s what leadership is — getting consensus around that common vision.”
It’s not about gigantic salaries and prestigious titles. These young teams need a leader who will rally with them and have their backs. So, if you are out there looking for that next leader in your recruiting organization, it’s time to “Think Different.”