Those who follow my articles know that I frequently write on the positive trends and the big ideas that recruiting leaders need to be aware of. However, I have not often written about the biggest strategic challenges or problems that corporate recruiting leaders face. Of course no one wants to dwell on the negative. But since I am predicting that during the next few years we will all encounter a completely transformed world of recruiting, it only makes sense to at least be aware of our largest current and upcoming challenges. If you don’t act proactively to mitigate these major challenges, they unfortunately may grow out of control, causing exponential damage to your firm.
A think piece designed to stimulate your thinking on competing against the top 1 percent firms for top talent
If you’re an executive interested in recruiting, here is a scary thought to consider. For the first time in your lifetime: As a result of their compelling approach to managing talent, the elite 1 percent of firms now have a powerful recruiting brand advantage. The resulting “recruiting brand gap” between the top 1 percent and the remaining 99 percent of firms is now so wide … that most firms have given up trying to match the talent approach of the 1 percent.
The Top 1 Percent of Firms Have Unique Talent Differentiators keep reading…
Forward-looking executives seeking truly big ideas understand the value of the Davos World Economic Forum, where only thought leaders and the most senior executives at top global firms are invited to attend. If there were to be a Davos-type “big-idea session” covering strategic recruiting, this article covers the big idea topics that I would propose for the agenda.
The hectic world of day-to-day recruiting is often dominated by having to solve tactical functional problems like cutting cost per hire or identifying the correct recruiter req load. However if you are a recruiting leader who wants to make quantum improvements of more than 25 percent in your results, step back and focus exclusively on a few big ideas. Big ideas by definition are potentially high-impact strategic actions that are barely emerging, that are extremely difficult to implement, and that may become essential as the business or recruiting environment evolves and changes. Also because they require a dramatic change in thinking, almost all big ideas are instantly rejected by shortsighted individuals in recruiting.
The Top 15 Future-focused Big Ideas for Recruiting Leaders to Contemplate keep reading…
The New Year is the perfect time to reexamine and refocus your talent efforts. The coming year will see a surge in economic growth, but it will occur in a business environment with continued volatility. Succeeding in this environment will require a new approach. So before all of the activity that accompanies any new year begins, take at least an afternoon off for some “strategic thinking and planning time.” In order to guide your thinking, I propose 10 talent resolutions or focus areas which are likely to have high strategic and business impacts.
10 Strategic Action Areas in Talent Management keep reading…
Hiring is like meeting a new guy or girl you like for the first time. This wonderful person walks into your office and the two of you make a perfect connection right off the bat. You like the other person’s vibe, how the person looks, and he or she seems to fit all your necessary requirements. You know how many business owners and hiring managers say, “I just really like the candidate, I think he (or she) will do great!” (I am pretty sure you have all either said or heard someone say something exactly like this before.)
In relationships, it’s called the infatuation stage; in hiring, I call it the hiring by gut stage. keep reading…
During the newly reinvigorated and exciting ERE conference, two attendees posed related but powerful questions to me. The first was “What advanced topics should be on the agenda of recruiting leaders at elite firms?” Or as another put it “What should Google be planning to do next in recruiting?”
At least to me, future agenda items are an important topic. Because after visiting well over 100 firms, I have found a dramatic difference between the agenda items that are found on 95% of the firms (cost per hire, ATS issues, req loads, etc.) and the truly advanced subjects that only elite recruiting firms like Google, DaVita, Sodexo, etc. would even attempt to tackle.
So if you have the responsibility for setting agendas or recruiting goals, here is my list of truly advanced recruiting topics that elite leaders would find compelling but that most others would simply find to be out of their reach. If you want to be among the elite, you should select a handful for implementation. However, even if you are currently overwhelmed by your current agenda, you might still find them to be interesting reading.
25 Advanced Recruiting Topics for Bold Corporate Recruiting Leaders keep reading…
Building a house, a building, or a department all starts out with a plan. Many of us, however, don’t heed those textbook ideas of how we should start. Rather, we jump in and try to steer the ship while it is moving and frankly don’t know where it is going. As many have heard the adage, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.”
A recruitment plan starts out with an agreed-upon strategic vision of what a corporate recruiting department is to accomplish. This must be a consensus of the immediate management chain as well as the people on the top floor. It has to start out with both a forecast of intended hires in a given time frame (a people budget) as well as an overall concept of operations … also known as just how are we going to accomplish our people budget and ultimately drive the operational budget which supports the execution of the concept of operations.
A “people budget” is just that: a budget. We all know that budgets are guidelines that become fluid depending on changes in the business. After all, all business is dynamic and things do change. Development of a “people budget” should be an ongoing activity of the recruitment department, perhaps polling divisions, departments, etc. to provide you with not only an anticipated number of potential new hires in the next three to six months but also a general breakdown of skill sets that you envision hiring.
Your departments will resist this exercise. keep reading…
I hear from talent acquisition leaders that they want a seat at the table. I ask: “What does that mean to you?”
For an individual recruiter, it’s building trust with your hiring managers. For a recruiting manager, it’s building trust and showing progress on hiring needs with multiple hiring managers. For the leader, it’s driving quality of hire, building relationships with leaders, enhancing the brand, globalizing hiring if required, managing a large budget, driving productivity outcomes with the teams they manage, and delivering on hiring goals set out by the company at all levels especially the executive level. Any talent acquition strategy has to be aligned to these company goals and directly to the HR vision.
HR has to build bridges with their finance leaders and with those who influence strategy. For this to happen, talent acquisition has to be the bridge with its HR leaders to be the subject matter expert in hiring practices; specifically, hiring practices that help reduce short-term attrition. keep reading…
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: keep reading…
What makes a person an outstanding talent leader? Is it the ability to set a vision, develop a strategy, or manage a budget? Or is it something much less visible and subtler?
Leadership is not something we are born with, although we may have a general aptitude. It takes insight into what leadership is all about and the desire to practice it in a deliberate, thoughtful, and consistent way to become good.
The points below amplify what I have learned from many successful leaders over the years.
Rule #1: You Are Not a Recruiter Anymore
Someone asked me a question out of nowhere yesterday — in a restroom of all places — that took me aback.
It got me thinking about a very different — and more important — question you need to ask if you’re a manager.
“I Beg Your Pardon?”
“I know this is a weird question to ask, but … do I smell bad?”
He explained that he had been sweating profusely because of the hot conference room and was worried that he now reeked and would repel others. While this is never a pleasant thought, since this was an event where you wanted to network with others, he was especially concerned about being perceived as a noxious life form.
Since he was being so authentic and genuine, how could I not accommodate his request? I got a bit closer and took a whiff. keep reading…