Disruption Is Overrated: Implementing Small Changes for Big Impact

The only thing constant is change.

Stop me if you’ve heard that one before.

At this point, the only thing constant is people talking and writing and lamenting the fact that change is never-ending. While we can all be cynical about the repetition of the theme, it doesn’t mean the topic isn’t relevant. Change is never ending, and it always has been. 

The difference now, however, is that the scale of the change is so much greater, both in stakes and in scope. No one has escaped the impact of what has been going on the past two years, and the world is tired.

Recruiters are especially tired. Tired of the vacillation of perceived value. Tired of high expectations in a tough market. Tired of 60+ reqs with hiring managers on vacation and an applicant tracking system that doesn’t talk to any other technology. Tired of the candidate experience being blamed for everything from turnover to business results.

Just because recruiters are tired doesn’t mean that organizations aren’t calling for change. Finding the right talent for their business continues to be a top concern for CEOs, which means the focus on talent acquisition isn’t changing anytime soon. Recruiters are feeling the pressure to deliver, despite lacking the time and resources to enable the massive transformations needed for results.

What if I told you that you could see results with small, incremental changes? That a tweak here or there could enable significant improvements with minimal efforts? 

We don’t talk enough about such efforts to improve the hiring process because it often seems that every thought leader wants to convince you that improving recruitment at your company demands major changes. But oftentimes, you can get from Point A to B without a complete overhaul. Incremental process improvement is often more effective than sudden transformation. 

The promise of change without major disruption is the focus of a panel I’m moderating at ERE Digital, April 6-7. Three recruiting professionals — Mary Kay Baldino, Tara Tuke-Haynes, and Chez Jennings — will join me to discuss ways to eat the elephant one bite at a time by identifying small things your team can do today to realize immediate improvements. 

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Things like restructuring an intake meeting, adding salary ranges, tweaking job-posting wording, and other non-invasive revisions have paid dividends for these experts, and they want to spread the word that you don’t always have to overhaul your entire process to be more effective. 

The key, however, is to determine when to make big vs small changes, as well as identify which small efforts are likeliest to yield the biggest results. At the same time, let’s keep it real: It’s also important to recognize which small efforts will be nothing more than unscalable Band-Aids. 

Sometimes recruiters feel like they are on a liferaft in the middle of the ocean, alone and searching for a way to get to land. Hopefully by sharing our experiences and practical solutions to real-world issues, we can encourage recruiters to do the same thing, to innovate and collaborate as an industry.

Incremental, iterative improvement toward the ideal future state means no matter how slow progress may be, it’s still progress. 


Join Mary and a mix of TA experts at ERE Digital, April 6-7, for the panel discussion, “Disruption Is Overrated: Implementing Small Changes for Big Impact.” Register here.

Mary is a principal with IA, a boutique consulting firm focused on HR transformation. She is also a talent strategist and business leader with almost 15 years experience in helping organizations achieve their goals. After working on the operations side of start-ups and small companies, Mary landed in HR by way of learning and development, with extensive experience in leadership and organizational development, coaching, key talent planning, talent acquisition, performance management, business partnering, HRIS, process and policy creation, and instructional design.

In addition to her work within companies, Mary authors a leadership development blog called Surviving Leadership to continue the dialogue around the challenges of leadership – both being a leader and being led. 

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