Change Management



Without a crystal ball, it can seem impossible to plan for the unknown. This is why, despite the dynamic nature of hiring, embracing change continues to elude many recruiters. And yet, given low unemployment levels, omnipresent economic uncertainty, and evolving business objectives, future hiring will require more than just understanding all the features and functionalities of an ATS.

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Ultimately, recruiters are looking to answer a straightforward question: what does it take to deliver an achievable hiring and onboarding experience for the modern workforce? And with an entire discipline dedicated to managing change at an organizational level, it comes as no surprise that success is born from using the following practical, effective approach will ensure that recruiting stays agile.

Define challenges

Implementing new strategies and solutions can be disruptive. No one is trying to claim otherwise, but without careful management, change doesn’t always stick. Like 70 percent of time says the Harvard Business Review. To avoid this all too frequent pitfall, recruiters should look to the massive amount of data already at their fingertips.

With a line of sight into recent metrics, from cost per hire to application drop off, recruiters can quickly identify areas of improvement and where current technologies are failing to address these challenges. The usual complaints include attracting and engaging the right candidates, building and maintaining a talent pipeline and ensuring a good candidate experience from start to finish. Knowing the current state will inform future state and determine what the plan needs to encompass before moving ahead.  

Align objectives

With a specific change in mind, begin by circulating the basic idea around to different stakeholders to make sure the recruiting objective aligns with broader business goals. The best recruiting strategies overcome common challenges so discuss within the talent acquisition and HR teams first prior to hiring managers and executives. Engaging those directly impacted by the change may offer additional insight into day-to-day operations, any employee concerns and existing resources to support the process.

As part of this exercise, share the type of change, issue it solves, potential impact, actions required and any pending decisions. Reinforce the overall benefits as well as any anticipated outcomes to demonstrate return on investment and get the organization invested.

Integrated approach

Moment of truth. Once due diligence is complete and everything gets fleshed out, it’s time to put the change management process into practice.

See the best-laid plans, even ones that aim to remain fluid, need to factor in communication. This means defining the audience (both internal and external), identifying objectives, sketching out a timeline and selecting the right mix of channels. That’s project management 101 and what one might call an “integrated approach.” Sure, the stakeholders heard about it during the planning phase, but what about the rollout? As part and parcel of the official launch, train the involved parties and tell the entire organization when and where the shift is happening.

Drive adoption

Having put the wheels in motion and instituted the change, this might seem like the ideal moment to take a break and reflect, but it’s not. To excel at change, recruiters also need to excel at driving adoption by owning it.

Following the initial kickoff meeting, recruiters need to schedule periodic updates from the talent acquisition team to the remaining stakeholders. Keeping everyone involved and in the loop is one way to maintain momentum, especially when it comes to a new technology. Another way is to stage the change, so it happens gradually and requires continued involvement. A simple one and done does not serve the idea of embracing change and becoming more adaptable as recruiters.

Identify success

Remember those metrics mentioned earlier on? Time to revisit. With a careful eye on the original challenge, analyze and evaluate progress on an individual, team or department basis. Consider what the data says as well as what the organization thinks about the new approach. Create focus groups, an internal forum or implement surveys to solicit additional feedback and demonstrate value. Stay open to different recruiting scenarios, making tweaks and updates as necessary.

Hiring needs and business objectives can change on a daily basis, leaving recruiters in a vulnerable position as the technologies and trends evolve. To remain ready for whatever the workforce of the future brings, take the time now to identify the pain points, learn the change management process and develop the steps needed to move the function from static to spry. It may not mean clairvoyance, but it could just be the next best thing.

Interested in learning more about change management for recruiting? Save a spot for the Dec. 13 webinar by registering here:


Noel Cocca

CEO/Founder RecruitingDaily and avid skier, coach and avid father of two trying to keep up with my altruistic wife. Producing at the sweet spot talent acquisition to create great content for the living breathing human beings in recruiting and hiring. I try to ease the biggest to smallest problems from start-ups to enterprise. Founder of RecruitingDaily and our merry band of rabble-rousers.