By the time this article graces the Recruiting Daily platform I will be a changed man after an unprecedented summer that changed many aspects of how I approach the world – that’s a good thing.
The reality is EVERY recruiter has been changed by events beyond our control these past few years and that has required reinvention. A few years ago my first ERE article was on this very topic. You can read that here: https://www.ere.net/this-is-the-year-of-reinvention-in-staffing-recruitment/
When this was written 4 years ago in 2018 would I have foreseen the following?
- Covid 19
- The Great Resignation
- An unprecedented election season
- Gas Prices at near record highs
- Diversity and Inclusion issues in the spotlight
The resounding reality is reinvention is not only required to thrive, but also to succeed in talent acquisition. Day after day, year after year one thing stands out – we MUST reinvent not only out of necessity but out of a deeper vision of the most human intensive discipline in the world: recruiting and talent acquisition. From technology to relationships, to recruiting processes, to attracting and retaining the right talent, to how we source, reinvention will keep being the key to our success.
There are so many things I could say on this reinvention topic, but when you are on the front line working from home or across the table from a leader, your authenticity and raw humanity matter. We’ve all been there at some point. The moment when you were required to give up the “old way” and reinvent and rethink the way you approached your craft.
There are days in this profession where you are on the phone with that tough hiring manager, you are working in the trenches with a desperate leader, where you are striving to see through to the real issues while negotiating the full inbox and the myriad of tasks that need “one more follow-up.” But through all these very “human” interactions NEVER lose sight of your “why,” your “purpose” and what got you to focus on the recruiting profession in the first place.
Remember those times at recruiting conferences that you felt the renewal of your “why” when you talked about new staffing ideas, and caught the glimpse of new ideas that got you excited to try them. This is reinvention at its best. Or maybe it was the way you approached your staffing desk process flow, you made just a tweak to get the talent direction moving again.
Now, a personal note, my mother passed away in June. This completely hit me with the raw emotion and humanity that losing a loved one brings. It’s just something you have to move through. While one is trying to perform well, make placements, guide talent acquisition outcomes, it is vitally important to remember how absolutely interconnected our lives are.
You can’t compartmentalize things, it just doesn’t work. So, traveling with my family and seeing all my nephews and nieces and other extended family was a good thing. It brought me back to how vitally human talent acquisition is. Now, I briefly mention this to add to the realization that we are truly vested every day in this human world of ours. Harness this realization and you will start to close more candidates, move more placements and drive outcomes that work. Use your own human experiences to work with candidates to get to their career goals and you will benefit your organization tenfold.
It’s been nearly a year since I moved from ADP to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. After 9 years in one place and reaching year one at my new employer, I came to realize that reinvention and letting go of the “old” way I used to recruit is absolutely vital to build more value in a new environment. It’s almost like you have to think like you are in a start-up. You are within a new environment going to run into the reality of your clients thinking that “this is the way it’s always been done.”
To change the paradigm, you almost have to start modeling the reinvention. From intake meeting, to the way candidates are screened, to the way you attract and find, to the way you close a candidate, every part needs reinvention in an environment that has been unleashed upon us in a time of great change. The entrepreneurial and reinvention mindset are like shining a light on the bottlenecks and then uncovering how to fix them.
Your clients may not even realize this is happening, but when a recruiter changes to a proactive from a reactive state and starts to build the staffing funnels creatively the vision starts to catch, and fire of success builds and things just snowball.
This has been my experience in 2022, albeit had to also see through the challenges of such things as a new system and new processes. Reinvention is going to be the “glue” that makes it all start to work once you start seeing where the pain is. How can you reinvent things and keep things going such that you have enough time to brainstorm and turn things to maximum success? That’s going to be reinvention that sees you through every time.
How do you harness this? How do you accelerate reinvention when you may be facing a maelstrom of herculean challenges? You must purposefully be driving this EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. That’s the lion’s share of it.
Below are some tips to think about as you strive to harness this reinvention and entrepreneurial mindset of incredible continuous improvement or “Kaizen.” These are 5 principles that guided me through this summer when I needed to reinvent, re-energize and rekindle a proactive talent acquisition funnel strategy – the reinvention blueprint if you will:
- Anticipate Change and Act as if You Must ALWAYS BE CHANGING & ADAPTING
Quite literally you will have to keep changing and finding new ways to get ahead of your staffing desk. Don’t let things happen by chance. You have to go get it, and drive ahead. You must take a moment at least monthly to anticipate the challenges and then find solutions. What systems are working, try that A-B test in contacting candidates, drive outcomes swiftly and keep things moving. NEVER be so busy you can’t innovate, recalibrate and grow.
- Start Seeing Where Your Boss Needs Help and Align With Them for Reinvention
Your leader is going to have a better vantage point of what’s happening at large in your organization. Start anticipating where your leader is going to go and share ideas about change, and reinvention before your leader thinks of the need. I guarantee they will be grateful as you start to sense their challenges, and start offering solutions to them to help them move the needle.
We can’t change every single aspect of our process all at once, but start identifying the bottlenecks in process that your leader might not think about and offer creative solutions to help solve those problems. Over time taking this approach WILL help you add value.
- Help Hiring Managers Cope With Change By Helping Them Reinvent
Scenario – your hiring leader is seeing shifting changes in their department which affect their day to day. Chances are they are stressed, overworked and reactive. Anticipate cause and effect relationships that are causing them pain and offer solutions that start to address their core issues.
Help them become more proactive instead of reactive. Help them understand how their interview process affects candidate engagement and candidate experience. Help them harness referrals, think of new ways of getting their team to help with the recruiting process.
Get them thinking about diversity. If your hiring manager hasn’t discussed diversity for a while get them talking about it. Get them talking about their best performer and what it takes to “clone” that person. Who do they know? Get that manager speaking at conferences, getting out to events and help think more broadly from the “oh I have a seat to fill now” mentality to a “always be recruiting” reinvention mode.
This confidence builder will build your brand over time. It WILL NOT be an overnight venture but you can help them start to find their maximum success. Get on a human level with your managers and level set with them. Reset deadlines if needed. Make sure the entire process from beginning to end is buttoned up. Chances are managers have not thought about making the hiring process better for sometime and they will need greater insights to tackle that.
- Brainstorm With Colleagues and Offer Timely Solutions to the Discussion
There is high likelihood your team has been thinking about the same issues you have been facing: competitive marketplace, challenging leaders, remote work, shortage of qualified talent, req volumes at all time highs and more. Why not take a SWAT team approach and start brainstorming solutions real time? This is incredibly powerful to get your entire team thinking in a entrepreneurial way. Get your hiring managers across the organization to discuss collectively ideas at every level of the staffing process, from intake to close. Take the time to keep doing this frequently and your entire organization will start to change from a grassroots effort.
- USE SOURCING as a Market Driving Reinvention Vehicle
Sourcing is well known as a proactive function. It operates best when it is entrepreneurial in nature and driving outcomes and finding talent real time. It’s the engine that keeps the talent acquisition function moving forward. It is an absolutely incredible vehicle to gain candidate insight, closing strategy, market intelligence, reinvention moves faster when sourcing is funneling insights forward.
A proactive talent acquisition function does incredible things: diversity, job description reinvention, informs benefits/compensation, improves processes and harnesses new technology and new ways of attracting talent just to name a few. Get your sourcers in a room and let them talk shop. Remarkable things start accelerating when this happens. Get your Recruiters to help each other frequently and let their ideas fuel innovation, as well.
While these are just a few ideas, I can’t stress how powerful these principles are when you are operating at peak efficiency. When all parts are working in tandem and you’ve identified the bottlenecks and are uncovering new approaches to doing things, talent acquisition starts to become more fluid, human and even referrals will start flowing.
Let your contributions fuel your staffing engine. Reinvent often. Don’t let the month end before you put pen to paper and start writing down challenges. Look at your staffing funnel, where is the pain? Where are the challenges? Don’t EVER be so busy you aren’t thinking strategically.
Once you turn the paradigm around to an entrepreneurial and focused reinvention mindset THAT’S where the magic starts to happen. I look forward writing about this a bit more in another article on staffing reinvention again soon. Almost a case study of sorts as I experiment with more reinvention and Kaizen principles.
I look forward to sharing with Recruiting Daily another focused staffing article on Lean Six Sigma principles mixed with a bit of continuous improvement focus. When that becomes your standard you only elevate everything around you. That’s definitely worth the effort, and lately that’s been driving my recruiting desk to a new place of human discovery. I look forward to continuing to reinvent, innovate and grow.
Mike Rasmussen is a Senior Talent Acquisition professional based in Utah with his family including wife and 3 children. Mike has been working in Talent Acquisition for the better part of 19 years including some stints in Human Resources as a generalist. Mike has spoken at 3 SourceCon Conferences most recently in Minnesota, as well as the Cande’s Candidate Experience Conference, HR.com’s High Volume Hiring Event, and the ERE Conference including multiple webinars. Mike has passion for making great hiring outcomes, and contributes frequently to the Talent Acquisition community. Currently working at the Source and Recruit Company a Recruiting Consultancy that provides RPO and Recruiting Consultancy services as a Sr. Talent Advisor.
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