Wednesday, February 16, 2011

HBR "Essentials" and Recruiting....

As some of you know, I’ve been spending a lot of time on planes and in airports lately. So, one of the things I did was read the Harvard Business Review “Essentials” which is a really cool collection of articles and a nice quick read.

A few of them really jumped out to me as relevant to recruiting. Sometimes I feel like people just assuming staffing is this black art and most recruiters would never spend time reading stuff like the Harvard Business Review and think about how to relay it to hiring. Well, you’re in luck fellow recruiters…after about 48 hours on planes and in airports I’ve read a few and will give a quick summary with a few thoughts on how we can all be better recruiters!

The first one that comes to mind was “Innovation – The Common Traps” by Rosabeth Moss Kanter. REALLY great article! It covers something near and dear to my heart too as I love innovation! I’m not going to do a full review but pull out a few thoughts on innovation that I really enjoyed…

1) “Add flexibility to planning and control systems” – I love this line. In my opinion, no better way to stifle innovation than to have rigid systems that cannot flex to meet business needs. As recruiters, we need to innovate and adapt to the changing competitive landscape. Adding flexibility to our systems is the only way to ensure we are innovating and looking to continuously improve what we do. Is your hiring process set in stone? How about your tools for measuring recruiters? How about team metrics like “Cost Per Hire”? If you are still using the same processes you used in 2005 it’s time to innovate and develop some new systems.

2) “Tighten the human connection between innovators and others throughout your organization” – I really think this rings true in large organizations. It’s hard to have your innovators building relationships around the team and creating a culture of innovation but it’s absolutely critical. One of the things that I’ve found is that people who are innovate are important not only because they spread the innovation energy but they also know HOW to innovate within the organization. They can tell you who else thinks like you do and how to get a team or project started. If you think about projects like Social Recruiting they require strong human connections to work within the organization to get the project started.

3) “Select innovation leaders with strong interpersonal skills” – Similar to the line above but slightly different. You need innovators who can also evangelize their ideas. Having a great idea but lacking the ability to articulate it won’t work. If you have a recruiter on your team who has wonderful ideas but they can’t seem to get them off the ground…put them on a team a fellow innovator who’s got world-class interpersonal skills and you’ll see results. What’s this mean? Want to create a new innovative recruiting strategy? Build a team about the most outgoing folks who can leverage the thoughts of the team and make the innovation a reality.

Clearly I didn’t go to Harvard but I’m trying…..until next time, happy hunting….