Posts Tagged ‘ Winning ’

An old post: Will I Win? or I Will Win!

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Originally posted 23 September 2009

I read a very good article this morning, one that made me think hard about behaviour, rationale and the power and control of my own mind

In the article by Peter Bregman in the Harvard Business Blog showed how simple mind games can have a very adverse affect on our personality and our lives. It is a great article and really struck home how much control we give to our imagination and creating fantasies that can all to easily become reality.

In describing the two scenarios; his own personal anxieties after being stung by a number of hornets and the behaviour and actions of his friend in the work place I am sure Peter has outlined situations that we can all see ourselves doing in our daily lives. I certainly can – it is only human nature surely.

Will I Win? or I Will Win! Exactly the same number of letters, the same number words. All that is different is the order they are in. The first has doubt and insecurity running all through it, whereas coming at the same words from a different perspective and using them slight differently they become full of certainty and confidence.

So by taking control of your imagination and reeling in the fantasy before you start living it you’ll have better options. Positive Mental Attitude is what it’s all about. And we can control that! I’m neither an evangelist nor an expert on the issues at all and don’t intend to preach but I read this article and it reminded me that by taking the positive “I Will Win!” stance is actually more enjoyable and relaxing than asking the question.


What does the Recruitment Industry Compete on?

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In a departure from #myjobhunt blog series

Recently I was asked “What do you think are the key factors that the recruitment industry competes on?”

My Answer:

You have to think about what you are competing for. Are agencies and search firms competing for the potential candidates or are they competing for the actual deal with the customer? They should have both in mind always.

Of course if competing for the candidates you have to be able to present yourself as credible and effective. An agency has to present itself as knowing the market as well as the ins and outs of the customer they are representing to the candidate, without the hard sell. They have to know all there is to know to ensure that the candidate has sufficient information to determine if the job and company is suitable. Also armed with the customer knowledge the agency recruiter will be able to determine accurately if a candidate can be turned into a credible applicant in front of the customer.

Competing at the customer level we look for agencies or suppliers that will be able to represent our brand, our company and the position we are recruiting for as if they work for us; much like a sales channel does for products. If a search firm or agency can show they have the ability to understand our business, our processes and our culture then they will be equipped to sell our proposition to each candidate and be of greater service and thus value to all parties.

To compete we all have to be in the position to represent ourselves to each other and meet the expectations of all involved. If as a customer I respect the agency or search firm – and more importantly the person I am dealing with – I will invest the time to educate them and equip them to better represent me. In doing so the agency or search firm will be armed to earn the trust of the candidate. The candidate will have confidence that they will be represented to the customer and the customer will have the confidence that their brand is in safe hands. The customer will appreciate that candidates from that particular source will be thoroughly vetted and closest to the mark.

So answer to the question; the industry competes on knowledge and credibility……………oh yeah, for the poorly managed in-house PSL structures its all about price and not quality of service and the poorly equipped agencies all compete on speed of service rather than quality.

I welcome thoughts and comments on this one please

Don’t let poor planning become somebody else’s priority!

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Don’t let poor planning become somebody else’s priority!

This is a phrase I have used in various versions for years; although I actually prefer and use

“Don’t let your poor planning become my priority”,

usually when dealing with very rude arrogant and obnoxious idiots. Why should I change my schedule, my planning and put my customers at risk, just to dig you out of a hole? I love using it too, to make a point. Guess what? Every time I use it it gets the reaction I expect, whether the person is a peer, a customer, a supplier or a senior manager. There is always that moment, however fleeting on their part, when they realise how much of an imposition they are placing on others.

The “oh yeah!” moment.

I am also aware that it really antagonises people but it is important to make a clear and direct point, crucial in these days when avoidance of hurting peoples feelings seems more important than getting the job done. At what point are you allowed to make a point?

It always surprises me to see this behaviour in management, because businesses are supposed to be managed by people who demonstrate certain competences, big amongst them is the ability to manage time appropriately and work with others to meet mutual goals.

By the way this is not a rant at all, I have not had an excuse to use this phrase for a while to be honest, it just came to me today and I found myself reflecting on how important it is to make clear and proper plans, communicating goals, objectives and tasks to all involved, clearly setting expectations……………….and then keeping those that need to know in the loop about progress, risks and obstacles. It is not rocket science. I think that most of us have been there, the honest amongst us will admit we got it wrong once and learned never to get it wrong again!

Oh yeah this has nothing to do with recruiting really just an observation

“Don’t let your poor planning become somebody else’s priority” – think about it for a bit and consider how you can help others and yourself by planning properly

End-to-End Recruitment Lifecycle Management – Brand promotion

When it comes to the priorities that an In-house Recruiter (IR) must always keep at the forefront of conscious thought the promotion of their corporate brand and then protecting it must be at the top.

I have spoken to many many recruiters over the last 18 months and am surprised I meet some that seem to just go through the motions without consideration of what it all means to the candidate and to the company for whom you work.

Let’s take a look at promoting the brand.

We all know that Marketing and PR depts. are responsible for promoting the corporate messages to the target communities in the market, but how many of those same departments take ownership and responsibility for marketing the corporate message vision and culture to future potential employees? I would argue very few, sadly.

This task seems to fall to the teams of Talent Attraction professionals and unless you work in a large enough forward thinking organisation this will typically fall the IR’s, thankfully. Every time an IR places an advert on a job board or briefs an agency or approaches a candidate they are 100% responsible for promoting the corporate brand and values.

When placing an advert on a job board, branding is vital and so is how you write and present the advert. Studies by most of the leading job boards state that branded adverts tend to yield better results. Yes I know they would say that because they are trying to up-sell, but it makes so much sense. Think about it. Define an image, structure your ads with clear messages and create a consistent brand and it will get recognised time and again; maybe even searched for!

When briefing an agency an IR needs and must invest the time to give a thorough briefing. Anything less than 10 minutes just isn’t sufficient. Once the decision has been made to use an agency or a search firm you are effectively setting up a sales channel and delegating the responsibility of representing your company on your behalf to someone else. You need to be sure that they are equipped to represent you and your company to the best of your ability. Yes your ability. They are acting on your behalf. Give them the time and information they need to sell your company and your job to a potential candidate. I would advocate testing them on their understanding and knowledge too; see how well they are representing you. They will get better results if they have the right tools and the right pitch. It’ll also make you look good to your internal clients and not only that the candidate will think better of the agency and the whole recruitment process as a result. It’ll make the “close” easier.

When speaking to the candidate, make sure you give them so much information about the company, and while you are at it make it sound exciting. It is important from a candidate’s perspective to hear from a IR and hear all about the great things that the company does, has done and where it sits in the world and what it can offer them and what it could mean to them to be part of it. This isn’t about selling them a product; it is about selling them a career – a lifestyle, if you like! You need to give them the attention and priority throughout your discussions with them so that they consider you first when they are ready to move, whenver that may be.

We need to also discuss brand protection. Next time

End-to-End Recruitment Lifecycle Managment

I was having conversations with a couple of people this week and was asked questions in respect to the processes that need to be followed and considerations that an in-house recruiter (IR) needs to keep in mind. It was in answering these and having a full conversation around the subject ,that it made me think further about many of the things we have to do on a regular basis, that tend to get taken for granted; how much of a challenge we have and why the role of the in house is such a mystery to many.

I recognise that not all companies have in-house recruiting or resourcing teams. I also recognise that not all in-house teams work in the same way. Take the membership of The FIRM for example. There are over 900 companies represented across 41 countries, each has their own set of processes and corporate politics and peculiarities to respect. I expect the focus and priorities and therefore the models that are adopted vary from company to company, from country to country and event internal business unit to business unit. So I will continue based on some firsthand understandings and some assumed generalisations.

I know for a fact that many an agency and customer does not and probably cannot understand the scale, pace and intensity that an IR lives with. I have even heard agency staff disrespect IR’s claiming them to be failed agency staff or gatekeepers – that’s a good business tactic if ever I heard one!

The fundamental role of the IR is to hire the best people possible to meet the business needs of their employer. Simple, yes? However if we start to think of the IR in terms of managing the end-to-end recruitment lifecycle we start to understand where the hours in the days go when time and consideration needs to be given to :-

• Resource and budget planning – reports, trends , market analysis

• Attraction strategies which would include Campaign/Marketing strategies – short-, medium- , longer-term

• Acquisition strategies- direct source/search, job boards, online medium options, agencies, search

• Interview planning – attendees, structure, schedules

• Internal Customer management – an IR cannot hide from or ignore customers, they will hunt you down through the corridors

• Candidate Management – sourcing, CVs, Interviewing, feedback, follow up, experience and expectation management

• Brand Protection and candidate experience

…and these are just the high level ones. Add in our general love for speaking with people and you have all of the networking and interaction with our internal and external contacts, all of whom can have a direct impact on how the job is performed and what results you might be able to achieve.

Two primary concerns for all IR’s must be projection and protection of the corporate brand and the provision of a first class candidate experience. We must ensure all that we do ensures that every candidate that goes through the application process is managed in such a way that at the end of their journey they feel good about the experience, whether the result for them is positive or not.

Each of the above points could have many words written about it and I intend to explore some of them in a bit more detail in future posting.

Do consider this as a taster – a prelude if you will.

Crystal Balls and the winds of change – are you thinking, are you ready?

This week APSCo – Association of Professional Staffing Companies – hosted one of 70 meetings they host through the year for their members. It was a two hour session with a presentation from an employment law legal expert as we all as a panel Q& A session.

The panel on this occasion was made up of 4 in-house recruiting managers, all members of The FIRM coincidently – shows the spread of the Group – from some of the largest branded companies in the world. I bet the words of Alfred, Lord Tennyson “…………Into the valley of Death, Rode the six hundred” were no doubt playing in some minds.

The questions from the audience of agency owners and managers were not very challenging. The expected questions were asked “What do you think the market will look like as we come out of the recession and what changes will there be?”, “How can agencies be of better service to companies?”, “Do you see RPO as a value or a threat to the in-house recruiter?”, “How can we get onto a PSL?” and many more.

I am not entirely sure that all of these questions could be answered to the satisfaction of all attendees and I don’t think the answers that were given came as any major surprise to the audience either. What was clear is that the market is causing concern and the people running the agencies are looking for ways to make the changes they know will be needed to ensure they can continue to provide a service to their existing client base or attract new ones.

Three things stand out for me;

1. The advent of social media and its adoption by corporate recruiters has the agencies worried. They know we can find any potential candidate we might want. Not only that our brands make a direct connection far more valuable to a prospective applicant than an agency contact;

2. Agencies underestimate the function, ability, pace and authority of a structured in-house recruiting function

3. Agencies are so used to chasing targets that they forget that they need to focus on adding value. So target driven are they that they don’t know how to change! Simple – forget about fees and the petty irrelevant targets they set for their sales people. If they equip their people with better soft skills, train them on building relationship and adding real value to the person they are dealing (candidate and client) they will stand a better chance of getting the relationships right. Get them right and the fees will automatically follow.

Recruiting is all about timing. This recession is a place in time where in-house recruiters are able to say “we don’t need you”. The one phrase that gives a bit of hope to the agencies is “at the moment”. We all know that things change and the companies that don’t use agencies now are very likely to have to in the future, it is sort of inevitable. Everyone must be ready. Invest; don’t waste time chasing business that isn’t there right now. Look inwards at how you do your current business, which clients have you been more successful with and why? What can you do better internally and at other clients in order to evolve to be ready?