I’m out in San Francisco this week teaching a class on Talent Acquisition to some great Pros and Leaders who are doing all they can to learn more and help their organization succeed. The class is part of the process for SHRM’s Specialty Credential in Talent Acquisition. Part of the process is two days of deep learning with an ‘expert’ instructor in-person or virtually. Apparently, the expert instructor got hit by a bus, so they tapped me on the shoulder!
The course is designed for corporate HR pros and leaders who want to get better at TA. This is modern material, designed to help individuals begin to build out a modern recruiting practice. It helps build a foundation in the right way on what best practice organizations are doing in their TA shops right now.
I love spending time with HR and TA pros who just want to learn and get better. Who want to help their organizations be better. It might be one of the funniest things I do all year! At the same time, it might be one of the most frustrating because I see and feel their struggles!
What I find is almost all organizations fail at recruiting for basically the same reasons. Here are those reasons:
1. We fail in recruiting because we are trying to be like everyone else and afraid to stand out from the other competitors for talent in our market. Yes, this is mostly employment branding and recruitment marketing, but it speaks to basic risk aversion we struggle to overcome in traditional HR. What I find is most c-suite executives welcome this risk, but no one is giving them options.
2. We are flat out not persistent enough going after the talent we want. Great recruiting is about pursuing great talent. I married way above my pay grade! The only reason I was able to land my wife was that I didn’t give up. We all want to be wanted. Most corporate HR and TA pros give up on pursuing talent because they initially say they aren’t interested. That should just get us going!
3. We aren’t letting potential candidates know who we really are. Guess what, when you come here you’re going to have to work and we don’t allow you to have pet pigs. Sorry. I mean, we’ll still have fun, challenging work and we’ll support the heck out of your development, but this isn’t a playground, this is a business. If that sounds like you, we will love you and you will love us! It’s okay to help some talent self-select out of coming to work for you. I don’t want to attract every candidate. I want to attract candidates who want us and we want them!
4. We hear your advice, but we just suck at actually executing it because we are busy. Too busy to get better. I hear all the time from leaders that they would love to do all this cool stuff, but they just don’t have the time. So, I ask, are you successful? No, we are broken. So, you would rather stay broken then fix your shop? Well, we still have to keep doing what we are doing. No, you don’t. You can stop. That is an actual option if you let everyone know you have a plan and this is the plan to finally get fixed!
5. We fail because we don’t fully believe we are responsible. Ouch, that one hurts me, because I’ve actually been fully in that position. Someone finally gave me the title but somehow I felt like I still wasn’t really in control. Turns out, I was, but if I wasn’t going to take control, others above me were going to, since someone had to. Ugh. Once I took control, everyone around me and above me gave me full support.
6. We haven’t figured out how to use our network for good. I’ve been royally screwed by people that I networked with, only to watch them f@ck me over and take (Hi! Z.A., you prick!). Yes, this happens. I’ve also reached heights in my career that would never be possible if I didn’t have all of you helping me along the way. I see way too many pros scared that if they share, especially locally in their market, someone will steal their great ideas and secret sauce. So, they don’t and they miss out on so much good in the world! Go share, exchange ideas, and keep doing it, especially with those who reciprocate!
To my first SHRM TA Credential SFO class – go out into the world and do better recruiting! Also, don’t hesitate to reach out to me when you need a little help!