200 Words on Surprises

Yes, they do happen – even to the best organizations. People leave. Offers are declined unexpectedly. Candidates don’t show.

Okay…maybe it happens more than we think. It’s actually the norm. Surprises pop up all the time, and because of that the concept of drilling and practice is something that is required but rarely done.

When was the last time you tested your team? The last time you gave them a mock situation to see how they would react? We are so busy executing that we forget to drill. I am not a military guy by any stretch but among the many this I admire about the US Armed Forces is their ability to drill and be prepared for heightened situations.

Well…we are in a heightened situation. Less jobs, talent is weak and hard to find, and some recruiters are sitting on their hands. Time to drill. Get them thinking and being prepared for our pending recovery. Here are some ideas:

1 mock transfer or division. Pretend your business is going to move a customer service center or large sales group from one location to another. What type of scenario planning will they do? Can they react?

2 technology shift. Pretend your IT department decided to switch from SAP to Oracle.

3 executive without succession plan leaves. How quickly can you react and get moving

Stay sharp so when surprises come, you are ready.

200 Words: Feedback

This is not something to fear, but embrace. Being proactive about your production, process, and relationship management capability with your clients is a good thing. Even our team needs to do it more.

Feedback can be achieved on a daily or weekly basis, or even at the end of a project, but there is a difference between formal and informal feedback, and it’s the formal kind that can really reveal areas of improvement and reinforcement.

There are rules to employee engagement, so don’t go to crazy with your surveys. Get the right type of support and assistance in creating formalized feedback programs. But if you remember anything, have a strong action plan in place to respond to your findings. And that is the lesson. You want to hear poor feedback? Ask your customer what they think and do nothing in response to learning about areas of need.

Feedback starts with asking but is seen as strong when acted upon for improvement. Don’t be scared to ask and act. That is what talent advisors do.

200 Words: Flexagility

I totally stole this word from a client and it means exactly what you think – the ability to be flexible with the work you perform.

In the continued conversation about transformation and the “new recruiting”, flexagility may be one of the most critical functions of the “new recruiter”, aka Talent Officer or Talent Advisor. One area of concern is social networking and it’s relevance to sourcing.

Advisors may want to consider knowing how to perform the work themselves by having great training on the uses of facebook, linkedin, etc so managers know that they are experts yet also flex out the sourcing for prospects via social networks to people that don’t engage the managers directly.

Here is why:
1 it’s easy to violate protected classes by browsing social networks. Having a person who does not interact directly with the manager who does the browsing adds insulation

2 you can burn quite a bit of time hunting on social networks when reacting to an open role. Should you be keystroking or talking to candidates? Ask your managers what they think.

3 Twitter and status reports have now become about attention…look at my link. This is an attraction strategy, not a hunting strategy (like a LinkedIn inmail or Twitter direct message). Smart links save time and that can be managed by your employment brand teams

So have flexagility when it comes to social networking. Try not to own all of the activity yourself…own what you can to add value and protect your business.