Talent Circles

Thursday, September 25, 2014

How to Evolve From Reaction to Interaction

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

HR and recruitment is a department where actions and activities are based on reactions to business situations like forecasting sales changes, turnover, or business or segment restructuring. Believe me, I’ve been there. There is no worse feeling in HR or recruiting when the VP of your division casually makes you aware of a headcount change for the upcoming quarter (beginning next week) that requires adding an additional staff of 745. Add on the unrealistic staffing goal of having those employees hired and on boarded in less than 30 days and it’s easy to see why HR has a bad rap for their reactive business qualities.

There’s nothing more thrilling for some than the rush of adrenaline that is accompanied with reactive recruiting and the onset of unrealistic expectations from a business leader like my VP. It’s fun for a while. You tell yourself that you live for situations like these. Meeting and exceeding unrealistic expectations. You and your team put in the long and countless hours, and pat yourself on the back for a job well down. That is until a distinct pattern begins to develop.

As a recruitment or HR leader, you begin to witness a pattern of these behaviors. Maybe it’s your VP swinging by your office the last week of every quarter setting you into yet again another adrenalin filled fire drill. Your blood pressure spikes. You miss time with your friends and maybe three week’s of your kids soccer game. Members of your team begin to feel deflated, upset and complain. You try to put their thoughts to rest but secretly admit that no amount of attaboys are going to make you enjoy this recruitment tap dance where your shoes set on fire each month, quarter or during the busy season. You and your recruiting team deserve a little sanity.

Recruitment should be a partner working directly with my VP either present annual or quarterly planning meetings. In order to be effective recruitment must move from reactive to interactive recruiting.

Interactive recruiting is:

*A partner. One where hiring managers, business leaders and recruiting teams actually talk with one another. Planning, strategy and conversations must happen in order to be effective.

*Is Involved. In all staffing planning and decisions. If conversations happen where the workforce headcount is being, shifted, added or reduced, recruiting must be involved in this conversations to set realistic expectations and plan accordingly. There is no way I can physically hire 745 people in a week without the right tools, resources and people to do the job.

*Develops a Pipeline. This planning starts with the development of a pipeline and a strategy to source, find and locate 2,235 candidates. Because recruiting has determined that it takes 3 candidates to fill 1 position at your company.

*Uses Forecasting. Similarly to how executives use sales forecasting tools and resources to help create their own long term and short term business projections, staffing and headcounts should follow a similar pattern. Companies should begin discussing current pipeline counts and available candidate pools for new locations especially those in unfamiliar geographic areas where employment patterns are uncertain.

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s is the Chief Blogger & Founder of Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @jmillermerrell


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