Talent Circles

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Recruiting Innovation is About Calculated Risks

We all want to be the best at what we do, to be on the cutting edge and always in the know. However, many things in our day-to-day work can hold us back from being able to do so. For a lot of recruiters, it’s the organizations they call home that are actually keeping them from being the best they can be. Sure, no company wants to hold its employees back from bringing innovation and gaining expertise, but it happens all too often and the majority of the time it comes from a place of fear.

Often times that fear is masked as being too busy with conference calls, PowerPoint presentations and even corporate bureaucracy. It is true that those things are time consuming, especially when it comes to office politics and the pressure that many are under to provide certain results within a particular time frame. What organizations have to realize, though, is that their recruiters who are itching for innovation will either find a way to do it off the grid, will move on to somewhere it’s welcome or will extinguish the fire and go with the flow.

Rather than forcing recruiters to quit thinking innovatively, what if organizations learned how to welcome it in a safe way? After all, not all risk is bad. It just requires some creative thinking to figure out where it fits.

Real risk vs. calculated risk
Real risk is scary. There’s no doubt about that. It’s a shot in the dark, a 50/50 chance and leaves a lot of room for error. However, calculated risk is a much smarter way to step out on a ledge and try something new because it’s a decision you’ve made based on evaluating possible outcomes and potential effects. In terms or actual decisions you’d make at work, the difference between real risk and calculated risk at work is often the time you’ve put in to make it work. Real risk is trying a new method because you heard a speaker at a conference discuss it or a peer say that he or she was giving it a try. Calculated risk takes it a step further and researches who else is using it, why they chose to and what the outcomes have been.

Building risk into your strategy
Another important part of taking a calculated risk is understanding how it fits into your organization’s overall strategy. It’s not enough to know how others have used it. You’ve also got to know why it makes sense for you to use it. How does it help you achieve your recruiting goals? Going even further, how does it help achieve the organization’s overall goals? Companies and recruiters that want to be successful and always on the cutting edge make innovation, and it turn risk, part of their strategy. They build in wiggle room for both time and money to leave space for growing, experimenting and implementing innovative solutions.

Breaking down barriers
Building risk into your recruitingstrategy also helps to break down barriers to innovation. One of the very most basic barriers is leadership not being open to new ideas. By establishing that it is part of your strategy and determining how each idea fits in the plan, you’ll avoid a few headaches of trying to convince others that it’s worth the calculated risk. This also gets rid of the ego problem that some have when others bring new ideas to the table. It’s normal to feel insecure when someone brings up a method that you’ve never heard or thought of, but we have to remember that we can’t be experts in everything, so we have to let some things go. By putting aside your ego, your company’s recruiting could be elevated to an entirely new level. Change of any type can be hard, but when we make room for innovation, you never know what can happen.

 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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