How to Succeed in 2007

As we begin to reflect on what will happen in 2007, I thought a few ideas on how to maximize your success might be welcome. I have linked to articles I have written so that you can dig a bit deeper in the areas that most interest you.

Have a Clear Strategy

As I travel around the world talking to staffing and HR groups, I am amazed at how many have no articulated strategy. When I ask a recruiter what the strategy of their group is, they often answer (if they answer at all) that the strategy is to hire people fast, or something like that.

While that may be a noble concept or good general direction, it is not particularly useful. It’s like the airlines saying their strategy is to fly.

Michael Porter at Harvard defines strategy as, “an integrated set of actions that a company [read function/department/etc.] designs to produce a sustainable competitive advantage and thus attain superior performance.” It may be simple, but it will outline what the group is responsible for accomplishing and how they are going to do it.

A strategy should contain three major elements:

  • Anticipation. A look at the future.
  • Awareness. A look at today.
  • Action. A focus on what should be done.

The act of looking ahead and predicting trends may be very useful in determining directions and structures. For example, if you predict that the hiring levels may significantly increase you may decide that creating a central sourcing group makes a lot of sense.

It is also critical to know how you are doing today and make changes to direction and structure, as needed, based on current feedback. If you have seen no improvement in the time it takes to present a candidate or an increase in cost per hire, now is the time to figure out some ways to positively change those numbers. To read more about this, see this article.

A Workforce Plan: Part of Any Good Recruiting Strategy

Every organization needs to have some indication of what talent it will need over the coming year, as well as a sense of what talent is available in the marketplace. The general shortage of talent and the growth many organizations are undergoing globally have forced many organizations to look at workforce planning in a serious way.

They are realizing that it is not enough to just calculate turnover and projected growth and then go recruit the people. The people they need may not exist or they may be very hard to find. Sometimes they are available but in far corners of the globe.

The process of acquiring talent requires more sophisticated thinking and tools than have previously been characteristic of the human resources or recruiting functions. There are fewer traditional jobs and fewer traditional sources of talent that are still reliable. The challenge of supplying talent to businesses will grow and has already created a new emphasis on workforce planning. To read more about this, see this article.

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Build a Better Website

Websites are essential to your success. Candidates rely on them for information about your organization and as the vehicle to actually apply for a position. Websites with interactive content, solid information about jobs and opportunities, and that are written in an authentic style will help improve your overall attraction, selection, and closing rates.

Organizations like KPMG, Deloitte, Federated Department Stores, and Microsoft have all invested in developing state-of-the-art sites. These sites often contain blogs, links to videos, chat rooms, or FAQ links, and many offer a variety of languages. If you are doing college recruiting, you will most definitely need a modern, fun, and interactive site to keep up with the expectations of today’s Gen Y workers.

You will also need to keep your site effective by tracking what works and what doesn’t. Metrics are powerful in letting you see where people go on your site, how much time they spend, and even where they do not go at all. To read more about this, see this article.

Focus on Candidate Relationships

Emblazon this motto on your wall (or cube): “Never lose a qualified candidate because we don’t have an open position.” If you believe that talent is scarce and hard to find, and if your organization is spending the amount of money I think it is on sourcing, then you need to nurture and hang on to every quality candidate.

By developing and using candidate relationship management tools and techniques, you can communicate with and build relationships with lots of good candidates. You can create a special website exclusively for the best candidates that gives them inside information about potential opportunities. You can send out special emails or create private blogs just for them.

Whatever combination of things you decide to do, you will be developing a relationship with a candidate. It may make him or her more receptive to a future offer when you do have a position. To read more about this, see this article from way back in 2002!

My next article will be in January, and I wish you all a happy New Year. May 2007 be even better than this one and may you all be wiser, richer, and even better looking.

Kevin Wheeler is a globally known speaker, author, futurist, and consultant in talent management, human capital acquisition and learning & development. He has founded a number of organizations including the Future of Talent Institute, Global Learning Resources, Inc. and the Australasian Talent Conference, Ltd. He hosts Future of Talent Retreats in the U.S., Europe, and Australia. He writes frequently on LinkedIn, is a columnist for ERE.net, keynotes, and speaks at conferences and events globally, and advises firms on talent strategy. He has authored two books and hundreds of articles and white papers. He has a new book on recruiting that will be out in late summer of 2016. Prior to his current work, he had a 20+year corporate career in several San Francisco area tech and financial service firms. He has also been on the faculty of San Francisco State University and the University of San Francisco. He can be reached at kwheeler@futureoftalent.org.

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2 Comments on “How to Succeed in 2007

  1. If you read Kevin’s work, you see why he is, in my mind, the number one recruiting thinker out there. He is thoughtful, to the point, and always right on the money. (The fact that he is not hysterically promoting his business is easy on the eyes as well.)

    We need more Kevin Wheelers in 2007.

    Howard Adamsky

  2. Kevin,

    I just want to say…how much we have enjoyed for great articles that have provided this ERE audience and discussions that are both though provoking and relevant to the world of recruitment.

    You have clearly given all recruiters both agencies and corporate recruiters a ‘feast of thoughts’ that clearly have helped us…..add more meaning and purpose to the recruitment profession.

    We look forward to your great discussions in the New Year 2007.

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