Need a Person to Run Your Recruiting Department? Hire an Entrepreneurial Manager

Screen Shot 2013-03-20 at 12.02.50 PMEntrepreneurship has been described as taking a blank piece of paper, with all its uncertainty, and then developing it into a work of art. Recruiting is more of an art than a science. All the processes in the world cannot stop Joe Candidate from cancelling his interview with you five minutes before it was scheduled. Rigid procedures cannot prevent Jane Employee from not showing up to work the first day. Because of this uncertainty, flexibility and creativity are huge factors for success in the recruiting industry. The other day, I asked one of my staff members, Matt Greenburg, to write a recommendation for me. Here’s what he said:

“Jenny is a new wave entrepreneurial management type who is hell bent on macro- and micro- growth and development. Working under Jenny was a decision essential for my growth both professionally and personally. Jenny’s management style brings out the best and highest qualities of her team.”

The key words here are growth and development. With the new Generation Y workforce, we cannot ignore their values, which are different from that of their predecessors. In surveying a number of Gen Y recruiters in Silicon Valley, what they believe to be a successful work environment are:

  • A competitive but supportive atmosphere
  • Advancement opportunities
  • Work hard, play hard with strong accountability from management
  • Little to no micro-management
  • Teamwork with shared goals
  • Open, fun company with a family atmosphere
  • Recognition for hard work
  • Change and innovation

They expect their manager to foster this type of environment. Vipin Gupta, management professor at Fordham, and Ian C. MacMillan, director of Wharton’ s Sol C. Snider Entrepreneurial Center, uncovered that the entrepreneurial leader must fulfill two charges:

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  1. Build commitment: Promote a willingness among employees to work toward a common goal, in the sense of traditional, motivating team-building.
  2. “Define gravity:” Break down team members’ self-imposed perceptual barriers and stereotypes about what can and can’t be done, in order to produce integrative and decisive actions. An entrepreneurial leader will have a sense of the degree to which people resources have been undervalued.

Steve Jobs, who I consider to be one of the greatest entrepreneurs ever, once said in the video “The First Macintosh” that “the greatest people are self-managing — they don’t need to be managed. What they need is a common vision, and that’s what leadership is — getting consensus around that common vision.”

It’s not about gigantic salaries and prestigious titles. These young teams need a leader who will rally with them and have their backs. So, if you are out there looking for that next leader in your recruiting organization, it’s time to “Think Different.”

Jenny Hayes Rhoten has been a leader in the technology and staffing industries for more than 10 years. She has a BA in Psychology from the University of Oklahoma and will be graduating with her MS in Organization Development from the University of San Francisco in 2013.


1 Comment on “Need a Person to Run Your Recruiting Department? Hire an Entrepreneurial Manager

  1. Thanks, Jenny. Over the years, I’ve been fortunate to have a few (too few) recruiting managers who were exceptional, and they did a lot of what I describe next:

    These are what I think they SHOULD do (sometimes they want to, but aren’t able to):
    1.The goal of their department is to quickly, easily, and affordably (minimizing the use of 3PR unless clearly and thoroughly justified) putting quality butts in chairs. They work by the principles of the *Agile Recruiting Manifesto, and use it for their company’s needs.

    They tell their recruiting teams three things:
    1) We’ll provide you the resources you need to do your jobs
    2) We’ll work with you to establish and maintain the cooperation you need to do you jobs
    3) Now do your jobs, and “don’t sweat the **small stuff”

    That pretty much covers it.



    *Manifesto for Agile Recruiting

    We are uncovering better ways of hiring people by doing it and helping others do it.

    Through this work we have come to value:

    Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
    Quick, quality hires over comprehensive documentation
    Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
    Responding to change over following a plan

    Principles behind the Agile Recruiting Manifesto

    We follow these principles:

    Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of quality hires.
    Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer’s competitive advantage.
    Deliver quality hires frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale.
    Internal customers and recruiters must work together daily throughout the project.
    Build projects around motivated individuals.
    Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.
    The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a recruiting team is face-to-face conversation.
    A quality hire which is on time and within budget is the primary measure of progress.
    Agile processes promote sustainable employee development.
    The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.
    Continuous attention to professional excellence and first-class service enhances agility.
    Simplicity — the art of maximizing the amount of work not done — is essential.
    The best requirements, processes, and hires emerge from self-organizing teams.
    At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.

    **Anything that’s not: quickly, easily, and affordably (minimizing the use of 3PR unless clearly and thoroughly justified) putting quality butts in chairs.

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