Recruiting Strategy 2

(Oct 31, 2008) Recruiting is chartered with "finding the right

One of the most positive aspects of outsourcing the entire Recruiting Process is the way it forces the organization into a more strategic posture. The only RPO (Recruitment Process Outsourcing) projects that actually work have a heavy emphasis on Requirements definition. This means business alignment by design. A useful experiment in the development of a Recruiting Strategy is to write the spec for outsourcing the function.

The best specifications create a framework for decision making. Knowing the context and objectives of the organization is the starting point for the development of great Strategy. The reason that development of a spec helps is that it forces the team to think of Recruiting as a strategic additive. The team responsible for managing an outsourcing contract must, by definition, manage for strategic advantage.

You just have to get the spec right.

Overall, that’s going to be the driving dynamic in the continuing evolution of Recruiting: getting the spec right. It will have to be done at the individual level, the work unit, the broad functional divisions and at the enterprise level. There are precise descriptions of required states and measures of tolerance. It’s just like any other function.

Along the way, we’re going to have to jettison sloppy generalizations. We’ll move from "Attrition Rate" to Retention bands subdivided along age, gender, ethnic and professional discipline lines. Gross generalizations about diversity are going to come under serious scrutiny. Noticing that retention has a high correlation to age will become an increasingly important vector to manage.

In other words, the responsibility for managing the shape and content of the workforce (obviously a Recruiting charter) is becoming vastly more sophisticated than the imprecise language we’re currently using. Many of our unwritten assumptions are out of date. Take "HR is the enemy", for instance. In more and more cases, the head of HR is a Recruiting leader. Although the vendors work the angles pretty hard, HR stopped being the enemy 10 years ago.

We’re charging towards an era of increasingly detailed specification and measurement. It’s important because it allows (even encourages) us to take ever more control of the direction and health of our organizations. Recruiters are about to learn to tell the difference between a placement that improves the health of the company and one that denigrates it. Targets fot the "right" talent will get both increasingly precise and simultaneously more open. You can improvise once you’ve mastered the scales.


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Thought For The Day: "Why" is the question that matters. It precedes "How". Top