Simplicity can be very powerful (as told in my last blog post). It’s especially true when the mountain in front of you is tall and steep. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Every day I have meaningful conversations with talent leaders about their goals for implementing a CRM. One recently stuck in my mind. Now, my client, he used the following scenario to break down three types of recruiting functions. He’s trying to move from number 2 to 3. I like it because it’s simple and will no doubt keep him on track for the next few years as he upgrades the recruitment function in his organization.
Function 1: The Generalists
This is the recruiting function that relies on the HR coordinator/generalist whose partial responsibility it is to assist in the recruiting process (typically coordinating interviews, new hire processing, etc.). No doubt, most of the hiring managers in this type of business are using third party agencies. This type of recruiting function seems to be most prevalent in small companies that haven’t yet made the investment to build out a talent function. It’s not “bad” by definition but simply a choice that may or may not be the right fit for some companies.
Function 2: The Strategists
This type of recruiting function is one that sits down with the hiring manager and, when presented with an open role, responds with “here is our sourcing strategy”. What follows is an in-depth list of sourcing channels where they plan to look for possible leads. For many this is a significant improvement if you upgraded from something that resembles Function 1 or 1 1/2. Many companies fall into this category and it’s safe to assume that at least some of your sourcing process will always be this way. However, the risk here is that it’s reactive; you start each assignment from the beginning every time – you’re rolling the rock up the hill starting from the bottom more than you need to. Many hiring managers will be impressed with your strategic approach to the service but you need to remember that it’s relative. So don’t let that fool you. You’re good but not great and, most importantly, you’re not likely to be more competitive than most by now.
Function 3: The Game Changers
This type of recruiting function is one that sits down with the hiring manager and, when presented with an open role, can confidently respond with “here’s what we’ve got”. What follows is an in-depth list of people – internal and external – that have already been identified with the needed skill set, comp range, experience, target employers, and other important profile data. They might not even need to post the job since they’ve worked hard at identifying and engaging key talent in the market using a CRM. This function might even bring the talent – due to it’s availability – to the hiring manager before she has an open req. Your hiring cycle time compresses significantly, advertising costs go down, customer satisfaction goes way up, and the list of benefits goes on.
Quick and simple synopses, when posted in a public forum like this, can result in backlash. Anyone can come up with a thousand reasons why Function 3 isn’t practical or relevant – it all depends on the roles, we don’t know what to look for until the roles open up, we’re too busy to get out of hit-and-run recruiting, we don’t have the headcount…. I get that. But you can’t ignore the point. If your recruiters sit down with a hiring manager to discuss an open role can they respond with, “Here’s what I’ve got”? Many components need to fall into place to get there – the people, systems, workforce plan, headcount, change management – but along the way you can always ask yourself that question to gauge your progress. That in and of itself is very simple and very powerful.