Focusing on creating employee experiences is table stakes. To attract and retain mission critical talent, take a BOLD redesign approach to COMPETE for Talent.
Are you struggling to hire and retain mission critical roles and seeing a negative impact on your organization's growth? Many companies are facing the same challenge, sometimes with talented employees leaving the industry altogether because they are so frustrated with the industry or profession.
We faced a similar issue in our business years ago, where finding recruitment consultants was a major challenge for us in a smaller market. It was limiting our revenue growth and killing margins.
We decided to tackle the issue by doing the opposite of what other companies were doing when redesigning the role of recruiters in our company to take away many of the things recruiters disliked doing.
For example, we focused on making sure the recruiters could be successful by limiting the number of requisitions to between 4 and 10 (vs industry averages of 40+). This benefited the client in terms of quality and speed of hire.
We made changes to the sales process to ensure our recruiters were involved in the front end proposal phase so they only proposed projects we could be successful on or be able to set expectations with the clients. The best thing about this was, it made the client experience SO much better too!
Implementing clear career paths with leadership opportunities was also a big winner as most recruiters don’t have clear career paths into leadership.
The results were impressive, with a reducing turnover from over 50% to 5% and many boomerangs.
If you're facing similar challenges, it may be worth looking at ways to redesign your critical roles to compete for the talent - like you would design a product or service to compete.
So do you have mission critical roles that, if they are left unfilled or have turnover, it is devastating to your organization from a revenue perspective? Is there growth at stake for your organization? Meaning if you don't get these people in place, your growth will be stagnant. Does it feel like no matter how hard your talent acquisition team works, they can't seem to keep up with the demand for these mission critical roles? Are you talking to your peers and finding they're experiencing the very same thing? And are some of these people just leaving the industry altogether, not just your firm, but they're leaving the industry because systemically the role is just one that it feels like they can't be successful in?
So if I go back to a business that I ran a dozen or so years ago, we were in a market where it was very challenging to find this particular type of talent. The talents happened to be talent acquisition experts. So we had to hire hundreds of recruiters each year. And if we weren't able to do that, we would not meet our revenue goals. So of course, there were things that we tried to focus in on to make it a better employee experience. I'm not even sure that word existed back then. To try to make it a great place to work. But it was still really challenging.
And so what we ended up doing is basically redesigning the role altogether. And looking at our competition and saying, how do we redesign this role to be different than the rest of the world? So for example, most recruiters in a corporate setting will have 30, 40, 50 requisitions that they have to handle. And it's basically a racket. It's so hard to feel successful because all you're doing is shuffling resumes. If they worked in a contingency type of environment, then they had to do the sales. They also had to work on speed versus quality to get resumes in quickly. And in our particular market, there weren't any executive search firms to recruit from.
So what we did is we said, hey, we are going to redesign this role in a way that ensures that our recruiters can be successful, feel successful, feel like they are making a difference. We took all the things that recruiters disliked about their role, and we said, "We're going to go and do the opposite." Now, this was so much more than just rewriting a job description. This had to do with organizational change altogether and transformation.
So what this meant was things like if you came from corporate and you had 40 reqs, we would design our programs and our job description for a recruiter so that, if they were working on tough, tough searches, they would have no more than five searches at a time. Plus they would have research support, which is one of the other things they didn't love doing. We gave them a career path, right? Ability to not just be a recruiter, but also an ability to lead teams, to lead projects, to get that client experience. We also worked with the board to make sure that they had a nice upside in their bonus structure to be rewarded for their results.
Chose to consult as a recruiter at our firm, you didn't have to do sales. So unlike in contingency recruiting, you had to go out and bring in your own clients. And in our case, you did not have to do that. You had salespeople who brought in clients for you. The other thing we did that frustrated a lot of recruiters, especially in RPO type setting, was to basically say, "Hey, you're involved in the front end sales process." And setting expectations with the clients and crafting the solutions to make sure that it's something that we can actually be successful at, versus only having the salesperson go out and sell a deal that you can't fulfill.
So those were just some of the examples of how we completely blew up the recruiting job description and basically created a whole new paradox for them. We had a 5% turnover rate, that as well as other reasons because of the whole career pathing, and it was a great culture and fun place to work. But also when we lost people, more than likely, they would boomerang back if we wanted them to.
So these are pretty drastic times, and drastic times require drastic measures. And that may mean the entire team, not just HR, but the entire organization looking at how to really transform the business so that you can compete for the talent. When you have the great talent, you get to deliver great services. When you deliver great services, you get to charge more and make more margin, which fuels itself. It allows you to go and hire better people. In any case, so if you're a CEO, and you're trying to figure out how do we compete, think about opportunities to compete for the talent the same way you try to compete for business. So if you're a CEO of an organization, and you're struggling with these strategic talent discussions, feel free to ping me or direct message me, and maybe we can schedule some time to chat.
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