This is my own blog on my very own website. So, I feel safe here. This is my place to speak the truth. My truth about the world as I see it. Here goes.
I recently spoke to a group of HR professionals. In case you job searchers out there need some validation: HR does NOT get it. Throughout my presentation I felt as if I was hitting a brick wall. I had this epiphany. This is exactly how candidates feel when they apply for positions or try to make a follow up call. HR is a brick wall. I could feel it.
I was speaking about recruiting. But mostly I was speaking about engaging people in order to build a brighter employer brand. Did I say engage? This room full of HR pros looked straight ahead. They refused to make eye contact. They would not answer the questions I posed to bring them into the presentation. I wanted to tap into the wisdom in the room.
I was knocking, okay pounding, on a brick wall and no one could hear me. The HR folks did not want to let me in.
Now, you may be thinking: Carrie must not be a very engaging speaker. She does not know how to engage an audience. On Contraire! I do! I recently spoke at Quid Novi to rave reviews! It was not me. It was them.
Sadly, I was once one of them. Before I was a career counselor, I was an HR pro just like these folks. Only different. I have always been drawn to people and knew that HUMAN resources needed to be about people. Not paperwork. The folks in my audience could not wait to get back to their paperwork.
Here was my message to the HR crowd. You have a unique opportunity to help your organization thrive by engaging your current employees AND engaging with candidates in order to become known as an employer of choice. This will give you a competitive advantage over other organizations that fail to see recruitment as the new PR. Recruitment is PR. How you recruit tells the world a LOT about your organization. People are watching this and taking it in. Top talent will NOT engage with you if you fail to engage with them in positive ways.
Here are 5 of my key points:
- Treat everyone as a potential employee, referral, or customer.
- Respond to people. You can use technology to help with this process BUT you must make your response human. No more dry, mean, off-putting emails to candidates who aren’t moving forward in the process. Think bigger. You may need this very talent tomorrow. If not them, then you may want to engage someone they know. Send people away in a manner that helps them feel GOOD about your organization. Make sure they know they can always come back in the future.
- Re-write those job postings! Top talent is NOT going to apply for a job that sounds more like a death sentence on a chain gang. Seriously.
- Make your application process easy and don’t waste people’s time having them jump through a million hoops before you even say, “Hello.”
- Figure out where your top talent hangs out and go there. Go there and be engaging. Hint: This requires that you stop doing paperwork.
So, at the end of my presentation I was feeling pretty shaken. The crowd was rough. Then one woman said, “You got me thinking. Maybe I need to go back to the office and change my voicemail. I make it clear that I won’t be returning their calls.”
I smiled. Okay, the presentation was a flop. But, if I opened one mind to a new way of thinking about recruiting, that was enough. That was my gift to the job seekers of the world. Maybe my fabulous clients will face one less brick wall.