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You’re going to go through tough times – that’s life. But I say, ‘Nothing happens to you, it happens for you.’ See the positive in negative events. Joel Osteen
“Never bend your head. Always hold it high. Look the world straight in the eye.” #morningthought @schreibertalent
Recruiting – Does your organization really work as a team?
This week was the NFL draft and teams have been preparing for months to figure out who they are going to draft. Is the idea to bring in the best players available or go after a position player that might have an immediate direct positive impact on the team.
This got me thinking; why are recruiting organizations not set up in the same type of manner as professional sports teams? Why does almost every recruiting organization expect all their recruiters to perform the same functions at the same level regardless of their skill set and regardless of everyone’s particular talent. How can that make sense?
For example, when putting together a Baseball team, the General Manager does not go out and sign only roll players. That is, even though they are “professional baseball players” they do not expect each player to be able to play every position including pitching and catching. Sparky Andersen, the once Manager of the Cincinnati Reds in mid 70’s was asked: How come your teams are so successful year in and year out. He replied; “I put my players in the best position to win and then get the hell out of the way.” For example, he put the best player at 2nd base, (Joe Morgan,) who was his best second baseman and plays his best catcher, (Johnny Bench) and let them do the job they were paid to do. That is how professional sports organizations build their teams. Hire the best people they can and put them in positions to be successful and let them do their jobs. Sparky did not change the line up the next game and have Jonny Bench play second base and Joe Morgan catch just because he thought that being a professional baseball player meant that they should be able to play every position. That would be foolish and not be in the best interest of the players, team or the organization.
(It is also a great example of how being a manager who does not micromanage and has confidents in his/her personnel choices can create an atmosphere for success. Yet, that is a topic for another day.)
Yes, every team has role players, players who can, when needed, fill in at different positions. But they do not build entire teams or organizations around role players Because, in the end the team would not be able to reach any type of real success on a consistent basis.
Why then do recruiting organizations feel that being a professional recruiter means that a person has to do everything and anything deemed a recruiting responsibility? Like in baseball, not all players can play or should play every position on the field, correct? Yet they are all considered to be a valuable part of the team. Then why have recruiters responsible for the same job description, same expectations and same metrics as every other recruiter? How is it possible to believe everyone who is a professional recruiter would be able to perform all the same duties at the same high level of standards and/or expectations?
Being a professional baseball player breaks down into subsets of; Catcher, Pitcher, 1st, 2nd 3rd, SS and outfield. Along with pinch hitters, pinch runners, relief pitchers, (with a subset of middle, long and closer). They are all professional baseball players, but with very different and unique skill sets. Of course, every team must have players with these skillsets on their roster. They are all professional baseball players, but with different skill sets.
Professional Recruiters are the same; Researching, Sourcing, Cold Calling, Candidate Management, Client Management, Operational Training, Communication Specialist. All these are important skills just to name a few. Yet, who really believes that a “Professional Recruiter” would excel in every one of these skill sets. And how could anyone feel that a team of professional recruiters would all have the equal ability to perform these skills at the highest level needed for success.
My time and experience has lead me to the following conclusion: Recruiters in recruiting departments, are not really treated like being part of a team. They are people who may be under the same banner or same department, but they are treated and feel like individuals. Their success or failure is based on their individual performance and not that of the team’s performance. I have seen recruiting organizations in some very large companies talk about the “team” and try hard to work as a “team”. Yet every single member of that team had the same job responsibilities, same demands and was expected to perform at the same level, regardless of what their skills set was best suiter for.
Let me explain why I believe that can lead to failure and high turnover within an organization. Or, at best only allow the recruiting engine to perform at lower level then it should. If we go back to my baseball example, every member of the team has one united goal, to win the game. So, with that in mind, they play as a team. The best players, play at the positions they excel at and the other players fill in and do what is needed to help the team win. Some are excellent pitch hitters, or pinch runners, or come in late for defensive purposes. Some players have a unique skill, like a relieve pitcher who is the closer. His job is to come in a get the final out and win the game. His value to the team, is not based on how many pitches he throws or how many batters he faces, it’s to get the final out and win the game.
Why do we not set up our recruiting teams in the same way? Let’s find out who are the best researchers, the best cold callers, the best candidate closers and put those people in positions to be successful. If a person has an ability to research and find the candidates that an organization wants, yet that same person does not be have best communicating skills to work the phone, then why make that person get on the phone? Why not let that person do what they are good at, research? Is their value to the team not just as important as the person who loves to jump on the phone and call a candidate and bring them in to the process? Does not the recruiting organization run better when their employees are motivated and excited to come to work every day and do what they like and are good at? In the end, if good candidates are being brought into process, then the team wins. Placements or hires should not just be considered the property of one person, they should be considered a success for the entire team.
Of course, everyone’s performance needs to be evaluated, but evaluated against what and who? Would it be fair to measure a recruiter who exceeds in providing research and candidate information against a recruiter who has a strong skill set in cold calling and making phone contact. No, of course not! But that is what happens in almost every internal recruiting agency and department in business today. Recruiters may be told they are part of a team, but they work against each other by not working with each other. Why, because in the end they are measured by their individual performance and the recruiters know it. There is no real motivation to work as a team. Recruiters become siloed into their individual “desk” responsibilities and really do not worry about what’s happening with other team members. They worry about their metrics and their metrics alone. Not always understanding or even caring that a “win” for them does not always equal a win for the entire “team”. What good does it produce if a team loses the game, but individual players talk about how great they played at their specific position? In the end, it does no good. What happens is the team unit will break down and players will start to play and work for themselves not the good of the team. That is what is defined as a failed organization. Who holds the blame when such a situation happens? Simple, management and management alone. Again, a topic I will address in my next upcoming podcast.
In football, the success of the team, is measured by its wins and losses against the expectations set out at the beginning of the season. Each individual player has his performance measured on a weekly basis against the standard set for that position. What does that mean, simply this; An offensive lineman is rated and evaluated against what the team considered the standard should be for a player at that position. They are not evaluated against a player who might be a running back, or kickoff returner or field goal kicker. See, they are all part of the team doing what they need to do to make the team win. Yet, they each have their own individual jobs to do on the team to help make the team successful.
Remember, the team can only be successful if all parts perform up to their highest ability and understand what’s expected of them and work as a unit.
Thank you and please send any comments or questions to my personal email: email@example.com .
Thank you again for your time.
Jim Schreiber, CSP