Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The 'war for talent' is back on…make the difference with a happy recruiter

One thing is obvious from the numerous blogs on recruitment trends for 2018: the ‘war for talent’ is back on. With unemployment rates at a historical low, it becomes increasingly difficult to attract the right people to fill the numerous vacancies.

Employers as well as recruitment agencies are investing heavily in all sorts of supporting platforms to communicate with a population who is, at times, close to being harassed with one exciting employment opportunity after the other. From AI to quickly find those people that match the job requirements to gamification to assess key skills to automated assessment techniques eliminating all human bias …. We are even offering candidates a virtual reality tour to show them every day office life.

I am intrigued by most of these new features and I am actively exploring how they can benefit to my business. The time of the Rolodex with highly valued telephone numbers and the ever so secret ‘network of contacts’ is finally over. But the more I look into those new technologies, one thing strikes me: although we been putting a lot of effort and investment into marketing techniques combined with big data analysis to create the right message to seduce the target audience, we seem to have forgotten that those same ‘know, like, trust’ essentials also apply to the first physical person they encounter in their candidate journey: the recruiter.

There is no certification required to become a recruiter. Very often, it is an entry position into human resource, a stepping stone towards becoming an HR business partner. But it is the first human contact candidates have with a potential employer.

But with no formal education on the job, what qualities will make a great recruiter?

First of all, you need someone who will model your organization, who is a true representative of your company culture. Someone who can tell your story in such a way that the right people get excited. In order to do so, you need someone with business acumen, someone who can talk to candidates beyond the interview clichés. But you also need someone who is authentic. Candidates are able to feel whether you are truly connected to the story that you are selling.

Secondly, you need someone who has the time to be genuinely interested in the person sitting in front of them. Very often, recruiters are struggling to juggle the pressure of a hiring manager with the high volume of requisitions on their desk. Consequently, it is tempting to put just any candidate forward just to get things moving.

And last but not least, you need someone who can build trust. After all, changing jobs will put any candidate in an insecure position. If a candidate thinks you are just pitching smoking mirrors with them, you’re not landing them. You have to be honest. You also need to be willing to show them the negative aspects to paint the entire picture. Convincing someone that your opportunity is worth taking their chances requires the capability of building such a trusting relationship in a very short amount of time.
So, next to the cool technologies, it might be time to invest into your talent acquisition staff in order to win the war for talent. Hiring the right recruiters and creating such an environment that your recruiter is a happy recruiter might make all the difference in attracting the right talent. As always, I am curious to hear your thoughts J.

On a different note, check your mailbox next week for a special edition of my newsletter. We have been working heavily on getting Ingenium Executive Search ready for the coming years and next week, we will be launching our first step.

I look forward to hearing from you,

Through a personalized and tailor-made approach, Ingenium Executive Search aspires to assist you in attracting the right talent that matches the DNA of your company

Check out our website http://www.ingenium-search.be

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

From a fixed to a flexible workforce…are we there yet?

I remember when I joined Agfa in 2001, people told me that finally I had chosen a company that would offer me guaranteed employment until my retirement. Needless to say, that, at the age of 29, the prospect of spending 30 years in the same company freaked me out.
As I am settling in into my new co-working space, I cannot help but think how much employment has changed over the past 15 years.

And we seem to be taken it even further as one of the major trends for 2018 is the evolution towards a more flexible workforce. From the traditional organisation consisting largely of employees with clearly defined roles and responsibilities, we will evolve towards organisations with a diverse workforce of employees and independent individual contributors working in a project-oriented way.

From an economical point of view, this evolution makes perfect sense. In today’s rapidly changing business environment, companies that rely solely on full-time employees are finding they have neither the skills nor the agility to sustain success. Working with a blended workforce, will allow leaders to unleash fresh energy and thinking inside their organisations, and quickly meet staffing needs when new opportunities arise.

But when I look at every day’s reality, I cannot help but wonder…are we there yet?

Start-ups tend to feel 100% comfortable with this type of organisation. It allows them to be agile and to quickly respond to market needs. The majority of their workforce also consists of millennials who put a lot of emphasis on the flexibility an employer is offering, not only from a working hours or location point of view but also from a content point of view. But even there, research indicates that millennials seek flexibility within a full-time context.

When it comes to more established organisations, there is a larger gap between the creation of a flexible workforce and everyday reality.
The majority of my clients still prefer to select candidates who are willing to commit to an organisation long term. They tend to select candidates with a traditional career path, with growing responsibilities with a few employers rather than people who combine interim assignments with pay-roll based roles. Positions are closely linked to job descriptions, stating clearly defined roles and responsibilities rather than profile descriptions for project oriented roles based on key skills.

Evolving towards a flexible workforce will require different skills from both managers and employees but above all, it requires a different mindset.  Both parties will need a shift in mindset towards more open, less restrictive organisational structures emphasising partnering and collaboration.
Managers will need to learn to lead virtual networks of individual contributors they can no longer “manage by walking around.” Key management traits will be the capability to manage scope, launch teams and provide feedback and coaching to individuals they do not formally control. Employees will need to develop skills relating to quickly forming relationships and facilitating teamwork among project staff who have never worked together before.

Ultimately, the new world of work requires executives to completely revise their relationship with talent. HR will need to play a leading role in driving this shift. Organisations should focus more on defining capabilities and enabling access to the skills they need, and focus less on where internal people sit or finding the perfect person for an internal role.

Lets face it … what a challenge this will be. I cannot wait to see what 2018 will bring. And you…do you think this trend will truly become reality or will it remain one of the many buzzwords?

I look forward to hearing from you,

Through a personalised and tailor-made approach, Ingenium Executive Search aspires to assist you in attracting the right talent that matches the DNA of your company

Check out our website http://www.ingenium-search.be

Follow me on Twitter @IngeniumSearch

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Is it ok to contact you directly on your work e-mail?

Last week, I received an e-mail from a target candidate. He was so offended by the fact that I had contacted him on his work e-mail that he took the time to share his feelings with me…in very clear words…

I can fully understand that someone does not like to receive calls on their cell phone. Let’s face it, most of us are in an open space office and receiving a call from a headhunter is uncomfortable at best.
Or imagine that you are in the car…with your boss…and you get me on hands free. Such an approach might not be the right way to engage you in an exploratory conversation.

I tend to turn to e-mail to pitch my opportunity in the hope that you will be attracted by it, or curious at least.
Obviously, there is LinkedIn, which is an easy way to get in touch and that is usually the starting point. But we all know that not everyone checks his or her LinkedIn account on a regular basis. When you have the right profile for a position, chances are that I will take the time to dig up an e-mail address that I can use to contact you directly. And in most cases, your work e-mail will be the easiest to find.

There are several ways to respond to my pitch e-mail.
When you are interested in this or future opportunities but you prefer to stay in touch through a private e-mail address, you can simply ask me to use another e-mail for future correspondence or even easier, send me a reply from your private account.
When you are not interested, a simple ‘thanks but no’ will do the trick. But it is equally fine to just delete it. I’ll get the message and I won’t be contacting you again.

When you do direct search, like I do, there is no other way than to invade your privacy to find to out whether you are open to explore new job opportunities. After all, my clients pay me to find the best possible candidate for a position. So rather than being offended by the ‘creative’ ways I use to get your attention, consider it a compliment, a sign that your profile is attractive to other employers.

Nevertheless, the clear words of my candidate resonate so here is here is my question for you: what is your preferred way of being contacted for job opportunities?

I look forward to hearing from you,

Through a personalized and tailor-made approach, Ingenium Executive Search aspires to assist you in attracting the right talent that matches the DNA of your company

Check out our website http://www.ingenium-search.be

Follow me on Twitter @IngeniumSearch