Face Mask to Protect yourselfNearly all employees feel the weight of hard times.  They have seen jobs eliminated, maybe they have survived a round or two of layoffs, but they know that at any time the belt could tighten again and their job could be next.  It can be a really frightening reality.

But, you can’t live in fear.  You do need to accept that many of the “tasks” of recruiters are tasks that can be outsourced.  Does that necessarily make the most sense?  Well, it might not matter.  If the dollars and common sense show otherwise, and your CFO has tough decisions to make, outsourcing may be the way to go.

Your job is to stay relevant and protect yourself.  You have to re-invent yourself or your department and ensure that you’re providing a tangible benefit which won’t be achieved via an outsourced vendor, or that you’re replaced with the occasional freelance contractor.

You’ve got one crucial element on your side.  People.  Human capital is a company’s most valuable asset.  If you are in charge of ensuring a steady flow of excellent candidates who will help your organization stay relevant than you should be good to go.  You’ve got to prove though, that this goal cannot be achieved via outsourcing, AND you need to show that you’re achieving this goal as efficiently as possible.

  1. Get Lean- Evaluate all of the tasks associated with recruiting.  Sourcing, writing job posts, searching, matching, screening, documenting, filing, etc.  All the administrative tasks have got to be done as efficiently as possible.    These are the “tasks” that can all be outsourced.   Ensure that your lowest paid resources are handling the most mundane tasks and that quality is never sacrificed.  You should never be missing required paperwork for a new hire.
  2. Top Grade Company Interview Skills-  Work with all hiring managers to ensure their interviewing skills are top quality.  In the New Year, put together a new list of interview questions based on business nuances that occurred over the past year.  Set up monthly interviewing training and ensure that all hiring managers have attended the training and have received some type of “certification.”
  3. Be a Metrics Maven- How did your department fare in 2011?  What was your average time to hire? Cost per candidate?  Set new goals for 2012 and ensure that your department is contributing in a positive way to the bottom line, and that you’re stretching yourself to achieve higher performance.
  4. Anticipate- What are the key positions you will likely need to hire this year?  What are the key skills and abilities that will be needed for your company to succeed this year?  What challenges will your company be facing and how will that impact hiring?  Example, two new competitors entered your market and they appear to be highly innovative.  How will that impact how your company innovates and develops its product.  Sit down with your lead architect and figure out exactly who he needs. In fact, sit down with every department head and find out what is going on in their departments, what personnel issues impacted them in 2011 and how can you help them in 2012. Understand the business impact of all important scheduled projects.
  5. Dust off “The Employer Brand” Messaging- If you haven’t been working to identify your employers brand, or it’s a little stale, dust it off and start working on that again.  Take your learnings from your department head meetings, as well as results from 2011, and start messaging your employer identity. Update key awards or products that were launched in 2011.  Make sure you update your brand messaging on all of your job boards, college campuses, your own website, and any other place that you may be recruiting from.  Question every statement, and ensure that it’s still relevant. You want to OWN your company’s employment brand – it’s a vital element of corporate success.

Here’s to a successful (and safe) New Year! Good luck out there.



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