Zombie Recruiter Need Input . . . . . . Zombie Recruiter Need Best Practice

Take a bite out of this scenario and chew on it for a minute:

The time has come for the recruiting awards presentation and the recruiting clan is rushing from the tradeshow floor to see who won what and the coinciding presentation on best practices. As the zombie-like audience pours in, several fall over the piles of worthless marketing brochures collected over the last 48-hours. Then, several recruiting organizations are enshrined eternally and given a "Golden Candidate" award . . . while the drooling and semi-conscious audience scribbles down best practices in a reverent frenzy.

They're using that technology? We better buy it! They mail garden gnomes to interviewees? We should do that, too! They give a $5000 spiff for employee referrals? Maybe that's why ours doesn't work! They've created a 37-step recruiting process? Wow, we only have 20! They're actually "business partners" with their hiring managers? Yeah, that's the ticket!

If you've been to any of the 5000 annual conferences each vying for our attention year in and year out, you've likely witnessed the above. The minute an organization wins an award (recruiting or otherwise), other business people working for other companies scramble to adopt their Commandments of Best Practices . . . assuming that copying them will offer the same results (and/or assuming that they'll look good rolling out Google's or MS's recruiting best practices at their own mid-size organization).

There is only one problem: They're not Google or MS! They don't have the brand in the talent marketplace. Put simply, they don't have the margin for error.

Sure, the notion of best practices is a sound one - considering we live in a mechanical, clock-like business universe (Rene Descartes, anyone???) of inanimate objects and constants (Isaac Newton, anyone???) . . .

And I don't know about you, but that sure doesn't sound like the global economy (and/or the nature of the world) to me.

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It does help me understand just how desperate org's are to find something that will help them do it better.

I certainly don't blame them for wanting to adopt practices that are helping great co's become greater. But I think you make a good point - the success of the particular practice is impacted greatly by the "things" that have gone before.

Might I add....I love the zombie logo.

Dennis, the desperation is a beautiful thing, right? Desperation becomes demand . . .

Demand that can be met from the vendors that line the floor of the tradeshow area . . . . demand from vendors that want to see positive ROI for their travel and booth costs :)

Seriously, give me a ring - I'm working on writing a book (that I may never finish as it's in my free time!) about the notion of best practices in management thinking. It's bigger than just talent acquisition and recruiting, but these areas will certainly have their place among fallacies regarding managing for stock price (and not profitability), M&A activity that destroys more value than it creates, etc.
[Note: I'd like to speak to you about your thoughts "from the trenches" of running a TA department and will credit you in the book if interested.]

Seriously, ponder this for a minute: Isn't the notion that a company can follow best practices to go from "Good to Great" pompous? Sure, there are piles of analytics and rigorous research to point to commonalities in behaviors (of course, they're backward looking!) . . . but 99% of research is conducted to achieve a pre-conclusion.

What about all the little variables at play . . . ? (i.e. talent level of the organization? make-up of the target market? currency risk? employment brand? social media 'chatter'? corporate culture? outside perception of the corp culture? industry sector?)

The real way to win is to first foster an ability to think critically, not implement today's popular silver bullet! :)

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