I loved "Field of Dreams" a movie that spanned so many different interesting topics and life parallels that even to this day I watch to put myself in a reflective mood. I have been thinking about the ever-changing, and ever-evolving staffing landscape - like a field of dreams - where individuals find their work, eager companies snatch up amazing talent, and vehicles of change drive life's deals and closes - not to mention an ever changing web and technology landscape. When my career began almost 12 years ago, starting in retail, and then going to college completing a Business Management Degree with emphasis in Human Resources, I never imagined that the state of economic flux would mold and pattern my perspective. In so many words, we have at any one time collective connections to multiple pillars of influence, a network, a viable, substantial undertaking which takes us along the journey of adding value to that network, and building a momentum that harnesses the outcome - and IF YOU BUILD IT THEY WILL COME. Who are they? They are candidates, they are business opportunities, they are networking moments flowing from your personal performance, and into a magical land of increased fills, fees (in some cases) or moments that change a candidate's life.
As the economy nears it's turn to recovery, there are interesting moments ahead, so many issues that come to mind:
1. How hiring managers will view the staffing process when once available candidates start having 2 or 3 or 4 competing offers in hand shopping for a 5th?
2. How will economic circumstances future dictate outcomes of a saliable nature when companies start testing the water again to hire employees?
3. Hiring managers will start looking at how they managed their workforces, and instead of just looking at a 1 dimensional reactive approach to staffing will start taking a look and realize that overworked skeleton crews are now starting to get offers, and must be treated fairly.
4. HR's total value add will be felt in a vien of long term vs. short term strategy, and those who once scoffed at HR, will start to realize that talent management begins with the writing of the job description, and in training, crafting of benefits and compensation plans, and internal succession planning.
5. Individuals desperate for work will reinvent themselves, adding new skills, and once plentiful candidates will start becoming harder to find, thus making hiring managers more open to trying the "50% of these candidate's skills meet my needs and they have a great personality, I can train for the other 50%."
I could go on, but we are starting to see the value of a network and a long term staffing strategy that addresses total career management options for candidates, and allows a company to better manage performance by knowing how best to hire, and to be mindful of what is a "nice to have", vs. "what is needed." There is a phenomenon of growth in contract staffing, and perm roles becoming a "wait and see" scenario.
The first wave of economic recovery hits the contingent staffing realm as companies tickle their taste buds with supplemental talent, and the skeleton crew the manager held together when everyone battened down the hatches for the economic maelstrom start taking a look and realize - "wow my people are overworked, and we actually need some help." Thus trends the hiring cycle.
As I write this there are many folks clamoring for voices in an ever competitive war for talent. Everywhere are the signs. And even the candidates find the same battle as they start getting multiple offers. The question then how do you overcome this staffing conundrum, and if agency side, how do you profit from this phenomenon of changing days and circumstances triggered by the economic powers that be?
IF YOU BUILD IT THEY WILL COME.....
First, become a guru at Social Media, and building talent based communities and engaging online communities through professional associations, blogs, and more...If you build a web 2.0 presence with Plaxo, Spoke, Jigsaw, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc you will start noticing the power of the social media platform and as you gain new credibility and connect online with multiple talent based communities, groups on LinkedIn, online professional associations, and more the reputation you build will bring hundreds of new candidates clamoring for your view. This is powerful stuff.
Now that the economy has opened the door to the challenging times, what is a good way to find the best? Professional Associations, sitting on boards, and strategic professional networking groups will yield amazing talent.
If you build rapport with different talent groups by engaging in discussions, going to their meetings, etc, you will start finding the power that comes when you have credibility and speak from expertise. Sharing with groups and engaging them is a powerful way to create traction in your long term pipelining efforts.
Keep every resume somewhere in a file, in an easy to access place and then when your need again arises you will have golden candidates ready and waiting.
Another thing I hope many will see is in these new days giving a candidate an ethical and professional customer service touch is a great way to build word of mouth referrels.
So IF YOU BUILD IT THEY WILL COME -
You just need the patience and focus to build talent based communities that will lead to others Building the talent pipeline as they seek your advice and expertise. Presenting to groups on social media I have found trust and mutual business value adds as I build rapport with job seekers and have ready talent before I need it. After all when you are living in a career of a Field of Dreams, every moment of saved time and process improvement is a step in the right direction. But that is the key to building a community to be proud of - SO IF YOU BUILD IT THEY WILL COME!!!!