Process Process Process: Death to Un-tapped Talent

Having just returned from visiting family and friends in South-western Ontario, I was once again reminded of the frustrations talent faces when organizational “process” road-blocks potential.


Before I begin, I have a confession to make - my name is Lisa and I was once a process-obsessed HR Professional. I was many talents’ worst nightmare, the ironclad gate-keeper with minimal awareness and direct impact on the bigger picture within my organization. The most unfortunate aspect of this whole situation was that this is the role the organization wanted from their HR Professionals, and ultimately is why they weren’t a fit for who I am or my career path. Phew – now that the ghost is out of the closet let’s continue...


Recently I reconnected with a good friend while visiting 'home', I quickly learned not much has changed in over 5 years when it comes to opportunities for talent. It was also sadly confirmed that majority of the local organizations remain bogged-down by endless processes especially in recruiting.


During over conversation I suggested to my friend to connect with and seek out hiring managers instead of 'only' HR. Ok, before you begin cursing me, yes - HR has a lot to offer and bring to the table during interviewing and recruitment sourcing – yes yes yes. BUT let’s face it,  when the hiring decision is made it is the hiring manager who makes the call, whomever this role or position rolls up to is the key holder of the decision.


The disappointment – my friend shared with me her recent experience where she did try to connect directly with the hiring manager. What happened you may ask? Well, seems that the hiring manager forwarded her email to HR asking them to follow up with her. How does she know this? Because HR was nice enough to send a scripted email indicating there was a “process” in place and should she want to be considered – she better follow it. Fell free from your own experiences to insert the "finger pointing, how dare you not follow the process!" tone. Sigh....


Nice lasting impression to make on an un-tapped talent potential huh? 


As I progressed in my HR career some of the best talent recruiting and placements I have made didn’t follow a set/scripted “process”. I took advantage of opportunities as they presented themselves, while other times I found ways to create opportunities - they are everywhere! Results? Most successful placements for both the talent and the organization.  


Sure there is a time and place for processes, but too many people focus on creating processes as a way to say they “contributed” or made a difference to their organization.  Here’s how I see it, when majority of your contribution value in based upon developing process after process after process that make hiring managers cringe at the thought of working with HR especially in recruiting – then what you are really doing is trying to carve out your own little empire, trying to convince yourself that the organization needs you because, “hey look at the cool process you built”. Ugh!


Fortunately there are amazing HR Professionals out there that understand the importance of process, in the right place and at the right times. They also understand process can kill business – including missing the opportunities to beat your competitors in securing the best of class in un-tapped talent simply because that talent didn't "follow the process."

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