By Karen Bucks, iCIMS Blogger


I know we are only a month into the year, but I must say there seems to be a common theme: optimization.  Whether it’s improving your career site or reducing your time-to-fill, it is all for the same reason…to optimize your HR performance.

Well anyway, I spoke about HR strategy a few weeks ago and I want to revisit it as there are two sides to optimization and strategic success that I didn’t cover in that previous blog. Along with being flexible enough to adjust your current tasks to mirror modern trends, it is also important to fix your old  tasks (re-optimization). Some people assume that if they take advantage of the latest trends they will be able to improve and optimize their HR program. And, of course, this can be true. HOWEVER, as countless others have said…if the foundation you are adding new sources to is not solid and capable of holding the new plan, it will be impossible to effectively optimize and your foundation will eventually collapse right under your feet.

While, I still believe it is rather important to be receptive to the latest trends, it is also important to review your current ones. It is important to make sure those supporting tasks (e.g. application management, candidate relationship management, etc.) are the very best they can be.

At my company, we have a really great award (and quite applicable to this blog) that our company executives give out at the end of each year. The award is called the “Not to Do Award”. It calls upon employees to identify current processes that are just plain broken. These processes may cost money, waste time, and usually cause frustration. Each employee is tasked with finding one of those processes and eliminating it, finding an alternative route to the same end, or optimizing it. The winner also gets a pretty nice check - hey, that's motivation enough for me to re-optimize!

If HR professionals incorporated this idea into re-optimizing their supporting tasks, less money would be wasted and potentially more time would be freed up to spend on new trends. Now, don’t be intimidated, optimizing your standard practices is usually just as simple as implementing a talent management system or some sort of automation system to tighten that foundation you stand on.

Further, when I try to look at everything I have to improve, it's often pretty overwhelming. I usually try to start with the major “support beams”. I  fix one major process before I add new ones to the mix. Let's take an HR example...

Are you struggling to keep your talent pool filled? Leveraging new sources (social media) to attract new talent may be great, but if your procedure to keep that talent engaged is ineffective then it is pointless. You will just lose that talent sooner rather than later. Therefore, one suggestion would be to focus on how you keep candidates once you have them. Try increasing the frequency in which you contact candidates. Or, try altering you’re messaging - offer them coupons to your company’s products or services. Start by re-optimizing the way you keep talent in your talent pool rather than finding new sources to obtain talent.

I think you get the point. So, for February and March, try picking one task that you could re-optimize.


Now if only I could find a way to re-optimize my brain to think faster…any advice for that???

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