Archive | August, 2007

The UFC and Your Work Environment

21 Aug

Ufc_logo Had a little bit of a rough day but saw inspiration as I left that great American Think tank this evening – some call it Target.  What a tremendous store – I did need everything I purchased this evening – I was not seduced by the red Clearance sticker that my wife is typically lured by.  You know these stickers – screaming you need this bamboo telephone book holder station thing – the drawer in the kitchen will no longer do.  Sorry – tangent.  Ufc

Back to the rough day – but the UFC came to mind.  The Ultimate Fighting Championship.  Have you seen this yet?  I always secretly wanted to be in a boy band – an ‘N Sync perhaps – very cool but I had to say buh, bye, bye, bye to that dream.  I am now convinced I could perhaps thrive in the UFC -if they had like a middle-aged, white collar, non-tattooed, never have six pack abs, weekend warrior division.  I would be all over that.  The gym is just not enough for that stress relief.  There are just days when you need a UFC like experience.

I say this because I am pretty sure they have no rules they just go at it.  Kicking each other’s ass until one submits.  I think we can all learn something from this.  I really see some practical parallels in the UFC culture that we could bring to corporate America.

We digress – I am well aware of a tobacco company that of course you are allowed to smoke at your desk.  It’s 2007 and you can smoke at your desk.  No need to take a smoke break here – fire one up right at your desk.  Wow, it is encouraged and they even have signs that say things like "Smoking Allowed."  Why not?  It is their product.                   Ufc2

But back to the UFC and how it applies to you – I was just thinking about your work environment – you go to some meeting.  The meeting gets a little heated, a little personal or borders on it.  At your company, this meeting gets to a boiling point – some jack crack speaks out of turn but stops short of saying what they really should say – perhaps someone gets thrown under the bus.  I love that saying.

So here is the deal though – instead of people returning to their desks dejected and demotivated – the senior manager speaks up and says something like – we are gonna settle this issue right here – right now in like a "Let’s get ready to rumble" voice.  Some doors open up at the end of the conference room and suddenly you are ringside as two of your co-workers, department heads let’s say are in this cage like ring thing – bright lights, some rap tune, you will download to your ipod later, playing so loud you wish someone would back off the bass and you can smell the rawness of what is about to happen.  You like this scene.

We are not talking those gimmicky sumo suits people put on at the halftime of a sporting event – we are talking ass kicking over business issues that don’t require macros and pivot table laden spreadsheets – oh no, just bring it on – if you can kick my ass in under 6 rounds – we can go with SAP – we will make that multi-million dollar investment.  Maybe it’s you and your boss in the cage after a poor performance review, one with no raise.  Your boss says it’s not in the budget – ok – then I am thinking he must pay another way.

I think the UFC corporate headquarters must be a great place to work and I am pretty sure they have adopted this kind of problem avoidance/conflict resolution policy.  You have an issue, let’s meet and discuss, if it gets to a point of gridlock – we go at it – simple.  Can you imagine the recruiting power of this policy.  A candidate asks, "What is the environment like here?  Do departments and people work together here?  Is it a team environment?"  You are now given the power to say, "Oh, definitely a team environment and when there are issues we settle them quickly and decisively – we have implemented a policy for such."  Doesn’t this give creedance to a whole new level of Six Sigma Blackbelt?

Someone’s ass will be kicked, someone will get their way and the other will like it and we will all be better for it or it will be go-time again.  This is the panacea to improving company morale.  Forget the ropes course retreat stuff – scrap the company picnic – the 3rd Wednesday night is UFC day at your company – let’s go cage match – right now.  Bring it on mid-level manager guy!

What is wrong with me? 


I Have No Doubt You Can Generate Resumes On Your Own

8 Aug

The key word in the title of this post is resumes.  Hiring Manager you can generate them on your own.  Go ahead – post that job on the job board of your choice – fire up that ad – and watch your Inbox light up.  Wow – what a response.

I think I received the best compliment a recruiter can receive this week.  I was having coffee with a candidate of mine at the local Starbuck’s.  She had completed a phone interview with a hiring manager I had made several placements with over the years.  The candidate shared with me that the hiring manager "sure thinks a lot of you."  As yours would – my ears perked up and of course, I had to ask why she said that.  She said, "because she said you understand what they want."

Sure – that made me feel good – very good.  Here is the point we are getting to –

Resumes are not pre-qualified candidates.  Resumes are pieces of paper.  Recruiting is not resume processing.  Recruiting should be a proactive not reactive.  I am fairly sure my head may pop off the next time I hear we have it "posted on" as if they are doing something to fill the position – the kid that stops by your house selling candy bars is doing more than you.

When recruiters accept an assignment – they are surveying the market for the best candidates.  The best candidates are not applying.  The best candidates want to be recruited.   They want calls from recruiters.  HR is capable of making these calls but they don’t want to.  Why?  It’s difficult, time consuming, and they have no incentive.  Most HR people I value have always shared with me they cannot stand recruiting – unfortunately that dislike extends to recruiters.

So let’s examine this – we have a hiring manager looking for the right fit, we have the hiring manager relying on HR to bring qualified candidates, HR having a job description with generic specs, a job board or whatever non-human medium HR utilizes to hopefully generate candidates, an HR representative doing some phone screen to determine something from the best applicants and no real assurance we have the best candidates but my did we generate a freaking load of resumes.  Woo!

One thing I failed to mention in the above paragraph is we also have an HR department, in so many cases, that does not really care about the pain of the hiring manager and the burden a key vacancy can create on the department’s already spread thin resources.  They don’t really understand it.  Quite harsh on the HR bashing but let me support that by saying why –

1) I hear countless complaints from hiring managers about HR not delivering quality applicants.

2) HR has no incentive to fill these job openings.

3) Applicant Tracking Systems don’t update themselves – someone needs to get on the phone.

4) HR is burdened with other things to manage.

I know I have made 87 points in this post and am having trouble wrapping this all up but I shall try.

Recruiting has to involve a discerning human.  Recruiting is a matter of will and desire and incentive impacts the will to hunt and the desire to find the selective, better qualified candidate.  HR is way too in to the process and not the placement – they are in to the requirements not the recruiting of talent. 

Let HR work on benefits, employee relations, community relations, union stuff, union avoidance, overhauling of job descriptions, orientation, procedure manuals, training and what they do best and leave the recruiting to the people that enjoy it.  Let recruiters be your human resources.


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