The mere word “change” puts fear into the minds and hearts of many and the resistance to it is immense. Organizations resist change just as much as individuals. The "not invented here," "we've always done it this way," "it's not broken, why fix it? And "why change - we're making money aren't we?" syndromes are alive and well. Yet, the pace and proliferation of change will not wait for the myopic and near-sighted.
To some, it is the fear of losing control over their domain; others it is the uncertainty of the unknown. Many see change as more work while others become defensive perceiving it to be an assault or criticism of their competency. Complacency and falling into a comfort zone of familiarity is commonplace. More often than not, this is driven by an insecurity and lack of confidence in one’s ability to manage in today’s technology driven world, say, a new software or digital solution; questioning whether it is really an improvement while deep down worrying that their skills and usefulness maybe determined to be obsolete. The list goes on as to why people are scared of change and, if possible, steer away from it.
However without change civilization would not have evolved – from the stone-age to the iron-age to micro-chip technology – change is omnipresent and should be embraced as we move forward to make businesses today more efficient and cost effective to operate.
Recruiting is no exception when it comes to change and it too has evolved through the ages. As far back as 55BC, Julius Caesar promoted employee referrals by offering 300 Sestertius to any soldier recruiting another into the Roman army. During the industrial revolution workers were recruited by posting a sign–“apply within” – on the factory gates.
In more modern times, we turned to newspapers and other print outlets to advertise when we needed to hire people. The age of the headhunter and search consultant became more prevalent and the telephone became the medium to reach out and attract people for jobs that needed to be filled for more professional openings. But then in 2000, we entered a whole different phase as technology and the Internet took flight and Monster changed the game by taking job ads away from traditional print media and brought them online to the Internet.
This was for many years a very successful way to advertise and reach prospective candidates. However, as time progressed and with more and more competitive job posting boards springing up every day; an economy on the decline resulting in significant numbers of people being laid off, hiring managers and recruiters were being inundated with unqualified and irrelevant resumes making the workload untenable and the channel no longer of value.
So new technologies and networks emerged to identify and source candidates but many, such as LinkedIn, are labor intensive and can become costly to support not only in employee costs but also license and user fees. Many were slow to adapt and change but eventually as competitive organizations started to embrace these new recruiting tools, others followed.
However, the digital world does not stand still and it is difficult for many HR managers to keep abreast with the fast changing technologies that are constantly emerging and therefore tend to run behind the curve and think that what they have is “good enough – after all it is technology so why should something new be better”. But this attitude is very much driven primarily by the reasons stated earlier – domain protection; defensive mechanism; complacency; and insecurity.
But leadership is about change and it is important for leaders to recognize that change can radically benefit their organizations in terms of efficiency, productively, competitiveness and cost reductions. Staying ahead of the curve and not behind it separates winners from losers in a fast moving and cut throat business environment.
The author: Indra Turnbull has been involved with the development of technology driven, digital solutions for the recruitment industry for over 15 years. As the founder and chief visionary officer for WorkForceConnexion, Indra and her team have now developed a cutting edge digital solution platform that is positioned as a disruptive force in the recruiting space. Using innovative algorithms and deep learning analytics WorkForceConnexion enables hiring companies to improve employee selection and retention with lower overall HR expense.