When I get asked to do consulting work with a company to fundamentally reimagine the way they recruit, retain, and develop talent, that request almost NEVER comes from HR. By far, the most common parts of an organization that decide to bring me in are Operations Managers, VP’s, and owners. The why is simple: they are the people who are feeling the pain of not having enough people, or having the wrong people. Those are the people getting calls at 7pm, getting yelled at by a customer for not meeting a deadline, or facing the Board of Directors at the end of the month defending the P/L.

Often, when that problem is recognized at a high level, there is a march down to HR to find out what is going on. By the time this happens, you need to know that your HR folks have already done everything they know to fix the problem. They have used every idea that used to work, spoken to everyone they know looking for new ideas, and have fired every arrow in their quiver. They don’t need your pressure and demands; they need new tools.

Remember, it is likely that everyone on your HR team was trained at a time where if you posted a good job with good pay, a line of eager applicants appeared before them. Most of their training has centered on how to filter through the line of applicants, how to interview, and to adhere to all the rules and laws that govern their craft. But what if no line of applicants form? I assure you that there has never been an HR class from any source (including my friends at SHRM) to solve this problem.

Here’s a place to start: invite your sales and marketing staff into the recruiting process. These folks have spent their entire business life learning how to form a line of potential customers. Their knowledge of capturing people’s attention, creating a compelling value proposition and identifying ideal prospects can be especially useful to your renewed efforts. After all, aren’t we just selling a job opportunity?

If you are looking for insight or specific action steps to grow a process within your organization to Win the War for Talent, please reach out. It’s my passion to help companies solve their talent issues, whether that is finding the right talent or retaining and developing that talent. With the right processes in place, your organization can grow and thrive even more!

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