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<i>Dear Workforce</i> How Do I Overcome the Recruiting Blahs

July 23, 2004
Dear Down in the Dumps:

Let's see here…your goals are not your own and clearly you aren't looking to make them your own. Yet obviously you feel the frustration of having to meet someone else's goals--goals you don't buy into. You regret the "disposable" attitude of your firm and include yourself as one of its members (hopefully).
What to do? Either get out of the game or get some skin in it. Whiners can't lead, and leaders aren't about to stand still for letting vice presidents or anyone else set goals for them.
You have three choices:
  • Make those goals your own and start working to achieve them.
  • Accept the preset goals, but methodically build a case as to why these goals harm the company financially.
  • Present compelling data to top management to persuade them that you have a better handle on what the proper time to fill a job should be.
Whatever you choose, be prepared to take responsibility for it, because the current cost is way too high. What you do (or don't do) can negatively affect the careers--and the lives--of a lot of people, yours included. If you assume you're a partner and act like it, you might still get fired. But you'll be better off than you are now.
Who interviewed the 21 people who left this year? I doubt it was you. Interview the interviewer and then personally call--after hours--every person who has been gone for 90 days or more. Use a structured technique to elicit what "disposable" really means on a behavioral level. Think about what the firm must do to reduce turnover and retain solid employees. Do what you have to do to sell your idea and begin the change process. Become the company's "retention champion," and measure the return on investment of keeping top-notch people.
The answer to your recruiting blahs: change your attitude about making a difference. Your willingness to display a different attitude will challenge you to use and develop business skills, as well as own and embrace clear performance goals as a condition of how you work. In the end, your success is an absolute certainty. You will either prove your skills, determine what you need to learn to improve hiring results, or find that your skills, work ethic and attitude would be better appreciated in another environment. Ask yourself which person you would hire for a senior recruiting position--the one with the blahs or the "new you."
Oh, and by the way, a recent study by Staffing.org of 1,500 firms indicates the average "time to start" is 70 days.
SOURCE:Gerry Crispin, co-author ofCareerXroads, Kendall Park, New Jersey, Sept. 11, 2003.
LEARN MORE:Curing the Turnover Disease.
The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.
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