We’re constantly developing recruiting approaches that get better results and keep costs down for our clients. Someone I respect in the executive search business looked at one of our latest process innovations and proclaimed, “Once again you are about 100 years ahead of us.”
But, as science fiction writer William Gibson observed, “The future is already here–it’s just not evenly distributed.” Like you, we’re just trying to keep up with the pace of change swirling around us. So as we leap ahead in some areas, we find ourselves falling behind in others.
This week I happened to look at the well-oiled machine that is our job posting process. We find most of our candidates through direct recruiting, but we still advertise on job boards … just to be sure. Years ago, we optimized the daylights out of our job postings. On CareerBuilder for example, we still get three times more applicants to our job postings than the average (yeah, they have reports for that).
But when we looked this week, disturbingly, we noticed that a significant number of ads on CareerBuilder have become more visually attractive than ours (as employer branding has become more commonplace). We could no longer count on our ads to be interesting because they are well written. The context of our ads changed. In a visual world, a text ad looks dull when you place it next to other ads with pretty graphics. This is not an immediate problem (it barely registers in our statistics yet) but inevitably we will see a decline in our ad effectiveness. (Naturally I spent an hour on the phone with CareerBuilder to find a solution).
Innovation is a daily grind.
Ten years ago, a big recruiting innovation would create a competitive advantage for years. But now, with a faster pace of change, we find the need to revisit almost every aspect of our search process every 12 to 18 months. Our Operations Manager put it this way, ”Keeping our processes current is more like polishing the silver than painting the house.”