This Time, IT’s Personnel – #review

This Time, It’s Personnel

Humane Resourced 2

Curated by David D’Souza


Lynda Gratton, Professor of Management Practice, London Business School, sums this book up much better than I could ever attempt to in her foreword:

In many ways this book is a celebration of connectivity – its content has been crowd-sourced from around the world, each contributor has their own voice, personal opinions and areas of expertise, there is advice, outlooks, poetry and passion and, like a really fine celebratory meal, the whole is even better than its constituent parts (2014-11-01). This Time, It’s Personnel: Humane Resourced 2 (Kindle Locations 99-101).  . Kindle Edition.

This group of HR professionals from around the globe have come together to create something quite brilliant. Incredibly, considering many of these folk “speak” via various channels, social and otherwise on regular basis, each and every piece is very individual. Sure, there are recurring themes throughout the book such as L&D, the new role of HR, communication, organisational culture, mindfulness, diversity and so on, but each given their own view, personality and slant to ensure not a thread of repetition.

There are some truly talented writers amongst the group and personally I loved the magic of storytelling from the likes of Gemma Reucroft and Simon Arrowsmith, and the clever poetry from Broc Edwards and Malcolm Louth. This is a group of professionals writing passionately and authoritatively on HR and the world of work, but despite its focus the book reads nothing like a text or self-help book. However, the lessons within its pages are many; and they are delivered in such a way as to make it an easy read like a collection of short stories.

 “I shout at you to motivate you” is a classic one liner from Donna Hewitson, Alex Hagan makes a fantastic analogy between Winchester Mystery House and HR approaches in organisations, and Ben Malcolm’s suggesting values may be “a bit like marmite” are some of the more quirky gems from this book. There are mentions of pigs, elephants, various music references and even an entrance from Marilyn Monroe. They combine with reflections, questions and statements that will have you rethinking, analysing and pondering your own actions as much as the processes and practices in your place of work. And almost all with a view to improving HR. The way we work, the value we add, the processes and systems we put in place.

This is a must read for anyone interested in the areas of HR, L&D, OD. You will learn, you will think and be challenged, and thanks to Raksha Khilosia you will laugh as well. An excellent extension to 2013’s Humane, Resourced.

#RHUBNZ – Fearless Change Agent.

“Fearless in the face of failure” (@warrenyoungster)

…was one of the most eloquent tweets to come out of the 2014 #RHUBNZ conference. This came from the closing key note speech of the conference by Diane Foreman of Emergent and it really resonated with me. Particularly in terms of my pre-conference blog as to how I would become a Fearless Change Agent. Diane’s whole ethos is about conquering fear to achieve success.  And this was the theme for the conference; fearless recruitment.

“Be bold not stupid” (@MattBRecruiter)

A thread that became familiar during the course of the conference was ‘change’. The world of work is changing. Demographics are changing. The recruitment profession is changing; we need to do things differently. It’s no longer enough to do the same old same old. It’s essential to differentiate, provide expertise, demonstrate value and be a trusted advisor to our ‘clients’. Significant change is required, but it needs to be smart and calculated with a view to growing the role of the recruiter in the future.

“Recruiting the right person is like falling in love” Do they have to be mutually exclusive? (@SeanWaltersNZ)

I think the answer to this is a definite no. The ability for recruitment and recruiters to change now and into the future is as essential as being able to work collaboratively and apply judgement through the likes of critical thinking, systems thinking and learning agility. Applying lean thinking to the candidate experience is a key factor that came out of Warren Young’s (IRD) address, who has been working along principles such as “ask once”, “no touch” and attack waste”. These things will go hand in hand.

The ability to innovate and integrate will become key. This will entail the likes of greater social and mobile adoption, the use of new and emerging systems and tools, new methods for sourcing, selling, assessing and managing talent. Speed is crucial.

Talent is becoming a scare commodity; therefore the candidate experience is of utmost importance for all recruiters, internal and external. Refining this and creating seamless links between each element of the process will feature heavily and refining this should be a focus for all recruiters. 

“I can now stalk people on #facebook for ‘talent pooling” (@JaimeGallocher)

Tweet based on Laura Stoker’s (@lauralstoker) presentation on Facebook Search. #RHUBNZ unearthed a host of new tools, methods, and companies I’m keen to explore further in the name of change, development and being fearless. From Facebook search, through Prophet, Lippl, AskNicely and Watson there is so much more out there to enhance the performance of recruiters and recruitment – so much I envisage another blog to come on this.

“#FearlessRecruitment Make a decision” (@rebeccaclarkenz)

Recruiters need to decide to change. To grow, challenge and evolve. To achieve this we need to be fearless. Many of the speakers and in fact the attendees of #RHUBNZ are fearless; pioneering into new frontiers of recruiting through utilising, developing and creating new worlds of work. The options as I see it are to join them and lead the charge, or be left behind and face extinction. I know which I prefer, and I challenge you to become a Fearless Change Agent.

Balls, Service & Clients = Fearless Recruitment?

What is fearless recruitment? In thinking further on next weeks’  #RHUBNZ Conference I’m wondering…I’ve already pledged to become a Fearless Change Agent post conference, but what does being fearless in recruitment entail?

Is it greater, consistent or more use of emerging methods for attraction, application and ultimately hiring? Taking risks with candidates, going off gut feeling or not conducting reference checks? And are you ever really taking risks with candidates knowing you’ve got the 90 day trial period to fall back on should you fail or make a wrong call (NZ)? I should instantly round that off with my belief that the 90 day trial is not a back stop for these situations and due diligence should have been done before hiring the person. So then is it for trialling new methods and ideas in hiring practices? Is it letting go of the old and embracing the new? Is it not sticking to one method for all roles and/or candidates and being flexible dependent on person, role and situation? Is it about disrupting recruitment as we know it?

I don’t have the answer to these questions. But I hope #RHUBNZ does. I hope I learn of new and emerging platforms, processes and exercises for the end to end recruitment process across various roles, industries, generations and the hundred or so other differences between roles and candidates. I hope I hear of new, improved and tried and true recruitment management systems. I hope I learn about the future science of candidate experience. I’m also hoping for more research and insights to hiring across the various generations in the current workforce and what we can expect in years to come. I hope to leave feeling somewhat fearless; armed with new learning’s for implementation. Or at the very least new ideas for me to chase further.

For me, life and work as a part of that, is about constant change, development, improvement and as much positivity as possible. I would love to be fearless in all I do, however whilst I would describe myself as having “balls”, I also genuinely care about people and their well-being, and therefore tend to see the view of both parties in all I do. This isn’t always a happy medium in business; best outcome for all is the ultimate goal, but that’s not always possible from a business and profit perspective. As a result the ultimate takeaway from the #RHUBNZ for me would be to leave feeling fearless, armed with new practices and the ability to implement them ASAP in recruitment, with a sound ROI to feedback to the powers that be, at the same time providing a superior “service” to my “clients” – the employees.