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Unleashing Talent Management

unleashed.jpgAuthors and speakers at the Society for Human Resource Management 2015 Talent Management Conference & Exposition, which ended today in San Diego, urged HR professionals to inject innovation and consultation into their business practices—or risk becoming obsolete.

The conference’s opening keynote speaker, innovation expert Lisa Bodell, founder and CEO of futurethink, a provider of training and resources for encouraging innovation, called on HR to adopt a strategy of “proactive obsolescence.”

How? By simplifying and streamlining rules and practices, ditching processes that don’t work and encouraging employees to think critically about what they do.

Bodell, the author of Kill the Company: End the Status Quo, Start and Innovation Revolution (Bibliomotion, 2012), says the rapid rate of change today demands that company’s hone their ability to change and innovate. Too many change initiatives simply add another layer to the to-do lists of already overwhelmed and tired employees, she says.

In Kill the Company, Bodell outlines eight critical skills that reflect an organization’s openness to change:

1. Strategic imagination. People actively think about how to push the boundaries of what is seemingly possible and imagine how to apply critical trends to the business to stay ahead.

2. Provocative inquiry. Employees are comfortable asking and answering provocative questions. “Ask killer questions,” she urged, such as, “If we had to give away our products or services for free, how would we make money?”

3. Agility. People can think on their feet and nimbly change direction.

4. Resilience. Employees don’t easily give up on their beliefs and ideas when encountering adversity.

5. Focus on the future. The organization is constantly looking forward five to 10 years.

6. Challenge of the status quo. The organization pushes for continual improvement, even in what’s successful.

7. Active collaboration. People with diverse backgrounds are hired and placed on teams.

8. Creative problem-solving. The organization looks at what other industries and institutions in adjacent, or even unrelated areas, are doing to learn from them.

On Tuesday, speaker Jeremy Eskenazi, SHRM-SCP, managing principal of Riviera Advisors Inc. in Long Beach, Calif., advised HR professionals to overhaul their recruitment process by focusing on the “project management” aspects of working with hiring managers.

Eskenazi, author of RecruitCONSULT! Leadership: The Corporate Talent Acquisition Leader’s Field Book (STARoundtable Press, 2011), says recruiting is a partnership that requires clear goals and expectations.

In his book, Eskenazi suggests several ways to improve the recruitment process. For example, he recommends that recruiters use written Service-Level Agreements with hiring managers to document four key elements: goals, roles/process, speed/time and consequences. The book also recommends having a “hiring manager intake meeting” with a checklist to ensure you discuss every question and issue.

And don’t forget about managing relationships with candidates. Employers often have a well-deserved rap for not responding to candidates, and should remember that “personal and employer brands are made or lost in the recruiting world. Always tell candidates what to expect and when. Always follow through.”

For more about the 2015 SHRM Talent Management Conference & Exposition, visit #SHRMTalent on Twitter.

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