Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Hire A Network: 3 Examples That Already Pay Off

What if you could get a whole lot of people to think about your problem and come up with a set of ideas, and you really didn't have to pay for it, and none of the people thinking about your problem really work for you? Is that kind of thing possible?

By now we have all heard of Crowd Sourcing. There are lots of crazy stories about finding gold mines, building space ships, solving social ills that come out of crowd sourcing. I tried it: I got nothing.

But this got me thinking: Isn't all this connectivity that is going on really the next step for crowd sourcing. Isn't posting a job on Twitter or Linked In or any other social media site a form of crowd sourcing? Does this mean recruiters are really cool geeks in disguise (OK – I am going too far now!)

When we hire a new employee we just added (on average) 200 new Linked In connections, countless new friends on Facebook and who knows how many Twitter-heads will now be able to re-tweet on behalf of our company.

Does that mean our company just got more connected?

It is not as far-fetched as it might seem, and the road to “hire a network” may be closer than it seems. Here are three examples of jobs that take advantage of their network every day:
  • Sales: it has always been about connections for people in sales. Now, instead of a Rolodex, it is a huge network of social media connections. Do you think they just try and push product on those connections: No way.  
  • Technology: When one of your software engineers is baffled today, they go online to multiple user sites and pose the question to their peers. Within minutes there are a host of answers.
  • Researchers: Same thing. They keep well connected through a variety of specialized sites that allow them to work with other people in the science industry who tackle similar types of problems.

Really, when you think about it, don’t these three jobs really count on some form of crowd sourcing to help them get their job done each and every day?

Will the operations manager be next?

How about HR? You bet.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

We’re Spending Too Much on HR

The CEO just stopped by your office and said all the company’s resources next year are going into a major growth initiative and we need to cut cost in all non-essential functions. He wants 10% reduced from the HR Budget.

I was listening to the radio the other morning and there was a story about the wildfires in the west. The interview was with the government manager in charge of forest fire management. He made the following statement:

“We spent so much money last year on putting out fires there was no money left for fire prevention”

I am not making this up.

I am not making up the HR budget story either.

I was with a company a few years back that was hell-bent on growth: Acquisitions, expanded sales, development of overseas markets, new products; anywhere we could grow we pursued. It was expensive and money had to come from departments that weren't directly contributing to this big push. That (it was assumed) included HR.

Do you wonder about cause and effect when you see that two years later the growth is behind schedule, employee turnover is up, morale is down, service quality is down and reputation in the industry suffers?

There wasn't enough money for fire prevention.

Are we spending too much on HR? After a decade of squeezing more and more out of our HR budgets, has this helped make companies better?

Did you see this headline the other day? Americans Hate Their Jobs, Even With Perks.  Here’s a quote from the article:

“Just 30% of employees are engaged and inspired at work, according to Gallup's 2013 State of the American Workplace Report, which surveyed more than 150,000 full- and part-time workers during 2012. ….. A little more than half of workers (52%) have a perpetual case of the Mondays — they're present, but not particularly excited about their job.

We are spending so much money on putting out fires, there’s not enough money for fire prevention.