‘Tis the season for holiday traditions—gift giving, celebrations, cookie exchanges, and more. Most of us have a favorite holiday tradition we look forward to each holiday season. For some, that might be their grandmother’s nut roll, a family gift exchange, a favorite meal, a movie watched dozens of times, a parade, or another holiday event. Whatever those traditions may be, we treasure them and want to replicate them year after year.
Those traditions most likely exist in your recruiting process as well. They are the things you do each time you recruit, because that’s what you’ve always done. The problem is that the way people look for jobs has changed and your recruiting processes need to change as well.
Here are five ways your traditions can revitalize your recruiting process.
- While the Traditions Remain, the People Change.
Over time, your holiday traditions change and adapt based on the people involved. The cycle of life affects who is part of your traditions. Marriage and birth bring new people into your traditions. People move away, divorce, or perhaps a death of a beloved family member or friend means they are no longer a part of your traditions.
In recruiting, the people also change and holding fast to tradition can be an impediment. With a change in the people involved, you have a change in needs, values, attitudes and beliefs. You can honor your traditions while still allowing the new people to bring their insights to your process.
- Traditions Change with Time
When I was young, our holiday tradition was to pile into the family car and drive around looking at Christmas lights and decorations in the nearby towns. We would spend hours in the car oohing and aahing over the displays of holiday cheer. Today, you are more likely to pay an entrance fee to drive through a local park or other attraction to view light displays.
In my early years as a recruiter, I would agonize over getting my job postings to fit within the right number of characters per line and the fewest lines possible to keep the cost of the ad in the Sunday newspaper as low as possible. Today, no one looks for jobs in the Sunday paper, and the Internet has made it possible to present an unlimited amount of information for free and at varying price points.
- Your Traditions Are Where You Are.
People are more mobile today than ever before. I grew up in Northeastern Pennsylvania and have moved several times during my life. With each move, I brought my traditions with me and continued to celebrate those traditions. Each year I pull out the decorations that have special meaning to me—the ornament celebrating my first year in my newly purchased condo and the green ceramic Christmas tree my grandmother made for me. The tradition of displaying these decorations remains, yet in each place I’ve lived, they fit in a different place. Some years, I place them in different spots in my home to keep things fresh.
You might have a treasured practice in your business that seems as outdated as my green ceramic Christmas tree, and yet it still has value. While it might not be new or modern, it still works. An effective recruiting process honors traditions and adapts them to fit your current needs.
- Create New Traditions.
Change is a given, and there are times when that means new traditions. When I got married, my husband and I created new traditions. Each year, we do something to celebrate the holidays that is new and different. We’ve gone to community theatres to see Christmas plays, found new holiday light displays, toured historic homes decorated as they would have been in their period of history, and this year we enjoyed a progressive dinner in historic buildings.
In recruiting things change as well. New social media channels or ways of reaching and engaging with your candidates and potential candidates are popping up all the time. Trying something new is a way to stay on the cutting edge and to build a pool of candidates who are ready to fill your open positions. This year, experiment with a new way of reaching your candidates and see what happens.
- Remember the End Result.
As with any holiday tradition, things can get stressful, tempers flare, and enjoying yourself can be difficult. Most of us have that one family member we can count on to stir things up, say something inappropriate, or conveniently forget to bring a gift or food item. You learn coping strategies to deal with holiday stressors and keep focused on the end result, which is to enjoy a shared experience with family and friends that celebrates the joy and peace of the holiday season.
Recruiting is also stressful. Most of the time you are dealing with pressure to recruit and hire quickly. It’s difficult when you are juggling multiple responsibilities with competing priorities. It can be too easy to hire the first available candidate rather than waiting for the best candidate. If you keep the end result of a great hire in mind, you can manage your stress. If you make a hiring mistake, it can cost you far more stress than if you took your time and hired the right person.
This holiday season, I challenge you to examine your traditions and find ways to refresh your recruiting and hiring process.
I’d love to hear your stories. Your insights may be just what someone else needs to move forward. After all, sharing is caring, and in our insightful community we care about helping you succeed. And, in the spirit of the season, I’ll be giving away a copy of Rethinking Human Resources to anyone who shares a story.