I am legend

Here’s a question;

When you leave your organisation, will you leave it better or worse than you found it?

It’s a pretty pivotal test for all of us, even more so if you are a senior leader or a CEO.

Have you extracted more value to your organisation than you’ve added? Is it better for having had your presence? Will it be after you’ve gone?

The simple fact is that we are all caretakers. Our job is to leave our organisation in at least the same state as we found it and our focus and intention should be to leave it even better.

It isn’t easy. Our financial markets, our economic model compel us to extract value and to return it to shareholders. Our leaders are rewarded for it, in this imperfect model.

Even in not for profit organisations, the public and third sector. It is very easy for egos and personal agendas to cloud the perspective of leadership teams.

It doesn’t matter what circumstances our business is under, our thoughts should always be beyond our own safety and security, our own comfort, our own personal gain.

Our reward should not be in personal adulation, false empires or the trappings of power.

Our reward should be knowing we’ve left a sustainable legacy.

We should not put off the decisions, hide from the challenges or avoid the truths of today, but face them head on to create the hope for tomorrow.

When we leave our organisations, we should leave them ready for the next generation to build and grow. We should leave them fit, healthy and ready.

Judgment is not when we are in situ, but when we are not.

So when you’re facing a tough decision, a change, a need to repurpose, rethink and realign. Ask yourself not whether this suits the needs of now, but whether it has to be done for tomorrow.

Demand a little more from recruiters, and yourselves.

I should know by now that attending anything vaguely resembling an “HR roundtable” is only likely to result in my blood pressure going in one direction. The coming together of HR professionals can result in one of two things,

1) Creative thinking, challenging conversations, original solutions.

2) Dumbing down, group think, collective moaning.

You know which one is the predominant outcome, because you’ve been at these sessions too. But that’s not my point. This particular session was discussing recruitment, recruitment providers and the future recruitment market.

As I ate, what was an undeniably good meal, and listened I heard suppliers complain about procurers and procurers complain about suppliers. I heard,

“We want”, “We need”, “We don’t get”, “We expect”.

From both sides.

What I was hearing was the inability of the demand side (HRDs) and supply side (recruiters) to express the value that they wanted and provided. HR generalists are notoriously feckless and lazy when it comes to recruitment. They place vacancies with recruiters (at all levels) because they can’t be bothered to work out what they want, why they want it, or how they might achieve it.

Third party recruiters have, over time, been happy to accept this, make money from it and exploit the relatively soft market. Providing diminishing returns for increasingly unrealistic fees. They accept vacancies without question, see it as income generation and are target orientated.

Where is the definition of value? Can recruiters really define the value add? And do HRDs know the value they want the supplier to provide and demand it from them?

I can’t help thinking that so many of our issues with suppliers are down to our own poor management and laziness. Our inability to reflect, define and demand. Our tendency to act, react and take the path of least resistance.

Successful markets require good supply and demand. We can’t control the supply, but we sure as hell can be more in charge of our demand.