Recent Trends in Human Resource Management

Monday, August 31, 2009

Difference among CV Resume and Bio Data

Difference among CV Resume and Bio Data

People use the words RESUME, C.V., and BIO-DATA interchangeably for the document highlighting skills, education, and experience that a candidate submits when applying for a job. On the surface level, all the three mean the same. However, there are intricate differences.


Resume Is a French word meaning "summary", and true to the word meaning, signifies a summary of one's employment, education, and other skills, used in applying for a new position. A resume seldom exceeds one side of an A4 sheet, and at the most two sides. They do not list out all the education and qualifications, but only highlight specific skills customized to target the job profile in question.

A resume is usually broken into bullets and written in the third person to appear objective and formal. A good resume starts with a brief Summary of Qualifications, followed by Areas of Strength or Industry Expertise in keywords, followed by Professional Experience in reverse chronological order. Focus is on the most recent experiences, and prior experiences summarized. The content aims at providing the reader a balance of responsibilities and accomplishments for each position. After Work experience come Professional Affiliations, Computer Skills, and Education


C.V Is a Latin word meaning "course of life". Curriculum Vitae (C.V.) is therefore a regular or particular course of study pertaining to education and life. A C.V. is more detailed than a resume, usually 2 to 3 pages, but can run even longer as per the requirement. A C.V. generally lists out every skills, jobs, degrees, and professional affiliations the applicant has acquired, usually in chronological order. A C.V. displays general talent rather than specific skills for any specific positions.


Bio Data the short form for Biographical Data, is the old-fashioned terminology for Resume or C.V. The emphasis in a bio data is on personal particulars like date of birth, religion, sex, race, nationality, residence, martial status, and the like. Next comes a chronological listing of education and experience. The things normally found in a resume, that is specific skills for the job in question comes last, and are seldom included. Bio-data also includes applications made in specified formats as required by the company.

A resume is ideally suited when applying for middle and senior level positions, where experience and specific skills rather than education is important. A C.V., on the other hand is the preferred option for fresh graduates, people looking for a career change, and those applying for academic positions. The term bio-data is mostly used in India while applying to government jobs, or when applying for research grants and other situations where one has to submit descriptive essays.

Resumes present a summary of highlights and allow the prospective employer to scan through the document visually or electronically, to see if your skills match their available positions. A good resume can do that very effectively, while a C.V. cannot. A bio-data could still perform this role, especially if the format happens to be the one recommended by the employer. Personal information such as age, sex, religion and others, and hobbies are never mentioned in a resume. Many people include such particulars in the C.V. However, this is neither required nor considered in the US market. A Bio-data, on the other hand always include such personal particulars.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Culture Management:

Culture Management:

Culture programmes’ a tool for organisational development .....

‘Cultural Management’ is crucial for HR professionals. Nevertheless, most ignored it till recently. An important perspective of change, cultural management deals with developing new patterns of behaviour and mindsets among employees. Having realised this some organisations have initiated several culture awareness programmes.

Changes at workplace like economy drives and other cost cutting measures may or may not be acceptable to employees. Any reengineering process must thus consider employees’ apprehensions and opinions.

‘Culture programmes’

Gideon Haigh, author “Bad Company: The cult of CEO”, rightly defines culture as “ something that registers in routines and rituals, lore and legend.

”Today’s corporate culture mirrors an organisation’s beliefs, practices and people. It aims to instill shared values, openness and impartial decision-making fostering creativity and cultivating trust.

Culture programmes are a step forward in this direction. They aim at unifying and incorporating a belief system in the organisation developing a unique behavioural code. This eases anticipation of the outcome of employees’ behaviour. Managements that conduct these programmes create ideal internal environments preparing employees for emergencies.

The goal is to create an organisational environment where behaviour and employees’ value systems together enhance organisational productivity. Employee buy-in is critical for these cultural programmes to succeed.

Diversity and creativity

Organisations with employees sharing a common vision, goals and channelised workforce working in a preset environment boast of rich culture. These qualities alone may not reflect culture. Thus, organisations should initiate a proactive culture that encourages diversity, creativity and knowledge sharing.

Implications and benefits

Changes in the organisational structure or processes bring a change in employee relations. In consequence workplace attitudes too change. Organisations are now creating “designer employees” to foster better relations. These employees understand market requirements and the organisation’s business needs better.

Designer employees are comfortable when trained for efficiency and allowed flexibility in the work environment.

Knowledge drain
Attrition rates and the resultant knowledge drain are major concerns of organisations today. To prevent knowledge drain, organisations need to codify knowledge. Codifying enables easy identification of knowledge resources and ensures replenishment of the same. Culture programmes aid in codifying this knowledge thereby bringing stability to the organisation.

Culture programmes propound transparent organisations and employee participation in the decision making process. Employees thereby become more responsible, committed and accountable to their work. Culture programmes thus empower employees.

Commercially essential
Culture programmes helped Allens Arthur Robinson, a law firm, accept change. Consequent to a merger, the company’s workforce increased by 1700 employees. Most of these employees had low tolerance levels.

The company conducted a series of meetings with the employees to come to a consensus on the organisation’s work environment and goals. Based on the information they developed a new set of values. The objective was to create a sense of bonding among the employees and the company.

‘Breakthrough’ at NAB
At NAB (National Australia Bank), the effect of cultural programmes was pervasive. The programme was called “Breakthrough”. The primary objective of the programme was to the change the bank’s operational style and the working style of the employees. Over 500 employees participated in the workshops. The workshops focused on:

. The scope of the employees’ jobs
. Their work procedures

These activities necessitated analysis of the resources available for employees’ use. The research concentrated more on areas related to customer service. It proved to be a process of knowledge capture.

Problem solving
Knowledge capture at NAB not only controlled knowledge drain but also aided efficient problem solving. The management is now equipped with information essential to resolve various issues and conflicts of the employees. This apart, it initiated employees to resolve their problems.

Changing minds
‘Breakthrough’ brought a change in employee mindsets and their behaviour. The organisational operations are transparent resulting in enhanced trust, accountability and ready acceptance of responsibility among employees.Employees’ regular use of phrases such as “getting on the balcony” and “staying above the line” widely used during programme illustrate employees acceptance and the programme’s success.

‘Breakout’ At ANZ
ANZ too insisted on the change of mindsets and created an empowered workforce through its programme called “Breakout”. The HR at ANZ initiated the task of redesigning the jobs and work processes. The employees actively participated in the discussions on redesigning. They welcomed the forums.

Perfect transformation
Woodside, the energy giant too has adopted culture programmes with Mckinsey’s help to enhance productivity. The company initially started with cost cutting measures and restructuring its processes. This did not fetch profits. A study into the causes revealed that the restructuring processes were not in line with the mission and vision of the company.
Another significant aspect of the culture change programmes was to boost the company’s performance to the next higher level. Woodside used opinion surveys as a key tool to manage culture and incorporate changes suitably. The company has partially accomplished its goals. Some of the outcomes are

. Regular performance reviews
. A performance based reward structure
. Decision-making processes in line with the organisational goals and values

The change
Woodside’s vision was to be ” A successful operator of oil and gas facilities”. Its vision statement now is to be “ In service to society in providing energy solutions.”

Changes in the attitude towards leadership are conspicuous. The employees are encouraged to be leaders and convey their point of view while adhering to their beliefs and not compromising.

The culture programmes at Woodside changed the interpersonal relationships at work. Integrity and respectability have become key to the relationships. Employees are no longer apprehensive about approaching their seniors and expressing their doubts and views. Thus, workplace bullying has been eliminated.

Though culture programmes were believed to be issue invading the privacy of employees, Woodside, efficiently tackled it. This was easy since the employees believed in devoting substantial time for completion of the tasks assigned.

In control
Woodside, also realised that to effect performance, employees had to rely on other resources which would create stress. Thenceforth, at Woodside the statement “ I need your help” is welcomed with gusto.

Towards effective delivery of culture programmes
HR must audit employee’s views and collate the feedback for a clear understanding of the prevalent culture. This helps structuring the new set of values.
Value statement: Audit of the opinions helps form a value statement representing the organisation’s image.
Workshops: Consultation workshops must be conducted in order to acquire the most favoured opinion across all functions of the organisation.

Be a role model
Organisations must emulate these Australian companies to change employee mindset and conform to their organisational requirements. By effectively managing employee differences, organisations can become role models.

Reference:The ManageMentor

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Recruiting With Finesse !

Recruiting With Finesse !

Recruitment agencies can boost an organisation’ s recruiting prowess by following performance- based methodology.

Key learnings:
Job descriptions restrict talent search, and therefore, should be used only as a reference template
Recruiters need to identify at least two accomplishments- -individual and team based--to help recruitment managers steer the interview in the right direction

The workloads of a recruitment manager and a recruiter are inter-linked. If a recruiter works hard, then the recruitment manager need not struggle as hard! Recruitment managers, with the help of recruiters, can create an equation that is mutually beneficial, while serving the organisational interests in the long run.

Most recruiters complain about how recruitment managers reject piles of resumes ruthlessly, while the latter crib over the poor quality of database that the recruiters give them to sieve through. However, experts believe that with performance- based recruiting, the scenario would change for the better. Performance- based recruiting is a tool that recruiters could use to tame the fussy recruitment managers. The strategy aims at providing the managers with better choices, thereby ensuring more hits than misses.

Feel the pulse

Performance- based recruiting underscores identifying candidates who fit the organisation’ s talent description, while analysing the personality type of the candidate and understanding how well it is suited to the existing organisational culture. It makes traditional templates and tools like job description redundant, and uses instinctive judgments to shortlist candidates. The idea behind it is to improve the quality of candidates sent to recruitment managers for screening, thereby enhancing the success ratio.

The concept is based on certain key guiding principles that need to be adhered to for maximising its impact. The guidelines include:

Discard ‘ideal’ job description

Most job descriptions that are handed over to recruiters are more surreal than real! If recruiters go by the job description, they would cut the chances of finding the ‘right fit’ drastically, and instead, line up resumes that are anything but close to the organisational requirements. Experts, therefore, recommend discarding the job description and focussing on a simple “what kind of a candidate will do the job well” criterion. Stating the requirements simply makes the job of identifying talent easy. A simply stated requirement projects the candidate as a normal professional who is equipped to do the job well. In addition, a job description limits the choice, as it binds recruiters in details like experience and skills that may be important only because the manager thinks so, but not because the job requires them. The decision to discard the job description, however, has to be taken with the consent of the recruitment manager. The job of convincing the manager about how he will get a better screening profile without a description lies with the recruiter!

Develop thorough understanding

As ‘job descriptions’ go out of the window, recruiters need to understand the job in totality. Without a clear understanding of the job, recruiters will end up making inappropriate profile selection, leading to a high rejection rate. A job can be understood well by indulging in a point-by-point discussion with the recruitment manager about the pre-requisites mentioned by him. For instance, if the recruitment manager says that the candidate should have at least two years of global work experience, then it would be worthwhile to ask how global experience helps perform the job better. Thus, converting job description into performance profile will help recruiters develop a thorough understanding of the job.

Identify accomplishments

In the process of screening candidates, identifying two accomplishments- -team-based and individual-- can help recruitment managers make the interview process quick. Recruiters asking candidates to list two defining moments of their careers and communicating them to the recruitment managers can set the pace for the interview process, giving managers an insight into the real worth of the achievements.

Drop preconceived notions

Most recruiters and recruitment managers make their decisions within the first 10-15 minutes of the interview. This happens partly because they give into certain preconceived notions, and therefore, their decisions are not necessarily the best and the most prudent. Staying wary of this tendency and making a deliberate attempt to fight ‘first impressions’ is important for making logical recruiting decisions.

Invest in candidate preparation

To ensure that candidates are at ease, recruiters must prepare them by sharing information that can help them answer job and industry-related questions. Providing them with a list of probable questions will help candidates cut on their nervousness and anxiety before the interview.

Use holistic assessment Most cases of underperformance are attributed to non-technical skills. Technical competence alone will not give a complete picture. Hence, using a multi-factor assessment tool is important to ascertain candidate competence.

Recruiters who incorporate these recommendations in their recruiting plans will benefit immensely. As for recruitment managers, screening will be easier and decision-making much faster.

Ref: TheManageMentor.

Tapping Top Talent in a Downturn

Tapping Top Talent in a Downturn

HR leaders often are faced with the task of downsizing in one business unit and recruiting highly skilled professionals in another. They have to cope with an exponential increase in applicants for a much smaller number of open jobs, maintain morale in constantly shifting external and internal environments and help their organizations retain key employees. This must be done with reduced recruiting and HR staffs and slashed budgets, at a time when brand image is a critical success factor.

Today, more than ever, organizations must recruit and select the best talent where they have openings and upgrade talent in areas where it will advantage the business. Change in the business environment has happened so fast, many organizations have been slow to adjust and take action. In the current economic climate, it is necessary to take a step back and evaluate workforce plans, as well as talent acquisition processes and enabling technology and determine a strategy that works for the organization in the new recruiting reality.

A Fresh Approach

The biggest mistake an organization can make in this challenging environment is to let down markets drive its vision and shut down recruiting completely. Don't ignore reality. Take a well-planned, creative approach to workforce planning and talent acquisition.

When recruiting departments are faced with more work and fewer resources, build in efficiencies, maximize existing tools, eliminate waste from existing processes, innovate, manage vendor relationships and establish strategic partnerships.

Consider the following steps:

1. Re-evaluate recruitment marketing strategies.
Don't stop running ads and posting jobs, but do be strategic and take a planned approach. The market has shifted from a scarcity to an abundance of candidates in a very short time - adjust accordingly. Don't overspend or spend in the wrong areas. Now is a great time to be out in the market as the competition for talent is much lower. Take advantage of it.

Also, renegotiate existing vendor relationships; don't pay last year's rates this year. There will still be skill shortages and geographic recruiting gaps, so rewrite copy and spruce up the company's look. Speak in a genuine voice for the organization by working with the marketing department.

2. Leverage the hidden gold mine.
Arguably the most commonly overlooked tool in any organization is its existing database. A real gold mine of information, the resumes collected by recruiters and HR staff during the past few years should provide great leads on passive and active candidates. For instance, run a Boolean search on the company's internal ATS database.

3. Improve competitive insight.
Leverage candidate interviews to collect market data on competitors. Actively call leads and network to gain insight into their knowledge about competitors. As talent managers interview candidates from competitors, gather critical information to help position the company to win in the market.

4. Tap the current employee pool.
Take a fresh look at the existing employee pool. Which individuals shine in the downturn? Identify individuals who have been interested in gaining experience in other functional areas and who would be willing to wear two hats during difficult times.

For the right employees, the current climate might provide real opportunities to gain much needed and desired experience in another area. Strong employees will appreciate the opportunity for long-term career growth, and it will show them how much they are valued.

5. Maximize social networking in recruiting.
When used properly, social media networks are an effective tool. The time demand is surprisingly low. If an organization has limited time, choose one or two networks to try. One recommendation is LinkedIn, which is targeted to professionals and requires little maintenance.

6. Automate candidate contact, and employ well-designed self-service.
Tracking down candidates can be time-consuming and frustrating, not to mention costly. Be efficient. One of the easiest solutions is to work with a provider to automate the process. There are myriad tools and software options on the market. The most attractive are those that include auto-scheduling, online minimum qualification screening and telephony/video interviewing platforms. Talent leaders also will want to improve and perhaps automate selection tools to ensure they find those few best needles in the now huge haystack.

Many talent managers can relate to the challenge of responding to the growth in candidate calls to "check status" and a single candidate applying for multiple positions. Turn on auto e-mails. A recent Pinstripe survey showed that less than 20 percent of organizations use that functionality in their ATSs.

Books Are Fun Ltd., a Chicago-based subsidiary of Reader's Digest, and the world's leading display marketer of books and gifts, experienced the benefits of automation firsthand. To meet expansion goals and cover attrition rates, Books Are Fun recruits 250-300 independent sales representatives every year. Before automation, the company's six internal recruiters spent 70 percent of their time screening applicants.

"We knew that the most important part of the recruiting process is the late-stage conversation that we have with a candidate about the job as a lifestyle change rather than just another position," said David Hammond, vice president of sales recruitment. "We needed our internal folks to focus on these late-stage conversations. It was a waste of time for my staff to handle the screening process."

Books Are Fun outsourced the sourcing and screening process to an organization that was able to reduce costs and time to fill by streamlining candidate tracking; managing all recruitment marketing efforts including postings and active and passive candidate sourcing; and accessing additional resources, including community-based recruiting from libraries and organizations, franchise and sales-niche recruiting, various national and regional job boards and TRM contact searches.

7. Find the right candidates from the onset.
Many organizations put too many people through too far in their processes. Design talent acquisition, screening and selection processes carefully and stick with them. Screen people in - and out - early.

"In the past, Books Are Fun offered a contract to the first qualified candidate that appeared. Now we want to offer a contract to the most qualified candidates only," Hammond said. "Our new system generates enough volume of qualified candidates to provide us with real choices."

8. Review the funnel and revise processes.
An organization may have fewer openings, but now there will be more people applying, which will significantly increase the amount of time spent screening and responding to applicants. This can exhaust an HR team, particularly one that recently reduced staff, and could increase effective cost per hire.

Adopt a high-volume recruiting model to process a high volume of candidates in a time of low job requisitions. Technology enables the process in a candidate friendly way. Move online prequalifiers to the top of the funnel, and save the paid online screens and assessments for the spot where the funnel is slimmer.

Books Are Fun revised its process and brought about significant improvements, including a 45 percent decrease in costs, a decrease in time to fill from 52 to 42 days and clear recruiting metrics including weekly summaries, pipeline reports, hiring funnels and detailed process maps.

9. Protect the brand.
When an organization is one of a few that is hiring, and getting 500 resumes for every job posted, process change is necessary. Work with experts to ensure the company doesn't miss good people or alienate future prospects and customers. This is particularly important if an organization is a major consumer brand, and every applicant also is a consumer.

Be polite and respectful every time. Companies are not usually good at this, and HR will find it especially important to partner with marketing and hiring managers when everyone is being asked to do more with less.

Times are tough and the human resources function is on the frontlines of the battle. But remember, every downturn yields winners and losers. Some organizations will not merely weather this storm; they will seize the opportunity to emerge as a more efficient and successful.

[About the Author: Sue Marks is founder and CEO of Pinstripe Inc., an HR and recruitment process outsourcing firm serving large- and middle-market domestic clients, as well as the Global 5000.]

Monday, August 10, 2009

Easy Ways to not ruin that Interview...

Easy Ways to not ruin that Interview...

In my career as a search consultant I have seen many deserving candidates miss out on top jobs because of screw ups in the interview room... sometimes even before the interview has started! Here are some common (!!) blunders top team aspirants should avoid like the plague....

Polka Dot shirts and ties with elephant motifs: One can never overestimate the importance of looking well groomed for an interview. To get the job , one first needs to look the part. I once had a candidate who was placed top of the pile for a project head role and seemed to be the perfect choice; on paper. When he turned up for the interview in worn sandals and a crushed shirt; the meeting lasted all of seven minutes. Another time a CEO role aspirant turned up in a pair of jeans for a board level meeting. The fact that the candidate was the boss of a jeans company failed to impress the board members.

It is critical to be pre-informed on the dress code and culture of the company one is interviewing for. While walking into the room with a pink shirt and jackie O glasses may be applauded at MTV; Bankers would settle for nothing less than a crisp pinstriped suit.

Backslapping the interviewer: "Familiarity breeds contempt" takes on a whole new meaning here... and this is particularly true of peer level interviews. It is of course always reccomended to create a good rapport with the interviewer, however, too casual a demeanour may not be taken to kindly, especially in a company with a formal working culture. It helps to keep in mind that the person across the table is judging every move.

Lousy Handshake: I know this has been done to death but I still fail to understand why people aspiring to be CEO's do not develop a strong handshake... we all know that the handshke is the most initimate (!) impression one will get to leave, that it is taken as a first indication on many things like energy, assertion, ambition, etc..... yet, I meet a finace head of a company who shakes my hand like its diseased (which it is not!) ... and inspite of all his qualification... 'm just not convinced he'll be able to turnaound my client's business...
And I must mention... I'm yet to meet a CEO with a bad handshake ... :)

Yadayadayadayadayadayadayadayadayadayadayadayadayadayada: One thing no one can stand is a guy who loves to tlk about himself... and what wonderful things he has done with his life. The interviewer is keen to know about your professional evolution ... in brief... and it helps to be able to highlight in detail only the parts relevant to the role. A lot of candidates loose out because interviewers loose interest halfway through the meeting and haven't been able to capture the most critical parts of your experience. Many times the only feedback we've got from clients is.. "bahut bolta hai".. (he just talks a lot!). Sometimes we have to coach particularly talkative candidates on the importace of brevity... So the next time your consultant tells you..
"the client gives particular importance to the art of listening", you know what he/she means.. :)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Tips to Get a Good Salary Hike

Tips to Get a Good Salary Hike

1) Go for self appraisal

If things are not going the way you want, you should first go for self appraisal. Are you able to execute your work well? Does your employer values your work but does not let it get reflected in your pay hike? Or are there some areas where you need improvement? If this is the case, first work on your shortcomings and then seek results.

2) Remain focused to your work and organization

Whatever be the case, you would do well to remember that good performance never goes unnoticed. Therefore work hard, remain focused to your work and organization, and always show your willingness to take new responsibilities. These things will help you advance in your career and also pay in the long run, if not immediately.

2) Make the boss aware of your performance

You might be working hard and even harder than most of your co-workers. But are your seniors, especially your boss, also aware of your performance and all that you’ve been doing in connection with your job?After all, in today’s world and in many organizations, self-promotion seems to work more than the actual performance!

4) Get feedback from your boss

Keep getting the feedback from your boss as well as other colleagues regarding your performance and the way you handle a job. For instance, if your boss is not happy with a job executed by you, ask him/her how you could have done better on that assignment.

5) Mention your accomplishments at the time of appraisal

You might be slogging all year long, but how much time does it take to do your performance appraisal? Keep a list of your accomplishments, therefore, and talk up the most impressive ones. Emphasize on your proven commitment and the value of your contributions. If you can make the trailer impressive, the film might worth be a watch!

6) Changing department may be one option

If you are unluckily working under a boss who thinks that salary hikes are being given from his own pockets (this happens in many cases), try to join some other department in your organization which might have a liberal boss. But then you should also be prepared for the changes in your work profile as two different departments may rarely have a similar work and work culture.

7) Keep an eye on industry norm

If your organization claims to go by the industry norm and current market conditions, try to find out what other people in similar positions are getting in similar organizations and industry.

8) Talk to senior management

Sometimes talking to the senior management or the supreme boss in your organization also helps, if you feel that you are being denied your due. But then support your case with facts and solid examples, otherwise if proved wrong, this may backfire also and you may have to lose your job.

9) Get a competing job offer

One of the quickest and proven ways to get a hike is to get a competing job offer. But if things go wrong, you may have to leave your current job too. Take this route if you are confident of your abilities.

10) Switch to another job

If nothing seems to work, look for another job and negotiate your salary well. Mastering the proven techniques of salary negotiations also helps. Once you are confident of yourselves, make your next move. After all, switching to a new job is the most proven way of getting a big raise!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Why This Recession Has Been So Tough on Recruiters

Why This Recession Has Been So Tough on Recruiters

by: Kevin Wheeler

This recession has been merciless to recruiters. I don’t have any statistics, but anecdotal evidence indicates that thousands of recruiters have been laid off and that hundreds of recruiting agencies have closed their doors.

Sometimes the recruiters who been laid off have just been unlucky enough to have worked for an organization that is failing or in an industry that has been strongly affected by the recession. Yet, others have been laid off partly because of performance or attitude. Many recruiters remain tactical, and fail to grasp how strategic their function is to a firm. Many have remained working for leaders and organizations that do not appreciate how much they could contribute to the success of the business. And even fewer have become leaders who take command of the recruiting process and forge a function that competes effectively against other organizations and consistently supplies their organization with quality talent without relying on the use of extraordinary measures.

In my many years in the profession I have only known a handful of these people. Most corporate recruiters become recruiters by accident and leave the profession for some other HR or related field after a short stay. Their stay is a roller coaster of half-completed technology implementations, high staff turnover, muddled objectives, and often leaves a legacy of unhappy hiring managers. To achieve even the simplest objectives, they have to use outside resources, employ a large number of recruiters, or seek to outsource the function.

Unfortunately HR has not positioned the recruitment function as strategic, nor has HR realized that the role of talent manager, aka recruiting and development leader, is emerging as one of the most potentially needed (and influential) professions within the organization.

Generally, those recruiters who lead the effort to supply scarce talent are filled with bad habits and uncertainty that create a revolving door of leadership and produce lackluster results.

To change this and move toward a position of respect and strategic leverage, recruiting leaders should examine their own behaviors and thoughts and see if they reflect any of the habits I list below. If so, now is the time to change.

Bad habit 1: Arrogance about yesterday’s tools and techniques

Yesterday’s successes probably will not be repeated by using the same techniques or technologies. Over-reliance on techniques like cold calling, telephone screening, and resume reviewing are examples of methods that have seen their heyday but are still widely championed and loved. I frequently talk with recruiters who swear that the old ways are the only ways — the best ways — and insist that everything from interactive websites to LinkedIn are just fads.

Tomorrow belongs to recruiters who embrace such emerging practices as social networking, video interviewing, online assessment, and candidate relationship management. Recruiters experimenting with virtual communities and with building online relationships already have a advantage over the recruiter who is tied to geography and to face-to-face meetings. Labor markets are not confined to single countries, work can increasingly be done anywhere, and recruiting is a virtual, global game.

Bad habit 2: Filling requisitions instead of meeting business objectives

Most recruiters are obsessed with filling slots. That is what they have been taught to do without regard to need or effectiveness. They have a hard time discussing the value of positions with hiring managers who often regard the recruiter as little more than a clerk trusted to filter piles of resumes that are supposed to magically be arriving each day because of the organization’s prominence or brand. They are given requisition to fill and they dutifully go forth and do so — even if it is a poorly defined job or one that might be done by someone with a different skill set.

Recruiters who have the respect of the organization’s leadership have to be brave enough and well-enough informed about current issues and business needs to engage in meaningful conversation with a hiring manager. They have to be equipped with knowledge about the organization’s strategic business objectives, the needs of the hiring manager, and the state of the talent marketplace. They need to present numbers and data and make a case for hiring the competencies and skills that will be most effective in meeting the business needs of the organization.

In short, they need to act as a resource and consultant to hiring authorities and show a deep knowledge and understanding of the needs of the business. And, on top of this, they then need to be able to fill the position from a talent community they have built in anticipation of the need.

Bad habit 3: Failing to build new competencies

The emerging competencies for recruiters include the ability to engage people in conversation using virtual tools, the ability to collaborate virtually on projects, to influence hiring managers, and build targeted marketing strategies. These are totally different skills from those that dominated the profession a decade ago. In fact, over 80% of the skills that made a recruiter successful in 1997 are of little value today. For example, interviewing skills, cold calling, and reviewing and screening resumes are not critical skills. Even less understandable are the recruiters who are competent at interviewing and who then focus on getting even better at it instead of on developing skills that might be more useful. It is very easy to rely on the competencies that made us successful and not notice that times change as do the skills we need.
Far more important are the ability to write a blog, influence a candidate, and identify the value proposition of an offer.

Bad habit 4: Functional Shortsightedness

More and more of the most strategic recruiters I run into have a background in disciplines such as marketing, sales, and operations. Fewer are coming out of traditional HR disciplines. And an elite handful is morphing into talent managers — people who can understand and integrate recruiting with employee development, competency analysis, performance management, and succession planning. These recruiters are not afraid to try out new approaches, nor are they afraid to experiment and leverage technology. The most innovative websites and process improvements are emerging from recruiting leaders who have no training as recruiters and who have recently entered the field. They are writing exciting blogs, using search engine optimization techniques, and experimenting with interactive websites and tools.

The recession may be tough on recruiters, but it is also forging a new breed of talent expert. Recruiting inside organizations is evolving into talent management and the focus will be on ensuring that the organization has the critical talent it needs to achieve business goals. The talent manager will need to be able to run scenarios, produce numbers, and show where the best talent comes from whether it is developed internally, hired from inside or brought in from outside.

Out of every recession have come new ideas, new functions, and exciting change. Recruiting is at the forefront of many of the changes and for a small number of you it will be an invigorating time of learning new skills and adopting new techniques, habits, and technologies.

About the Author:

Kevin Wheeler,the President and Founder of Global Learning Resources, Inc., is a globally-known speaker, author, columnist, and consultant in human capital acquisition and development. His extensive career, global client base, and research affiliations make GLR a leading provider of both strategy and process. GLR focuses on assisting firms architect human capital strategies. GLR guides firms thorough comprehensive talent acquisition processes and procedures as well as the development of talent within organizations of all sizes.