When Should I Create Value? Now.

William Tincup William Uranga

Last week, Jobvite held their first customer summit (we’re a Jobvite customer at TiVo).  Despite the economic times, attendees were both forward leaning in giving ideas and in sharing what they were doing to effectively recruit these days.  It was an invigorating time and I certainly spotted a few folks whom I need to get to know better.  I had the honor of being a guest presenter.  Trying to encourage bigger thinking, I spoke about four trends and corresponding practical steps to take advantage of each trend.  Here are some of the highlights:


Economic shift


The U.S. economy is transitioning from a knowledge economy, where value is added to data or analysis, to a conceptual economy, where original ideas are developed to address problems through specialization and networking.  Question: Are you just commenting on (knowledge) or are you creating (conceptual) value?  Practical steps: Minimize the minutia.   For example, use templates in Outlook signatures for your top ten commonly asked questions.  Add all of your reading sources to an RSS feed (and analyze the feed for reading habits, eliminating what you don’t get to/find as useful).


Free agency


The growth of the U.S.workforce continues to drop.  In the 1970s, it was 2.6%, 1990s, it was 1.1%, and since 2000, it has averaged at 0.4%.  In addition, the U.S.birth rate continues to decline (even with immigration) and highly-skilled workers continue to be in ever short supply.  Around 10% of the U.S. workforce are now self-employed (non-agricultural) according to the Department of Labor.  Question: How you are going to deliver the necessary talent for your organization?  Practical steps: Get flexible with “recruiting yoga” in talent delivery.  Be able to deliver alumni, boomerangs and retirees.  Enable easy writing of contracts with 1099s and on-board temps in days based on the skills you typically hire
employees for.


“Gen” thing


While events will continue to affect Gen Y’s work experience, they continue to exert their own view, too.  As a part of the U.S. workforce, Gen Y will grow from 16% (2004) to 37% (2012).  For them, in general, security comes from community, promotion is based on enthusiasm, loyalty is to colleagues and respect is earned through authenticity.  The concern for recruiters isn’t just “appealing” to this group of workers, but how to enable all generations (including Boomers and Gen X) on how to successfully work and collaborate with Gen Y.  Practical steps: Deliver cultural transparency of your organization.  Everyone will respond to authenticity.  Also, expand the dialogue by training all on generational value differences and how to bridge them.


Value Shift 


Do you know how your CEO thinks?  In its Annual Global CEO Survey, PriceWaterhouseCoopers found that 84% of CEOs see their people as top of their agenda, but only 43% have enough faith in HR to support that part of the agenda.  CEOs already see networks as a key way to collaborate – even more important than getting the lowest price in procuring materials (57%) and expanding knowledge and learning (73%).  Practical steps: 1) Get proficient in translating HR into your executive’s lingo (product management, development, IT, operations, customer service etc.).  Please, don’t make them learn “HR-ese”.  2) Cultivate a network.  Not just one for finding candidates, but one outside your company – full of people who can give you new insight to opportunities, vet ideas to address challenges, and learn even more about your industry.


Four trends to help give perspective.  Four trends to help us not just add value, but create value.  Shall we get started?