Fear and Loathing in HR and Talent Acquistion

Kris Dunn ATS, candidate experience, Communication, Employment Branding and Culture, HR, HR & Marketing, Leadership, Recruiting, Recruitment Marketing, Social Media and Talent, Talent Acquisition, Talent Strategy

If FOT has anything in our readers, we have the following:

–Readers who are generally looking for the best way to do things.

–Readers who are trying to be better than the average HR/TA pro.

–Readers who like to change things.

That’s great, right?  The answer is actually MOST OF THE TIME, IT’S GREAT. SOMETIMES IT’S NOT.

This is a cautionary tale.

Yes, it’s great that you want to be better than other HR/TA shops around you…99% of the time.  There’s only 1 time out of a 100 this is not a good thing, but it’s a doozy.

You get sick of your own s***  way too quick. Let’s take a look at this Achilles heel of upstream HR and TA.

The dirty little secret of great HR and TA is that you see and consume your marketing elements and departmental policies/processes much more frequently than anyone else. 

Note: The following only applies if you’ve done work in these areas that are in the top quartile of all HR/TA shops in the area(s) in question.

EXAMPLE: Your company’s Employment Brand (EB), as manifested by your Careers Site.

Let’s say you’ve done some work on your company’s employment brand. You have a Careers Site that’s in the top quartile and as a result, you have more than a simple job search engine. You’ve got content that shows people doing the work, with passion and purpose. You’ve done your best to make them look progressive and you’ve incorporated these stories into your ATS, careers-based social accounts, etc.

Well done! Now you need to chill the hell out for a while because here’s what happens:

1–You are the biggest consumer of your EB via your Careers Site, and you visit it often (note to critics – yes, I’m aware EB consists of more than a Careers Site. This is a 600-word post. If you wanted a 20,000 manual that answers every question in a single source, you’re at the wrong site).

2–You’re also likely to be looking around all the time at what others are doing. Which is a good thing – you’re on top of the trends and well read/traveled in the space of EB.

3–You become nervous, paranoid and weird. The combination of you hitting your own site more than anyone else combined with a broad knowledge of what others are doing creates a form of paranoia that you haven’t done enough to be world-class.

4–You start to loathe/hate/be neutral related to your own careers site. Why can’t it be this? Why can’t it be that? Are you as good as you thought you were? Yes. No. You’re not sure.

5–You start a project to overhaul your Careers Site (or you long to) 10 months after the launch of your current version.  Because, you know, you’re a complete freak.

Does this sound like you? Have you done good to great work in one or more areas of your HR/TA practice, but are full of fear and self-loathing that it wasn’t enough?

Here’s what you need to know and remind yourself of:

No one uses or knows more about any element of your HR/TA practice than you. So when you worry that an area you’ve already improved isn’t good enough, remind yourself that the people your work was designed to help (employees, candidates, managers) have .001% of the interaction you do with that element.

Translation: If you’ve done good work in an area of the HR/TA practice, it’s probably good enough. Candidates and employees come and use the element, and it’s probably 2-3x as good as what they’ve known elsewhere. Even if they don’t inherently know that subconsciously the impact is there.

PRO TIP: If you haven’t done any work to improve the HR/TA elements around you, this post is not for you. Your stuff probably sucks, and don’t use this post to rationalize the lack of action on your part.

But if you’re a player and you’ve done great work, use this post as therapy.

Your work is good enough to have an impact.

Save the fear and loathing for another area of your life.