Value for Value

“When in doubt, tell the truth.” – Mark Twain

I missed my opportunity to share New Years Resolutions with my FOT compatriots; input was due whilst I was still navigating the back roads and mountain passes of New Mexico. Sporadic 3G coverage at best – you know, just like the pioneers. I did, however, have a resolution that was still formulating…until this week. The gray area in my professional life is being re-colored in black or white. For instance:

1. “Hey man, do you know any good candidates?” – Yes, as a matter of fact, I do. I’m not a recruiter, but I’m a pretty good networker & it’s not uncommon for me to know a handful of exceptional professionals who are seeking a new job on the down-low. So, when you are using me as your sourcing resource, Daddy’s getting paid.

2. “I have an HR question I wanted to run by you.” – Okay, that sounds juicy! Now, let’s clarify an hourly rate…you know, since you’re calling for professional advice as opposed to asking the 8-Ball.

3. “Could you do me a favor and help me with my CV?” – You bet, although my experience tells me I’ll receive an outdated, incomplete document & your expectation is the Magna Carta in return; I also enjoy the consistent follow-up emails you send to motivate me on my progress. Let’s go ahead and say that has a small fee attached now, ‘kay?

4. “Dude, things are crazy here – I need you to help me find a new job.” Good thinking, get ahead of the curve & start your search now. The whole “job search” thing can be quite a struggle, so I’m happy to dedicate some time pro bono to assist you in your quest. And, of course, send your resume over too!

Understand this – I’m a professional wise-ass. I kill me, I really do…so, if you’re in Human Resources and aren’t familiar with any of these little exploitations, kudos to you. And, of course I’m still going to get caught up in helping a friend, a family member, a friend of a friend, an old colleague,this girl,→ → → → → → → → → → → → → → →                                                                       


damn straight

or various other individuals. At some point, however, don’t we owe it to ourselves to expect value for value? Not to over-inflate the role of Human Resources, but we do find ourselves in a very strategic role if we choose to look at it as so.

Is it wrong to put a dollar amount on that? I need your input…and yes, I realize I owe you a couple bucks.

Talent Acquisition Executive, team-builder, and full-time dreamweaver. Creative Director, Content Designer, Writer, Speaker, Entrepreneur, terrible golfer, lover of The Art of War & Texas Hold 'Em.

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{ 7 comments… add one }
  • 01/09/2014, 8:11 am

    I absolutely believe that there is “value for value” for HR insight, services, expertise, etc. When is that expected is the variable. I believe in helping others for the chance to be an example to them that there are “humans” in HR. Haven’t been paid for it once. However, the value I’ve received has been immeasurable. I think it’s a balance that needs to be considered and support what you are talking about. What we do is a value. The question is – “how do you determine that value” ?? I think that’s a personal decision.

    • 01/09/2014, 10:22 am

      Brownie has such a good perspective – I should clarify in that yes, I do receive “value” from helping others, and don’t mind doing so. Teetering on the wire is she point where it becomes less “helpful” and more “professional services.” Ex: I still have clients from years back who will send a note asking for information – that used to be part of a retainer, now what????

  • Lisa
    01/09/2014, 12:47 pm

    As I’ve learned through experience people in need of these services don’t generally place a monetary value on them. It’s just HR after all and results cannot be guaranteed. But if your efforts are successful you have a transaction that has a non-monetary value within your network. In other words, they owe you a favor. You may never need to call it in and if you do they may not choose to honor it. At which point you can drop them from your network.

    I believe this is the reason so few free-lancers (or consultants) offer this service. There’s no actual money involved. Good will doesn’t pay the mortgage or feed the kids.

    • 01/09/2014, 2:55 pm

      “perhaps one day I’ll ask you for a favor in return…”
      As you wish, Don Corleone. 🙂

      • Lisa
        01/09/2014, 3:54 pm

        As long as cutting them from your network doesn’t involve the East River, cement shoes or horse’s heads 😉