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Innovation Requires Touch

Fancy yourself as a recruiting innovator? One of the many wonderful things about LinkedIn, the number of evolutionary thinkers and great ideas ~ it’s easy to start feeling like you can change the world. And now, it’s time to make things happen for your employer. Hell, they already say the right things, so they must be begging for ideas, right?:

  • We want to be an employer of choice.”
  • An engaged workforce is a priority.
  • We want to be best in class.

And then your mind goes into hyperdrive. There’s no shortage of tools to improve your employer brand, improve your candidate experience, streamline the recruiting flow, increase employee engagement, implement a new SaaS, ATS, EDS, SOS, PMS, and/or LMS available. But there’s a good chance that none of it will matter.

Why? Because they aren’t ready.

It’s one of the great dichotomys—CEO’s, when surveyed, list creativity and innovation as the number 1 and 2 needs of the organization. On the flip side, thesame group, when surveyed, will tell you the organization is weakest in those same two areas. They need it, they want it, but they still don’t have it. Why?

  • It’s lip service. Just saying it doesn’t make it real. Despite what many leaders say, innovation means disruption, mistakes, trial & error, and cracking a few eggs. And there’s risk – investments and resources are seen as “expenses;” changes in BAU threaten the status quo. Face it, nobody is going to say, “We don’t want innovative ideas!” but look around you—is change an accepted practice for your employer? If you are an innovator and you exist in a change-adverse environment, your tenure will be short and frustrating.
  • You were TOO ambitious. You don’t show a caveman a microwave, so slow your roll a bit. Your leadership team may be considering some change; getting small agreements (closes) along the way helps build up the comfort level of your audience. No sudden movements—you don’t want to frighten the bunny away. Build up to the real “ask” by gaining some small victories.
  • You didn’t do your homework. What questions do you expect, and how do you plan to address them? How well do you know your audience? What do you expect the objections to be? Do you have an internal champion, a confederate, a silent vote in the room? Depending on the size of the idea you’re attempting to implement, you never walk into that office without some internal support.

Some of you (present company included) are born dreamers. You can see your ideas in practice and remain absolutely convinced that your recommendations will work. Careful that your presumption of your brilliance doesn’t instead frustrate you to the point of distraction. It happens, right?

Not everyone is going to “get it.” Be prepared to spoonfeed some people, be rejected by others, and even ignored by those in the position of making a decision. For every one of us who may be forward-thinking there are at least 10 others who like things exactly how they are.

It takes a certain touch to be an innovator, so proceed with purpose and discretion. You can’t change the world all at once.

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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