It’s February: When You Get to Stop Saying “Happy New Year”!

Ok… today is February 1, and its time to stop saying “Happy New Year!” Its already well into the year, and its time to get busy!

After a whirlwind of the holiday season, and the rush into January, now the February reality hits: its time for results! Recruiting and staffing pros are generally saddled with lots of new requisitions to hire new staff right at the beginning of the year so they often don’t have a lot of time to put into place all of their grand plans for optimizing their teams, etc. As they say, “the train is still moving”. But, the most important thing as a recruiting and staffing leader to do when this happens…is to focus on still putting into place those grand plans. Pretty soon, it will be July, and six months have passed without change. So… here are my top five suggestions on how to keep the “recruiting train moving” while putting your projects, plans, and ideas into action:

  • Publish your plans and strategies. If you keep your plans, goals, strategies, and objectives to yourself, then only you will be accountable. Fair enough… but if you publish them to your colleagues, bosses, and your teams, then you will find that not only are you on the hook even more… but you will have support and encouragement from people whom  you least expect. For example, I did this many years ago, and found that my boss continuously asked me about how I was progressing on a major project goal I had self imposed upon myself. I shared with him that I was struggling because I did not have enough time and resources to complete it while other issues were underway. I then asked him to help me prioritize my goals and projects with his own thoughts on the same. What was the outcome? My boss had different priorities than I did, so I aligned them closer to his, and then I asked him for some additional resources (in this case, it was hiring an outside consulting resource to help on a project basis), which he approved. Like they say with weight loss and other personal goals: if you share your goals with others, you gain instant coaches and mentors as well as accountability!
  • Give your plans and strategies real life by “projectizing” and branding. Let’s say that you plan a goal of developing a new way of saving time and costs in the reference-checking/background investigation process. Instead of publishing this goal as “Reference-Checking/Background Investigation Improvement Project”, give it a name and a brand that will be memorable, and can be used throughout the organization. Sounds corny, but what about “Project CHECK” (Corporate Hiring Employment Confidence and Knowledge)? You get the point. Branding a project and institutionalizing it with the brand, even a project logo, helps everyone get on the train.
  • Prioritization. Not all projects are created equal. Often, we have to prioritize what gets done first, second, etc. due to lack of time and resources. Sometimes, recruiting leaders try to knock out the biggest bang project first. I think that is not the best suggestion. Pick the easiest project to COMPLETE first. Get those projects done, and off your plate so you can celebrate that win, feel great about completion, and prove to yourself and everyone else, that you actually set AND ACHIEVE GOALS.
  • Don’t kill yourself if you cannot do it all. As in the above suggestions about prioritization… and as Nike says… “just do it!”. If you cannot complete all of your goals, that doesn’t mean failure. It means you put too much on your plate to begin with. Prioritize and celebrate your successes when and how you can achieve them.
  • Ask for help. You cannot create more time in a day. Believe me, I have tried. What you need to do is to figure out what you can do and when you can do it. If you can’t do something, ask for help. Some people think failure is asking for help. I think failure is not achieving your goals. There is a big difference. So, if you need help, ask for it. Go out and put together a plan for hiring a contractor, a consultant, a new employee… but make sure you have put together your Return on Investment and prove to your leaders that in order to achieve your goals, you will need some resources. Prove that there is solid ROI, and you have a better chance of getting the results you need.

Finally, I will say one more thing, one last time: Happy New Year. Now get on with it.

 

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