There is no debate that we are living in uncharted and unsettling times. The speed at which our world and our expectations for it have changed certainly reminds all of us that there is a good reason we’ve been talking about living in a VUCA world! Our current state is unique and offers little comparison to past events in any of our lifetimes.
There is no playbook to turn to as a guide!
The current economic impact has been global, far-reaching, and has resulted in loss of roles across nearly all businesses and regions. In addition, when there is a black swan event — that is, something that is unpredictable and beyond normal expectations, with potentially severe consequences — and the market flips like it has, it tends to mean that TA jobs are at risk. And sure enough, based on what we’ve seen, that risk has been significant (shout out to Recruiters Recruiting Recruiters).
As I’ve spoken with TA folks over the last few months, there is a great deal of stress and fear of the unknown. Still, there are some things about which we can be confident when assessing our current state.
- We can proceed with certainty that data is still the most valuable commodity in the world.
- We can be sure that adaptability is still the most valuable skill set for professional employees and leaders.
This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, and it should be good news to TA, since data and flexibility is our stock-in-trade. Additionally, these two pieces of information are critical toward ensuring that you and your team are positioned to add value in your organization.
What’s more, it’s easy to cut transactional TA functions, since such teams do not truly add value but are instead simply a cog in a machine. It’s therefore so important not to fall into the transactional trap. I get that that is easy to say, and harder to do, but it’s got to be done. Here’s how.
Leverage the Right Data
A key to being invaluable is not just being a data source within your company but knowing which data really matters, who needs to see it, and how to get it in front of them.
There is an overwhelming amount of data that we can report on in TA — but so much of what we currently cite has little or no interest to our business leaders. Things like time to fill and requisition aging are out the window for most organizations right now. This means you can’t roll out your usual dashboard and expect it to get any attention. You need to find new reporting factors that will fall into the two buckets that matter to your leaders:
1. Competitive Data
What are other companies doing right now around hiring? Are they cancelling reqs? Rescinding offers? Putting roles on hold? Pipelining? Furloughing? Cutting? Your leaders want to know what everyone else is doing in your space. In the absence of a playbook, we must look around us to gather and assimilate information to make decisions. (Of course, such details should inform, not necessarily dictate, your actions.)
Fortunately, there are numerous sources of data for you to pull from, whether it is government data or more real-time stats on sites like Candor, a hiring site with information on over 8,000 companies. Additionally, there are multiple avenues to network with peers to discuss…