I first came across Kirsti Grant (@kirstigrant) a few years back when she was single-handedly trying to kick jobs.co.nz into life. She impressed me immediately. Now Head of Talent at tech start up Vend, Kirsti is the person we all look to in NZ recruitment for pointers of how to be resourcing better and smarter.
Let it snow
There’s this new TV show we’ve been watching called The Knick, it’s about medicine during the turn of the century and is without a doubt absolute quality watching.
The setting is The Knickerbocker Hospital in New York, the cocaine addicted Chief of Surgery is Clive Owen, there’s a lot of blood, there’s suicide, there’s racism and there’s prostitution. This is a pretty random way of introducing a Christmas themed series of blogs for the People industry I know, but bear with me a moment.
Throughout the show Dr Thackery (Clive Owen) is making all sorts of ground breaking advances in medicine and the whole time he’s high on cocaine. Now I’m not drawing too many parallels between this show and the industry we all love but there are a couple.
The Knick – Throughout the show Clive starts to invent different tools to help him with his work. Amazing contraptions are created and mind blowing surgeries are taking place to save peoples lives.
HR/Recruitment – What a year 2014 has been for HR/Recruitment technology! Every single element of our industry has seen a variety SaaS solutions available to businesses at little to no costs to the business. You can set something up in a day and have employees and candidates experiences improved the next. Interviewing, sourcing, on-boarding, communication, testing.
The opportunity – Businesses are evolving, fast. Peoples expectations are evolving, fast. Watch your companies engagement soar when they see your team driving change in new and wonderful ways, watch their pride rise when you’re giving candidates an experience like no other and when you’re exploring the dull and mundane traditional performance and remuneration reviews with innovation & enthusiasm.
My advice for 2015? In the words of one of our supporting values at Vend – Just F%*&ing Do It. Seriously, what’s the worst that could happen? Would you get fired for implementing a new tool to help you screen candidates faster and more effectively? Would you get fired for implementing a beautiful on-boarding solution that your new employee’s rave about? Would you get fired for saving your organisation money? If the answer to those questions is yes I’d probably start looking for a new job in the New Year. Perhaps start again, with this one.
For those of you tied up in long contracts with technology suppliers who offer little to no value let alone innovation, sure that’s a challenge. Know what I’d do? I’d wear the cost until the contract was up, kill it in terms of any day to day usage and implement the next bright and beautiful solution. What you’re spending will be offset by the positive impact it makes on all of your lives and everyone will thank you for it.
The Knick – Legitimate cocaine injected in-between the toes of a surgeon, just to keep him functioning.
HR/Recruitment – Okay so while the rumour is that a certain someone from an agency in our wonderful industry may be having a particularly white christmas I don’t believe there is an actual drug problem. Let’s for the purpose of this blog replace the word cocaine with the word culture.
We’re hooked on culture, well, some of us are…. I know I am, scaling it at Vend is what keeps me awake at night.
The opportunity – being able to define your culture in a couple of sentences is such a win. Having your culture so aligned to your values where they aren’t just words on a wall is something to be proud of. When what you say on the box is what people get when they join you’re doing it right. That should be your goal. No surprises.
My advice for 2015? Don’t compromise on this. No matter how fast you have to grow, no matter what targets you have and what deadlines you need to meet – you don’t have to compromise on culture. And don’t think for a moment that scaling the culture equals cutting cookies into the same shape – that’s not at all what you’re doing. Ensure there are shared values but promote and encourage diversity in every shape and form. Don’t think for a second that your culture will always be the same too – we’ve accepted this and we’re clear on what we want to remain and what will evolve as we go from 200 to 500 to 1000 to 2500. We know as a People & Culture team what levers we can pull, how we can drive this change and how we can take our people on the journey. We don’t have all the answers but we’re laser focused on not fucking this up.
If you don’t have a culture you want to scale dedicate 2015 to doing something about this. Perhaps start with a comprehensive engagement survey so you can truly understand how people are feeling. At Vend we do a 6 monthly survey using CultureAmp and it is awesome! The data is incredible and the insights you can gather are priceless.
The Knick – Dr Thackery was obsessed with being the best. His expectations were tough to beat, his pride was off the charts high.
HR/Recruitment – For me personally pride is a huge thing. Striving to be the best and to always do better, acting with integrity, always being honest, standing up for what you believe and be willing to have the hard conversations – they’re all things that we as an industry need to embrace and live to the best of our ability. Fun fact – you can swear like a sailor and still be totally professional, successful and be sitting at the top table among execs leading organisations into the future. There are no rules here – just do awesome, be humble and recognise that times are changing and it’s much more fun to lead that change than bury your head in the sand and hold onto the past.
2015 is set to be a big year for us and the HR/P&C industry. There are so many blogs and so many events where HR is assessing what their place in business is, I think it can be the year that we redefine our place by creating it for ourselves. Go on I dare you, try something, make mistakes and learn from them. Probably just don’t do cocaine. 🙂