Treat Change as a Mindset, Not a Process

by | Aug 22, 2022

One word perfectly sums up today’s recruiting industry: changing. 

Technology, processes, practices—this isn’t the same industry as it was five years ago:

  • Recruiters are focusing more on transformational, rather than transactional, relationships
  • Candidates are in the driver’s seat, putting the pressure on recruiters and agencies to build and maintain their reputations
  • Referrals and callbacks, not cold calls, are driving success & growth
  • Technology is helping recruiters automate logistical tasks so they can focus on what they do best—one-to-one connections

Legacy recruiters who refuse to respond to these changes won’t be competitive in 2022 and beyond.

But let’s face it. Change isn’t easy.

In fact, according to Harvard Business Review, 70% of change initiatives fail. So how do you get your organization to adapt to the times—and make that change stick? 

The answer: treat change like a mindset, not a process. 

When everyone within your organization is aware of potential change and committed to addressing it, you can expect the changes you make to actually last.

Understand the urgency for change

If you want to get change to stick within your organization, the first thing you need to do is address the “why” behind that change. After all, if you don’t have buy-in across the board, then no one’s going to put in the effort. 

Plenty of people are understandably skeptical about change. There’s always new software, new training, new methodologies that promise to deliver impactful results. Keeping up with the times can seem overwhelming, and many people simply opt out.

And while, yes, some organizations may change for change’s sake. We’re talking about changing for a reason: to remain competitive and to thrive in an evolving market and sector.

Once your leadership and team understands the need for this change, it automatically creates a sense of urgency. Only then can you get everyone on board and start to shift your organizational and cultural mindset.

Adopt a stance of change preparedness

Having a sense of urgency, while critical, isn’t enough to get change to stick. It’s about, as Amy Yachowski of Painted Porch Strategies has said, “how you show up for change.” 

The key is to adopt a stance of change preparedness, or their ability to make the change you want happen. 

Ask the following questions to see if you’re prepared for change:

  • How do your people think and feel about change?
  • How do they respond when change is presented to them?
  • How effectively do they communicate ideas—and even challenge them—with each other?
  • Do your people advocate for change within your organization?
  • How does your team work together to make hard decisions and facilitate healthy conflict to move forward? 

Key to change preparedness is the idea of healthy conflict. Obviously, no one’s going to be entirely on board with a major change when you first announce it. 

And that’s a good thing! Even as a leader in the organization, you have your own blind spots and gaps to consider. Conflict is excellent for bringing these gaps to the forefront. 

Ideally, then, you would use healthy conflict not only to identify these gaps, but also to find a solution that benefits everyone and maximizes success for your agency. 

READ MORE: How Painted Porch Strategies adopted a change mindset for their whole team.

Change the “how,” not just the “what”

With technology specifically, one of the challenges that people often run into is that they focus so hard on finding the shiniest, most feature-rich piece of technology. But they don’t give much thought to how they’re going to implement it across the organization. 

That’s a problem. If you buy a new piece of technology, but don’t take the time to change your process to fully realize its benefits, then you’re not getting your money’s worth. Not only that, but fitting a new platform to an old way of doing things will likely create friction—and this will discourage your people from embracing change.

Let’s say you onboard an experience management technology to capture recruiter reviews. However, if you don’t do the following…

  • Implement processes to act on those reviews
  • Use the insights from your reviews to measure the efficiency and effectiveness of your experiences
  • Promote positive reviews to elevate your brand

…then you’re not going to get the most out of that investment. 

When you adopt change as a mindset, however, you’re always thinking about how to tweak your current processes or activities to best respond to that change. What’s more, everyone on the team is engaged in that same mental exercise, so you can gather the best insights from everyone. 

READ MORE: Why core values are critical to running a successful recruiting agency.

Remember: change starts and ends with your people 

When we talk about change and change management, often the conversation centers around the process, systems, or tools. 

But these tools don’t make change happen. People do. 

By investing in your people & helping them to develop a change mindset, you’ll be surprised at how much they’ll help you. Rather than issue top-down edicts that you struggle to enforce, you’ll generate enthusiasm for your changes—which will help make them stick.

Plus, when you bring multiple people together, especially those from different departments and work functions, you can look at your change from various perspectives. This helps you reduce blind spots and improve your chances at longer, lasting success. 

At the end of the day, change is inevitable. But your success at change isn’t. By developing a concerted effort to treat change as a mindset, not just a process, you’ll build an organization that grows and thrives in ever-changing times. 

Making the change to adopt experience management technology & proactively manage your recruiter reviews doesn’t have to be difficult. See how easy it is to get started with Great Recruiters here.

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