Take a bite out of this scenario and chew on it for a minute:
The time has come for the recruiting awards presentation and the recruiting clan is rushing from the tradeshow floor to see who won what and the coinciding presentation on best practices. As the zombie-like audience pours in, several fall over the piles of worthless marketing brochures collected over the last 48-hours. Then, several recruiting organizations are enshrined eternally and given a “Golden Candidate” award . . . while the drooling and semi-conscious audience scribbles down best practices in a reverent frenzy.
They’re using that technology? We better buy it! They mail garden gnomes to interviewees? We should do that, too! They give a $5000 spiff for employee referrals? Maybe that’s why ours doesn’t work! They’ve created a 37-step recruiting process? Wow, we only have 20! They’re actually “business partners” with their hiring managers? Yeah, that’s the ticket!
If you’ve been to any of the 5000 annual conferences each vying for our attention year in and year out, you’ve likely witnessed the above. The minute an organization wins an award (recruiting or otherwise), other business people working for other companies scramble to adopt their Commandments of Best Practices . . . assuming that copying them will offer the same results (and/or assuming that they’ll look good rolling out Google’s or MS’s recruiting best practices at their own mid-size organization).
There is only one problem: They’re not Google or MS! They don’t have the brand in the talent marketplace. Put simply, they don’t have the margin for error.
Sure, the notion of best practices is a sound one – considering we live in a mechanical, clock-like business universe (Rene Descartes, anyone???) of inanimate objects and constants (Isaac Newton, anyone???) . . .
And I don’t know about you, but that sure doesn’t sound like the global economy (and/or the nature of the business or natural world) to me.