Innovation is a term often used incorrectly.
- Balance Boards are not innovative (although they are quite cool)
- This floating school in Lagos is incredibly innovative (and also very cool)
It is a word used especially badly in recruitment. I read posts every day relating to sourcing (my own interest area) containing ideas that are claimed to be innovative. It is always brilliant reading with some fantastic learnings, but most of them have an issue with their solutions – they do not ask their stakeholders for their input.
(PS – great podcast by Jim Stroud and Paul Slezak on YouTube about Innovative Recruitment Strategies for your commute home tonight).
If you Google ‘Innovative Recruitment’ and focus on results for the past year, you will see some fantastic solutions and processes that have been put in place:-
- Accenture needed to recruit for skills that they have never recruited for previously
- Barclays couldn’t accurately replicate a working environment through video interviewing and assessment
- Because of its staff demographic, UPS had to make sure that candidates could apply through both ‘old school’ mobile and smartphone methods.
All of these examples have one thing in common, though. They all included candidates in the process to identify the solution. What did this do?
- It validated that what they were trying to solve was actually a problem in the first place
- It provided evidence that their solution did actually work – nothing was based on assumption
So my own definition of innovation in recruitment is:-
“Solving problems that candidates, hiring managers and recruiters have during the process by actually asking them what they would like to happen.”
To be innovative, recruiters don’t need to have solutions that are big or unique. They just need to have been created with help from candidates or hiring managers.