I’m enjoying the newly emerging trend of more interesting, fresh-thinking press releases from the global corporates of our recruitment community. After years of pithy proclamations re-hashing the same old stories of skills shortages and talent shortages and “oh how about using us to help you recruit?” it seems the PR departments of the bigger end of town are finally learning that people like engaging, future-focused content nowadays.
Randstad have been drip-feeding us a range of articles around flexible working trends, and then this week Hays put something out there about “diversity of thought”. We’ve heard plenty about the benefits of a more physically and ethnically diverse workplace over recent years, but this is the first I’ve heard about thought diversity. And I like it. As the article explains:
“Diversity of thought is starting to gain a lot of attention since a workplace that respects and encourages different ways of thinking works more innovatively to bring new ideas to the table,” says Jason Walker, Managing Director of Hays in New Zealand.
However, whereas Randstad seem to be following their own advice (I’m frequently talking to hiring managers there who are working from home for some reason or other, for instance), Hays must have shifted their company culture a long way from when I was there 9 years ago to be following their own mantra around thought diversity. Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed my time there, but the corporate culture of “fitting in” and “toeing the company line” was ever-present there, and voicing opinions of doing things differently was positively scowled upon.
But Hays wouldn’t have been alone, in those times, where most large recruitment environments operated within a culture akin to a Kim Jong Un conference:
In fact only recently I was speaking to another senior recruiter while he was on his way out of a similarly large corporate recruitment brand where the in-joke quietly whispered among consultants was that the company culture was like the recruitment equivalent of Gloriavale, a place where diversity of thought is likely considered something akin to witchcraft.
Hopefully things have changed there, though, and there now exists an environment where new ideas and opinions can be aired free of retribution. I remember reading a comment on a different thread about the “uber-isation” of recruitment a few weeks ago, from someone who works at Aquent in Australia, and where they had spent half a day discussing how they could disrupt their very own jobs in the future.
A brave move, not just for the time taken away from making all those cold calls, but also for the scary truths it might reveal. I’m sure it was an exercise that gave birth to a range of new ideas about how they could keep evolving their offering, but I’m pretty sure it is still an exercise that most recruitment firms here in New Zealand will continue to evade for a while longer yet.
For the more forward-thinking, and braver, of you recruitment leaders out there: give it a go. Recruitment companies are necessarily fluid, agile, unpredictable places to be, more so now than ever, and encouraging thought diversity is quite simply the only way you can continue to evolve your offering and remain relevant in the future.
This article provides further reading and contains the killer tip:
“Create a culture that is open to new ideas, and start with yourself.”
Let’s see what we can do with this recruitment thing, shall we?