I was lucky enough to attend the fascinating ‘Be World Class’ conference last week in which outstanding individuals from various disciplines, including the worlds of sport, gastronomy and business spoke about how they had reached the levels they have today. The event focused on the key attributes that made these people ‘world class’ and whilst some of the themes were those that you would expect (dedication, time, a genuine passion for what they did), some were actually external factors that had pushed them on to excellence (right place at the right time, life changing event etc..)
Putting this into a business, or more specifically recruitment context this got me thinking what role organisations could play in developing a world class environment in which their employees could reach their own full potential. I think that this is the key here – I would never claim, nor hope to be truly ‘world class’ in comparison to some of the people that I heard speak at the conference but certainly would one day hope to be. In maximising your own potential and delivering the best that you can, all of the time, then you can at least share some of the attributes that these outstanding performers list as being key in taking them to where they are.
So, what can employers do to harness that potential and how can they use their recruitment process to be the first point of advertising themselves as a ‘world class’ organisation? Firstly, I think that in the same way that the individuals I was mentioning stressed that they achieved what they did by dedicating time to the process, I think that in giving time to each piece of recruitment, an organisation can really set themselves apart from the field.
I’m thinking of one specific example of an organisation that I am dealing with at present, who have not only taken the time to engage with me as their recruiter but dedicated time to putting a real plan in place for the piece of recruitment that they are carrying out, including putting together a highly detailed job description and profiles of key individuals in the business, all to be presented to candidates at the outset of the process and really bringing the business to life and ‘selling’ it as a world class place to work.
Likewise, organisations with a highly engaged workforce that act as champions for the business in all manner of subtle ways, really give off the feel of world class places to work. I recently placed an individual in a business and when it came down to her making a decision between the offer given by them and another, more financially lucrative offer from a different organisation, she chose the former in a heartbeat. The reason? Everyone that she had come into contact with throughout the recruitment process had come alive when they talked about the place that they worked and their own role within it. The evident pride shown by the employees persuaded that candidate that she would be walking into a world class environment and swung the balance for her.
Not all of us will reach the Olympics, climb Everest or run 66 ultra-marathons in 66 days (I know!) but each of us can do our own little bit to be part of something world class and when you think of it like that, that’s something pretty special!
Gareth Harrison CIPD
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