Organimi is a great tool for business owners and HR administrators to create and share org charts with their teams on line, wherever they work from.  But as we have discussed in past blogs Organimi also has lots of other great applications.  

Today we’re talking about how recruiters can create and share Organimi org charts with their clients and prospects to meaningfully differentiate their practises and generate new revenue opportunities. 

Reinvent Or Be Uberfied

Uber seems to be everywhere these days.  So its not surprising that the ride sharing app/ecosystem as vaulted into the biggest of big leagues, achieving a reported valuation of over $50 billion in its latest (raising over $1 billion) financing in record time, ahead even of Facebook.  To borrow from Mugatu(Will Farrell)’s gushing admiration of Hansel(Owen Wilson) in Zoolander…Uber is “so hot right now”.

A good friend of mine is a recruiter.  He has been doing a great job for his clients for many years – in large agencies and in recent years running a boutique.  He worries constantly though these days about being “uberfied” out of his job….about losing his competitive edge.  He wonders what he should do.

It is a sign of the times that anyone who reads this blog across much of the world will know immediately on hearing the word “uberfication” what we mean…technology innovation driving new business models that leverage a massive, underemployed and highly connected global labor pool to disrupt traditional industries.  

More positively positioned as the “sharing economy” – and affecting everything from taxi cab driving, to hoteling, graphic design, marketing, software coding, accounting, law, you name it – there is someone in the “freelance” / Work 3.0 economy out there willing to give it a shot; the “it” being what you used to do and charge more money for.   This trend is not your friend.

Some  jobs and industries have some measure of protection – monopoly, regulation, self-regulation, guilds, unions, you name it.  But as Uber’s assault on the established interests in the tax business has demonstrated, those protections are increasingly illusory.  All jobs it seems are fair game…and whether your competitive edge was a taxi medallion, a degree from a professional school, or a database of great contacts built from years of networking sweat equity, those edges have been worn away.  Kaboom!

So it is in the recruiting industry.  This is evidenced most obviously by LinkedIn, with its vast pool of candidate profiles and the online recruiting tools available for a relatively low cost to employers, but also by the reams and reams of job board sites serving market niches of all types and tools like resume capture, psychometric assessment and reference checking sites that perform the quantitative and qualitative screening process online and in minutes; a set of tasks that was once the primary role and value add of the external recruiters and HR professionals.

For the recruiting industry, which is a perfectly competitive global market space with thousands of large, medium and small companies vying for a slice of the pie, and with few significant barriers to entry, there is no question, as recently reported in a Canadian Business article on “Headhunters In The Age of LinkedIn”, that a transformation is well under way.

A Look On The Bright Side

Which takes us back to my friend.  He’s right to worry.  Lots of change is afoot. 

Recuiters are not alone.  Viewed in the broad sense the entire HR lifecycle is transitioning to a new environment.  As Steven Boese suggests in a provocative blog entitled The Uberfication of HR In a world with far fewer “regular” employees, it stands to reason organizations would also need far fewer of the types that look after all aspects of the employee relationship with the organization. 

As he observes:

Some folks like to think if the trend does continue that we would enter into an age where there is much less direct employment in the traditional sense. Work becomes more “on-demand” in nature and many organizations evolve into a new kind of holding company—simply facilitating interactions (for a cut of the proceeds) between consumers and providers. While much has been written about the potential challenges and ramifications to the lives of the workers in this scenario, not much has been written about one other—at least to my way of thinking—cohort of folks destined to be significantly impacted by a potential mass shift of “regular” employees to independent contractor status… namely—corporate HR, recruiting, and talent professionals.”

Simply put, as employment relationships and HR structures change – as they are – recruiters and other services providers working in and around these organizations also need to change.

In the spirit of Eric Idle’s character in Monty Python’s “Life of Brian“, another irreverent (sacrilegious?) comedy classic, he is focussing forward, trying to look on the bright side of things following the advice from the catchy ditty that closes that movie….looking on the bright side.  

These days, that means he spends a lot of his time thinking about how to reinvent his role, how to add value, and how to generate clients, revenue and income, in a business environment where “hired gun” agency and retainer based recruiting models are increasingly out of fashion.   

Organizing For Opportunities with Organimi

If the way forward at the mid-market has to mean meaningful differentiation and bringing new value to clients, the way recruiters work and what they do has to change…and new tools and approaches are required.

I have suggested that he try Organimi, to map out a few of his best clients org structures, and sit down with them to learn where their management teams think the team is strong, or weak, and where they see the business evolving.  He can see and work through with them the gaps that need to be filled in the organization…and then get the mandates needed to fill them.  That is one of the use cases – recruiting value add – the Organimi Planner edition is all about.  And the logic applies whether you work inside or outside the organization in a recruiting or talent management role.

If he knows his client organizations and their senior management well, and can use tools like Organimi to help them collaboratively develop a stronger team, he can reposition himself away from being perceived as a traditional “hired gun” recruiter to a more fully integrated and indispensable  member of the talent management teams of those organization. By getting ahead of the curve on the tools, he can stay ahead of the curve in his industry.

The message in short is to embrace these tools, “leverage” them (to repeat a massively overused buzzword) and create new value add for his time compressed, resource poor business partners that is clear, immediate and affordable. 

It is a tough and tricky sales pitch, since some of the people he may be pitching to perceive the org chart, the organizational design process, and related gaps analysis and talent development to be their own “safe place” they don’t want to be uberfied out of.  But they may be happy to have that offladed to a trusted (and now more indispensable) advisor.  And it seems, inevitably, that this is the sales pitch he needs to make regardless.

Painting The Picture For Clients, Using Their Org Charts 

As the saying goes, among American business consultants anyway, the chinese characters for “crisis” represent danger and opportunity.

With that in mind, and with “uberification” ever present, below are some thoughts and suggestions on how recruiters can maybe navigate away from the dangers, while creating new business opportunities by delivering additional value.

Recognize the really big issue

The really big issue for most organizations is one of growing importance.  In a recent Wired article on HR technologies, The War on Talent: How Social,  Analytics are Reinventing the Art of HR,  it was reported that 65% of global companies are having problems finding employees with the skills they need. Another recent report lists talent shortage as the #2 risk for businesses globally. “The evidence is clear. The need for superior talent is increasing and organizations across the globe recognize that the best candidates are worth fighting for. The question is, how does an organization attract, retain and empower the right talent for the right position at the right time?”

Embrace the change; Be The Ninja

Jonathan Ferrar is Vice President, HR, Workforce Analytics, and is responsible for Strategy and Product Management for the Smarter Workforce business at IBM.  In the Wired article above he commented on the changing landscape for talent acquisition and recruiting as follows:

“Gone are the days of static job postings and sifting through stacks of resumes. In an ever increasingly social and digital landscape where potential candidates are active over social networks, tagging their expertise and proactively making connections, a unique combination of social, analytic and talent management tools are required to attract and retain the talent needed to drive value for your organization and build a Smarter Workforce.  Now instead of collecting resumes from hundreds of applicants with one or two targeted skills, the business professional can become far more strategic in attracting and identifying talent with the exact skills that fit an open position. The result is an employee who is more engaged and connected, which drives productivity, creativity and unleashes innovation.”

Organimi is a great tool.  but you still need to learn how to use it.  And there seem to be lots of HR solutions of all kinds out there in addition to Organimi the mastery of which can deliver real value to organizations.

Many of your clients may not have the time, money or energy to learn or use many of these tools, even when they can see clear benefits from their use.  Be the technolgy ninja!  

Create defensible niches; experiment early and often

Another friend of mine, also in the recruiting business, has identified what he feels is a lasting arbitrage opportunity – matching skills starved tech companies in Silicon Valley with highly skilled yet under-employed and unemployed software engineers in other jurisdictions who can work productively remotely.

He moves cross-border to facilitate the creation of these relationships, and takes care of their ongoing management, including providing employer of record duties and responsibilities in their home jursidictions to reduce transaction costs and friction for US employers; all the while providing the employers with the option, at any time, to migrate to an employer situation if they wish either by bringing these personnel to the US or by setting up their own operations in the local market.

He is able to offer local market candidates superior offers, and his closer personal relationships and networks with US IT industry client firms, as well as his lower cost structure, make it possible to compete against the large business process outsourcing firms like Wipro, Tata, IBM and countless other large firms that have been playing this arbitrage for years. 

Help Reinvent the Playing Field For Your Clients

Think About Extending Your Clients’ Geographic Reach.  Many employees today are geographically distant, and most organizations will need to leverage broader pools of talent as they grow.  This only works if the culture and work systems of your clients support remote operations. Are your client organizations built to be a geographically distributed workplace.  If not, how can you help them get there.  Are your candidates the best possible, within a reasonable (but significantly broader) geographic zone then your clients may have previously recruited?  Can you convince your clients to broaden their net to capture better qualified and lower cost candidates in other areas and help your clients successfully onboard them? What does the Organimi org chart look like for your client’s (now, in your vision) geographically disbursed team?

Think About Helping Reduce Client Costs With Candidates Who Excel At Remote Work.  Open workplaces with fewer locations, smaller shared physical layouts and more remote worker interaction are in the ascendancy.  The reduction in fixed operating costs is a huge benefit.  Concerns about alignment, accountability and execution are the biggest challenges.  Are your recruiting efforts for your clients aligned with – and even proactively leading – the client’s own thinking about their needs to maintain or reduce fixed operating costs as they scale.  Are the candidates you are sourcing able to operate in these kinds of environments.

Think About Your Client’s Competitors and Customer Profiles. What do your client’s top 3 competitors org charts look like?  Can you create and show them?  Are there recruiting opportunities there?  Are there learning opportunities there to replicate organizational design innovations of their competitors?   Do you know what your clients are thinking about diversifying their client base?  Which customers are they trying to go after.  Are the candidates you are pencilling in for them aligned with their diversification needs?  Can you create an org chart showing your candidates and their customer reach potential?

Think About Your Client’s Team and its Growth Potential.  Is your client promoting from within, or in need of external talent.  In either case, working from the org chart gives you (and them) a view of what is happening now and where they need to go.  Internal promotions leave gaps, and create opportunities for others to move into new positions, or for new groups to be created.  External hires can bring relevant experience, new business opportunities and fresh thinking.  How can you help your clients balance these needs and opportunities? 

Are you showing your client the organization of today, or showing it the organization you want to help them build for tomorrow…with suggested candidates “pencilled in” already using your networking and social networking skills and Organimi.
At Organimi maybe we’re better at asking questions then giving answers.  We can’t know the recruiting industry anywhere as close as people who work it day in and day out do.  But we do know people in the industry are stressed, concerned about change, and rethinking their roles.  
We hope to be part of the solution as the industry evolves and people reimagine and reinvent their roles….one org chart at a time Organimi is a great org chart tool.  It is easy to create and use.  It won’t save your life, but if you are in the recruiting biz it may help you grow existing and create new client relationship.

As always, we welcome feedback.

Thanks for reading.

 The Organimi Team