Change—Get Past the Fear!

by Deb Andrychuk

9 August, 2013

Change. Just the thought of it can make us humans break out in a cold sweat. We resist change like the plague. I’m sure there are many scientific reasons why, but I think it always goes back to the old saying, “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know.”

With this in mind, it makes sense that it’s so difficult to introduce positive change to our clients. Let’s take employment branding as an example. Many prospects that we are engaged with either do not have a strong employment brand or have a version that is dated, generic or poorly executed on the creative side. If they even have content, it’s coupled with horrible visual aesthetics. I get that outdated employment brands are driven by both fear and lack of budget. But, you can’t get the budget unless you have the courage to ask.

Did I mention these are the same clients who are complaining about poor application conversion rates? Candidates who arrive at these career sites are not only unimpressed but also unsure about working for a company that does not take the time to explain its value proposition. To attract quality candidates, recruiters and talent acquisition leaders need to get past the fear and start identifying what can be improved in their department.

  1. Go team! Include folks outside of your department to get a balanced approach and new ideas. This takes the pressure off of you—if something goes wrong, then it’s not solely on your shoulders.
  2. In or out? Determine whether or not your change is something you can handle internally in an efficient way. If not, look to bring in external partners. Do your homework and talk to clients who have used the firms you are interested in.
  3. Establish budget and timeline. This may be your biggest hurdle. Build a solid case around why change is necessary and how it will impact your organization’s bottom line. Establish timelines to stay on task.
  4. Communicate. You do not need to communicate 24/7, but you do need to make sure that you consistently update the team and let your internal partners know what is going on. A simple project easily derails when no one is talking. If your project involves creative, make sure you include marketing, legal and communications from the start to lessen the threat of having your work scrapped later.
  5. Be yourself! Whatever you do, do not plagiarize the work done by other companies and think that its solution will fit your company’s needs. Do the research and take the time to understand how your project should unfold with your culture and personality stamped on it, not someone else’s.

My last thought? If you have the courage to do what you know will benefit you and your company, then you will get immense satisfaction and reward in the end. Once you get rolling, you will find the fear has subsided.

Change will do you good!