When Leading Change, Who Comes First? Executive or Employee?

August 7th, 2017
Lauren Lucyshyn
Recruiting Teams

"Change Management." I don't know about you, but my social feeds are full of opinions on change management: best practices, implementations, and earning buy-in. Most articles on the topic have some good insight on implementing change, but until this recent Forbes article, I felt no one had quite hit the nail on the head. The article addresses risk, and the dichotomy between executives in management and front line employees. It calls out the elephant in the room: front line employees are not keen on risk, and therefore resist change. 

A Problem of Framing

Here at HireVue we provide a video interviewing and assessment service. By combining cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI) with time-tested Industrial-Organizational (I-O) Psychology, we can algorithmically identify top performers based on their recorded responses in a video interview. To a recruiter, this tool might appear to be in competition for their job. It collects interviews, uses data analytics to predict candidate fit, and can integrate into an ATS to auto-trigger screening process steps. "Wait a minute," they might think. "That's what I do!" And panic sets in. Of course, we know this is not the case. The question is, how does a manager implement this technology in a way that not only doesn't spook its users, but inspires them to make the most of it? How do they get their staff thinking that this technology:

  • Can improve their ability to fill positions faster.
  • Enables them to build an engaged bench.
  • Helps them stay within their recruiting budget.
  • Gives them time back to close the best talent and broaden their search.

This is a huge shift. Managers need to create a gameplan that inspires front line employees, and frames the change in a positive way.

Build Consensus by Asking

Here's a great example of how to build consensus, courtesy of Forbes. An organization named MBX managed to evolve their culture so risk is accepted at all employment levels How did they accomplish this? By asking. Managers at MBX engaged a broad audience, collecting a variety of opinions via surveys while remaining transparent to their true purpose. Fully disclosing the reason for the surveys while allowed the staff to understand and acknowledge the need for change before it even took place. They were bought into the process and were a key part of the change, not a casualty of it.  Let’s turn this back to our example of the skeptical recruiter. We know that with traditional recruitment methods, we risk passing up quality candidates. We know that we are open to risk because we cannot guarantee any one candidate receives the exact same process as another. We know that phone screens are extremely time consuming (and often times maddening). We know that Talent Acquisition is an evolving function: we can either jump on the bandwagon or risk being left behind.  If your goal is to innovate and get to the best talent, faster, ask your team what their current struggles and inefficiencies are. Following this up with exploratory questioning around possible solutions and the evolution of their function. Giving your employees a voice will help you, as a manager, understand their true needs as they align to your broader goals: effectively allowing everyone to start the change journey together.  For any change to be successful, the manager and employee need to work and move forward in unison. This builds trust within your workforce, and makes later change that much easier: it's part of the culture! When risk is an expected (and embraced) part of your culture, all of a sudden change doesn’t seem so scary. 

About the Author:

Lauren LLauren Lucyshyn is a Professional Services Consultant at HireVue. She works with clients around the world, helping them implement video interviewing and drive organizational change with a winning combination of best practices and system expertise. Find her on LinkedIn.

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