Thursday, November 15, 2012

Left to Learn

Having just attended the E2Innovate conference, I am full of fresh and meaningful ideas! I found myself most intrigued by a conversation facilitated by IT Directors from Facebook, Mozilla, and PayPal. Taking into account the company names and presenter titles the last topic you would think they would tackle is...recruiting. Fortunately, companies are embracing the concept that every employee is part of the organizational development process.

The aforementioned session was facilitated by Gerald Chertavian of Year Up. Year Up is an organization founded on the principle of delivering quality education to people of all economic backgrounds. Year Up gives young people with high school degrees or GED's an opportunity to take a year of highly intensive technical courses while providing a pipeline to IT professionals in the Silicon Valley.

I am consistently reminded of two unfair workforce stereotypes:
1. Young people are entitled.
2. Senior staff members are threatened by the rise of technology in the workplace.

In reality, people care about their companies far more than we might assume. In a day and age when people spend 80% to 90% of their waking hours at work, one cannot help but assume a sense of pride in what they do. As such, the investment in a new generation of workers is met with hope for the future and an openness to the innovative ideas new people bring into the working world. We are all part of the recruiting effort and we can all learn from each other.

How to Make Your Company Obsolete
There was a time when the hiring process was a series of grueling interviews. Those days are over. Face it, you need young talent more than they need you. People coming out of college (or high school)  have far more options nowadays. The stereotype of young people being entitled in holey false. A new generation of workers is looking for fewer benefits and has learned to work lean. Entrepreneurship has never been more accessible and the expectation of signing bonuses has been replaced with an insatiable thirst for knowledge. You should use the hiring process as an opportunity to learn...I'm talking to you Hiring Manager.

Admit You Care
I love to see senior staff members who have a sense of youthful exuberance. The days of dictatorship are gone and those unadaptive to change are finding an express lane to early retirement. The best leaders serve as teachers who are willing to learn from their pupils.

It is wise of any organization to develop a culture of learning. The emphasis on titles is being dispelled and we are all interested in sharing. A true trait of leadership is to pass along the knowledge you have gained in the workplace to help your co-workers grow with you. We have learned that internal competition only serves to muddy the workplace waters. Collaboration for the collective good is the best way to propel the organization forward.

Be a team player, be a coach, be a teacher. Look over your shoulder, pick someone up, and help them get to where they want to be.

Don't Forget to Remember!


1 comment:

  1. Very Goods tips for recruiters dave! I am not one...but I wholeheartedly would like to recommend the tip about how the young generation is not spoilt but actually looking to learn more.

    I make pretty less in my job...but mostly hate it because I feel like I am sinking every day!