The annual HRMAC Summit is among the most well attended HR events in Chicago, drawing over 300 HR, Talent Management and Talent Acquisition leaders from all over the Chicagoland area and surrounding states.  This year’s Summit served up an especially broad selection of interesting topics. Of all the sessions, two in particular stood out for me. These presenters highlighted innovative approaches to challenges most employers know exist, but need to move to top of mind in 2017 as they consider future recruiting investments:

  • Dr. David Rock, Ph.D of the New Leadership Institute delivered a powerful message on how to successfully implement “Strategic D&I” initiatives that eliminate bias. According to Rock, we first need to accept that bias is happening, then label it and, thirdly, put action plans in place to mitigate it. The key principles he outlined centered around developing a common language – and for HR to stop talking about D&I programs and initiatives. Employees consider “D&I speak” as something they HAVE TO DO, and are measured on; therefore it is often perceived negatively. Conversely, as an unintended consequence of focusing on the “programmatic” execution of D&I initiatives, your organization’s diverse talent may feel singled out in the event you engage them to help you recruit more diverse candidates.  Instead, Rock recommends that HR engage all employees in an exercise to evaluate the top ten business AND people decisions that went wrong in the past, and analyze how could they have been mitigated by eliminating bias during the decision-making process. This activity raises the level of awareness from a business, recruiting or retention perspective so that everyone understands how their respective bias contributed to the poor outcomes.  And encourages change with an eye toward the future.
  • My other favorite HRMAC session was delivered by Jim Knight of who focused on strategies to create a “Culture that Rocks!” Jim defines culture as all about EXPERIENCING the PRESENT. He further describes culture in terms of a collection of people with unique behaviors and shared experiences.  His premise is that most employers focus on celebrating the heritage of their culture (where they started and how they have evolved over the years) and then highlighting what they perceive their culture is today.  In fact, the real culture that every new job candidate or employee perceives should be based upon that person’s EXPERIENCE of your brand at every touchpoint of their interaction with your company.  People crave personalized, differentiated experiences and this is what employers need to focus on creating, living and promoting.  Bottom line, Jim’s closing statement says it all: “Corporate values matter, but employers who create MIND SEARING EXPERIENCES… consistently, will ROCK a culture that attracts and retains the best talent!”
Carl Kutsmode

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Carl Kutsmode has over 20 years expertise in talent acquisition transformation — assessing and optimizing corporate recruiting capabilities for greater efficiency and performance.

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