VISION + A LITTLE SELF-PROMOTION = RECOGNIZED EXPERT
Act Like an Expert to be Seen as an Expert
Are you a recruiting expert? With years of knowledge and practical experience, you probably are. But is that how you are perceived within your company?
The perception of expertise can be as important as the knowledge itself. It’s not enough to have the knowledge in your head – you have to think and act like an expert to gain an expert’s authority. Being perceived as an expert isn't something that just 'happens' once you've been in the recruiting industry for 10 or 15 years, either; it's a reputation you build over the long-term, starting in your very first job.
What's more, now that recruiting is becoming more specialized and involves more technology, even junior recruiting professionals can establish an 'expert' reputation in specific areas, such as being the designated social media guru for the recruiting department, for example. And becoming a recognized expert in one area - even if it's small - sets the stage for building a long-term reputation.
WIIFM? ('What's in it for me?')
Being perceived as an expert within the organization has two benefits:
- Your ideas and strategies get faster, easier buy-in and implementation
- You become more valuable to the organization (which means promotions, raises, etc.)
So how do you 'act like an expert', anyway?
Being perceived as an 'expert' or a 'leader' within the organization isn't so much about making a big splash as it is about day-to-day activities. People who are perceived as experts or leaders within their organizations are ones who:
- Raise their profile within the organization by building relationships with leaders in other departments
- Look for ways to participate in and add value to meetings and projects, especially when they're cross-functional
- Ask - and answer - strategic questions, both within and outside the organization
- Contribute to the development of the profession and/or industry (by writing articles, thoughtful comments in industry forums, contributing to the corporate blog or creating their own, seeking out speaking engagements, etc.)
- Are never too busy to give advice or insight about their area of expertise to co-workers and colleagues - and even their mother's friend's daughter who is interested in a career in recruiting
- Aren't afraid to take a stand on important issues
Experts and leaders look at the bigger picture
This is especially important for recruiting professionals, since recruiting has historically been viewed as a highly transactional, reactive, non-strategic function. Being perceived as a recruiting expert or thought leader means
- Understanding the business issues facing the organization as a whole
- Determining how the recruitment function can best contribute to organizational goals
- Knowing where the organization sits within its competitive set (both for recruiting and for business overall)
- Staying up-to-date on what competitors are doing
- Knowing what other recruiting experts and thought leaders are saying, and the current trends in recruiting
- Understanding the labour market(s) that affect their organization
- Having a good grasp of both short- and long-term strategies
The first step: Creating a 'vision'
Do you have a clear vision for your recruitment program? Can you describe it in 25 words or less? Is it clearly aligned to the overall business goals of the organization?
It’s important to have a single, overarching vision that guides your recruiting team and helps you decide what action plans to implement. A clear vision will keep you on track and help you reach your goals faster and more directly. What's more, when it's well-aligned with the organization's business plan and mandates, it's easier for people outside the recruitment function to perceive recruiting as proactively strategic rather than a transactional afterthought.
Not in a position to create and implement the whole recruiting 'vision' yourself? That's okay: Just make sure you volunteer to be on the project team responsible for creating the vision -and make sure you are a vocal participant in the process.
Tags: personal brand, thought leadership, strategy