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Four Easy Delegation Strategies

Posted By APSO, Tuesday, 08 September 2015

Four Easy Delegation Strategies

About the Author: Bill Radin is one of the most popular and highly regarded trainers in the recruiting industry and trains across the United States.

There’s no substitute for interacting with your candidates and employers in real time. But unfortunately, there are only so many hours in each day. By delegating routine, repetitive or data-oriented tasks, you can save time and in many ways exercise more control than if you were to perform every single function personally.

Here are some tips on how to delegate your tasks. Remember that delegation doesn’t necessarily mean that you give tasks to other people. I’ve found that in many cases, I can use various instruments of delegation to leverage my efforts. Here are a few examples:

  • CV templates. 

Years ago, I used to spend time coaching candidates to help them improve the quality and appearance of their CVs. Today, I ask them to go to my website and study the template of an exemplary resume and revise theirs accordingly. In this case, the template acts as an instrument of delegation, and the exercise spares me a lot of the time I might spend as an editor, not a recruiter. If the candidates can clearly see how to organise their accomplishments, they can re-format their CV and improve their chances of getting hired.

  • Position comparisons. 

If a candidate is unclear about the merits of a new job, you can use itemised lists to help make A-B comparisons with the old job. To compare compensation, I use a simple side-by-side spreadsheet to examine items such as base salary, bonus, deferred compensation, insurance costs, hidden expenses and health care benefits. To compare intangibles, I’ll provide a worksheet to examine the qualitative differences between jobs to help the candidate make an informed decision. By delegating to the worksheets, I can change the candidate’s perception of my role from salesman (“Here’s why you should take the job”) to advisor (“Let’s analyse your situation based on the facts”).

  • Interview prep

You should always custom tailor the way you prepare candidates prior to their interviews. But there are also many standard conventions regarding attire, attitude, punctuality and so forth that you can just as easily give to your candidates in the form of a reading assignment, rather than as a night-before lecture. Delegating the talking points of your interview prep to a brochure or web page saves time and allows you to concentrate on the candidates’ understanding of the position and on any interviewing skills that need the most attention.

  • Applications and navigators. 

Often, you can get better information in a more timely fashion directly from the candidates and hiring managers themselves than you can by an exhaustive interviewing process. By having the employer fill out a questionnaire (which I call an “executive search navigator”) and the candidate fill out an application or bio-survey, I can get routine demographic information in advance, freeing me up to concentrate on the more intangible and subjective aspects of their needs.

One Delegation to Avoid

I know this may sound counter-intuitive, but the one instrument of delegation I never want a candidate to see is the company’s job description. There are three reasons for this: First, most standard-issue job descriptions are so exhaustive with their “must-have” lists that they tend to demoralise candidates who don’t check every single box. Second, most job descriptions are outrageously vague and superficial, and rarely address the issue of “why” the position needs to be filled or “how” the right candidate will help the company solve problems or achieve goals.

Finally, a job description can undermine the recruiter’s value as a matchmaker and interpreter of the company’s unique opportunity relative to the candidate’s true potential. The last thing I want is to find a candidate, establish trust and present a job I feel is a good match, only to have a job description contradict or confuse the narrative. 

Tags:  APSO  Bill Radin  candidate  clients  coaching  delegation  job description  planning  strategy 

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Blended Workforces: Strategising Today for Tomorrow's Success

Posted By APSO, Tuesday, 17 June 2014
Updated: Monday, 19 May 2014

Blended Workforces: Strategising today for tomorrow’s success

In today’s uncertain economy, securing and retaining top talent is a complex undertaking. Given shifts in workforce demographics, the demand for innovation and global growth, organisations need to be able to paint a complete picture of current and future talent needs. They are adopting a single integrated framework for employee recruitment and contingent workforce supply chain management, yielding what is known as a “blended workforce” approach to talent strategy.

Historically, organisations have invested in various outsourcing providers including engaging Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) for full-time employees and Managed Services Providers (MSP) for contingent labour. Today, forward-thinking organisations are applying the blended workforce approach and leveraging a single provider for both traditional talent acquisition and the management of the contingent labour supply chain.

Shift to more flexible workforces

According to Aberdeen’s 2012 Contingent Workforce Management report, nearly 26% of the average organisations workforce is considered contingent or temporary, up from 23% in 2011. Clearly, the demand for a more flexible workforce is on the rise as both employers and employees recognise the numerous benefits, including greater diversity, improved productivity and reduce costs.

The contemporary business often relies on contractors, contingent workers and traditional full-time employees to complete its objectives and drive more revenue to the bottom-line. As these categories evolve and progress, so do the solutions and strategies required to manage overall talent in an effective manner.

Aberdeen’s 2012 Blended Workforce survey identified several key drivers in this shift to an integrated approach, including reducing costs, improving visibility to attract quality talent, and improved productivity.


While optimising costs and improving visibility into the talent supply are important drivers for success, identifying and acquiring top-level talent involves a series of processes that do not have cost or visibility top of mind. Instead, these processes are only concerned with the end result of overall organisational enhancement.

Under an integrated approach, these processes must be executed in such a way that pay rates, utilisation of internal resources, and cost of recruitment efforts do not shatter greater objectives. Organisations should optimise their spending on all talent initiatives and gain a better understanding of their entire talent pool as a means of improving overall workforce quality.

Three foundations for success – Collaboration, Strategy, and Technology

For organisations to get the most value from a blended workforce approach, they should consider end-to-end recruitment including everything from employer branding to sourcing, screening and assessment, and hiring.  Keys to success include:

  • Fostering collaboration between internal units. All key decision makers - HR, procurement and business - should be involved, sharing core objectives and ensuring continuous communication.
  • Defining a formal strategy. A comprehensive plan, documenting existing processes and future goals based on both the internal and external marketplace, enables organisations to design foundational practices in the context of long-term goals.
  • Invest in technology. Analytics and third-party technology solutions enhance the programme by assisting in measuring and monitoring success, including elements such as cost and visibility concerns outlined earlier.

Working together to achieve

Although options vary, nearly half of the organisations surveyed indicated that they managed the strategy under a single group. Although each unit has its own challenges and outcomes, if they work together success is more easily achieved.

Human Resources:  One of the key challenges is aligning talent initiatives with those of the business. By providing a complete view, through analytics, of both traditional and contingent workers, HR is more empowered to make business-centric decisions around talent. HR is in the unique position to be the champion of an integrated strategy, driving the process and articulating results.  This evolving role will require HR professionals to move outside their comfort zone and create, track and report on a more complete picture of talent.

Procurement:  This division was designed with one major goal in mind, produce cost savings and improve the organisation’s bottom-line. However, it is necessary for the procurement division to be more than a mere cost-cutter; they must find balance between cost and quality. Procurement’s strength in contract, and supplier lifecycle management, is critical considering the contemporary “contingent workforce umbrella” involves independent contracts, consultants, and professionals services and more often than not, these forms of talent are linked to Statements of Work. Procurement’s expertise in managing performance, based on milestones and delivery dates, is critical.

Business:  The primary goal of the business unit, in particular those on a C-level, is to achieve the organisation’s objectives at the lowest possible cost whilst maintaining a top-tier level of quality. Under the direction of business, HR and Procurement can better focus on the greater goals of driving talent costs down while improving overall quality and visibility.

The need for technology

A key to an optimum blended workforce strategy is the ability of functioning units to tap into intelligence from the same system. Leading providers are now offering integrated solutions for recruiting both contingent workers and traditional employees.

Technology-led intelligence is critical in:

·         Managing geographically diverse workforces and talent pools;

·         Assessing supplier and worker performance against milestones and delivery dates;

·         Tracking ongoing and forecasted trends within traditional and contract talent to garner valuable intelligence about suppliers, usage or effectiveness; and

·         Tracking improves overall budgeting and financial resource planning for future projects that will use contract/contingent talent


The survey revealed that more than half of the organisations surveyed do not currently realise the value of analytics in their blended workforce strategies.


There is a multitude of technology options available in the talent and workforce management space but the most commonly used is the Applicant Tracking System (ATS). The biggest challenge is that much of the technology available has only limited functionality to support contingent labour, necessitating an improvement in capability or at least integration with a Vendor Management System (VMS).



In conclusion, findings from the research shows that whilst the blended workforce approach is being adopted by a growing number of organisations, there is still much room for growth, and the time for implementing strategy is now.


Extracts from “Driving a Blended Workforce Strategy: A Total Talent Approach” published in January 2013. For more than two decades, Aberdeen’s research has been helping corporations worldwide become Best-In-Class. For more information on this or other research topics please visit

Tags:  APSO  APSOgram  blended workforce  business  collaboration  contigent labor  employee  flexibility  HR  procurement  quality  reduce costs  strategy  talent acquisition  technology  vendor management systems  VMS  workforce 

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8 Strategies to Successfully Change Your Company Culture

Posted By APSO, Tuesday, 20 May 2014
Updated: Friday, 16 May 2014

8 Strategies to Successfully Change Your Company Culture
By: Michelle M Smith


The current pace of change in business is unprecedented, and many leaders are looking to refine — or even overhaul — their cultures to better position their organisations for success. Change is never easy, but changing corporate culture needs to be approached thoughtfully and with resolve. Drs. Kevin and Jackie Frieberg specialise in culture, and the following strategies have been adapted from their work.

  1. Creating a new culture calls for new methods. Creating a new culture will be extremely difficult if you insist on doing it by playing with the old rules. Trying to change while still using the old rules is futile — the rules themselves are part of the problem.
  2. Champion the vision and re-channel the energy. When change happens, people get disoriented and fear and resistance take over. Start by communicating a compelling vision to focus employees’ attention. Give people something to aim at—be specific and avoid generalities.
  3. Make your early moves bold, dramatic, and unwavering. Culture change requires a unique combination of passion, courage, conviction, audacity, and determination. Your early moves must be strikingly bold, lightning fast, and out of character in relation to the old rules. You must gain momentum quickly, and employees need to see your resolve or you won’t overcome resistance.
  4. Surround yourself with talented, tough-minded non-conformists. Creating a new culture is not only about changing the rules; it’s about changing the rule makers. Surround yourself with people who are as passionate about the new vision as you are and are willing to stand up to the heat.
  5. Re-engineer the reward system to reinforce the behaviours you want. Culture change won’t happen unless people see a personal return on investment for behaving in different ways. If you don’t radically restructure how you reward people you’ll fuel the fires of resistance. Change what you celebrate, honour, and who you hold up as heroes. Devote your time to those change agents and vision champions who add value.
  6. Track progress, measure results, and hold people accountable. The cliché is true: You get what you measure and reward. Holding people accountable means paying close attention to what’s important. Like a rubber band, if you relax the pull of the new culture, people will revert back to old comfortable patterns. Tracking progress enables you to know where the resistance lies and where you should be allocating rewards.
  7. Remove obstacles and bureaucratic practices. You’ll gain respect and credibility by breaking the chains of bureaucracy. But bureaucracy is a formidable adversary — it’s the ball and chain of ‘the way we’ve always done it.’ Your employees will have a difficult time contributing to the new cause if they are shackled by the old rites, rituals, and rules.
  8. Establish concrete evidence and tangible results quickly through small wins. Tangible pay-offs fuel the fires of motivation and contain the skeptics. It’s hard to argue with success when you can measure it in more money, time saved, and percentages of re-work minimised. Advertise successes—many cultural initiatives fail because employees in the trenches don’t see or hear about positive results.

Michelle M. Smith is the Vice President of Business Development at Salt Lake City-based OC Tanner, an international appreciation company that helps more than 6,000 clients worldwide appreciate people who do great work through consulting, training, and creating customised award and recognition programs.


Tags:  APSO  APSOgram  conviction  corporate culture  culture  organisational culture  passion  strategy  tangible results  vision 

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