Stop Trying To Get a Seat at "The Table"

Every frustrated recruiting leader has uttered the words, "We need a seat at the table."

This magical table, they believe, holds the key to solving all of their problems.   If only they could get an inviation, they could get that new ATS they've been dreaming about or that extra headcount for employment branding initiatives.    Or, maybe, they'll finally get the respect they so desperately desire from the executive team.  

I think recruiting leaders should stop trying to get invited to the table.   And stop whining about not being there.    

If you truly want respect and all of the things that come with it, you need to create a new table of your own and start inviting executives to it.

When YOU create the table, people take notice.   They wonder why THEY aren't at the table.  They want in.   

Once you have your forum, you control the message.  You shape the beliefs.    You move the audience to action.

So how do you pull this off?   Here are a couple examples:

Start an Executive Recruiting Program.   Invite a group of executives to YOUR table to help shape the process, the branding, and the outcomes.   Once they've helped you design the program, ask for the resources you need.

Start a monthly LOL event ("Linkedin Over Lunch).   Invite top executives and senior managers and show them how to connect with potential recruits, share thought leadership articles that make them look smart and update their profile so they appear to be a great advocate for the company.  If you find that they won't show up to this meeting, schedule a one-on-one session with them.   

Send out a quarterly recruiting update to all senior leaders.   Not just any update, but a beautifully designed PDF showing your recruiting funnel --- how many candidates have applied all the way down to the number of hires. Throw in a bunch of cool stats like % applicants hired, agency cost avoidance, # of interviews scheduled...they love stuff like this.   And don't forget to name the quarterly hiring manager award winner!

While these ideas are quite different in terms of their ease of execution and their strategic importance to the business, I think you'll notice that they all have one thing in common.   They focus on getting the executive team something that has their interests in mind.  Instead of you begging for money, headcount or an invitation to "the table."   

By making yourself relevant to your executive team and doing it on your terms, not only will they ask you to join their table, but they'll jump at the chance to join yours.