It takes courage to do things differently. So often it's just so much easier to follow what everyone else does, even when we know that what everyone else does is not quite right.
We've written before about how HR is broken, and how the recruitment process sucks, so there are many reasons to try to do things differently to better manage people.
Many leaders talk about best practice, yet when we look at the people management practices in their businesses, including the recruitment process, we just see the same old way of doing things as everyone else. Huh?
So, it just happens that what everyone else is doing is the best practice for your unique organisation. Hmm. Does that pass the smell test?
Most business owners tell us how their business is unique. So it's a heck of a coincidence that what Google found to work in their office environment (15 years ago) happens to work just as well in your firm. It would be equally surprising if the performance appraisal, originally invented around the time of World War 1, just happens to be best practice for your business today.
We hear your "yeah, but ...". We raise it with, "so what else have you tried?"
Think about the process of recruiting new people for a moment.
A commonly used online recruiting platform allows people to upload their CV, then go and search for a whole bunch of jobs that meet their criteria, and send that exact same CV to every employer who happened to advertise a job with those attributes. With just a few clicks they've applied for 20 jobs today. Do they sound like the best candidates for you? Hmm. Yet that platform is the most popular recruiting platform, used almost by default by thousands of businesses. Now consider that many of those people didn't even write their own CV.
When do you ask candidates how they will achieve the outcomes of the job? How do you really assess how a candidate will fit into your your unique business? Only when you interview them? It's so lucky that you're an amazingly talented interviewer despite probably having never been specifically trained to do it.
So how on earth do you decide who to interview? Oh of course, the ones that had the best CV.
Best practice? Only by accident.
The recruitment process is only one example of the gap between common practice and best practice. There are many other examples in managing people where common practice and best practice are miles apart.
How many organisations genuinely do things differently?
Part of the challenge with best practice, is that it has to be invented. It needs people to step back, ask the bigger questions, and map out a different process tailored specifically for your objectives. In small businesses, finding the time for that is hard.
That's what we do at The H Factor. For example, the recruitment process in The H Factor system has no place for candidates to send their CV. Instead it asks candidates to answer questions about how they will achieve the outcomes of the business and the advertised position. It asks them to think about how they will actually use their qualifications and experience to benefit your business, so that you can decide who to interview. This process replaces assumptions about performance with the opportunity for candidates to demonstrate the value of their contribution. It provides the tool for you to make a more informed decision.
Best practice is not about being on trend, funky, or just standing out. It's about being more effective. In many cases it might look radically different to common practice.
When we created The H Factor, our approach was to identify the best approach for managing people, and instil it into a workable system that business owners can easily plug in to their businesses. We've applied that approach to managing recruitment, engagement, performance, and teams.
One of our values is to challenge the status quo and drive change. That value matters to us because we actually want to explore best practice, not just copy common practice. You're invited to join us.
H Agents write about the joys and challenges of entrepreneurship and managing people.