Most leaders agree that implementation and follow-through are required for business success. Organizations that execute their well thought out plans succeed, those that don’t fail. So why don’t people follow through on plans, especially for something as important as recruiting and hiring the right people? The answer may be staring you right in the face.
Take a look around your office or cubicle. Do the same when you get home tonight. When’s the last time you paid attention to the art or decorations you’ve put up at your home or office? Not just a quick glance, but really taking a moment to appreciate the beauty of a piece or remembering what attracted you to it in the first place. Most people admit that the only time they take notice is when someone asks them where they acquired a particular object or its significance. Simply put, after a while everything blends in, even things that are especially meaningful to us.
This is commonplace blindness. Once we get used to something, it becomes commonplace. We stop noticing it.
Smart product manufacturers understand commonplace blindness, which is why they change their packaging from time to time. They want us to keep paying close attention to their products. Last year, I remember seeing a soft drink can that had the colors of a well-known competing product. Just above the label on the can were the words “Great new look. Same great taste.” Did the new packaging work? It got my attention enough to mention it here.
Commonplace blindness happens every day in organizations across the globe, and it’s not only the art that’s being overlooked. Those signs espousing your recruiting best practices haven’t been noticed in months. The hiring process document that you ask people to keep on their desks is collecting dust. The interview checklist that was put on tablets for convenience is ignored after just a handful of meetings. Seeing these items becomes part of the routine. These items blend in, causing us to take them for granted and stop paying attention to them.
Leaders often have to remind people to do the very things noted on the walls, process documents, or screens because of commonplace blindness. The cure is relatively simple: change the packaging. You do that by altering the look, location, or liability.
You can alter the design, color, or formatting—the look. Moving the location, just like moving furniture, often recaptures attention. To shift the liability, delegate responsibility to team members for regularly modifying the look or location of key items of workplace significance.
What happens when organizations counter commonplace blindness by changing the look, location, or liability? Check out these recent successes:
- A large tech company all but eliminated turnover during the first 90 days of employment as interviewers consistently followed every written step of the hiring and interview process.
- A boutique ad agency tripled its flow of top talent when managers remembered to follow their proven and well-documented recipe for writing job posts.
- A mid-market staffing firm doubled the number of candidates placed on assignment each week when staff stopped overlooking the very simple and powerful workflow for taking and validating job orders.
- A global manufacturer sourced more quality candidates than they needed for hard-to-fill roles when the talent acquisition team stopped relying on their memory and followed their checklists for tapping into all of the streams of talent.
You’ve worked hard to build a company with hiring processes and interviewing systems that drive your business. By avoiding commonplace blindness, you’ll have your recruiting and hiring best practices doing what they are supposed to do.