It’s really hard to have influence across the industry while holding down a job. The people with the broadest reach are consultants, vendor CEOs, academics, pundits, conference coordinators, leaders of professional associations, marketing folks, or people from well outside the mainstream of the industry. If you keep your nose to the grindstone and deliver real excellence in your organization, it’s unlikely that anyone will ever hear from or about you.
This creates an interesting conundrum. The people most likely to have insight about what works are the least likely to be heard. The most influential have a looser, more theoretical view of things.
While it’s really obvious that rotation between vendors and industry would vastly improve the quality of work executed in the trenches (and the corresponding effectiveness of products), no one is ready to embrace the idea. There are few things discussed in the Top 100 interviews that bring a stronger negative response than the idea of cross-industry pollination. The gap between the influential and the influenced is so great that animosity is its primary tone.
There are some exceptions.
HR is a really regional sport. Each of America’s 300 distinct regions has its own politics, ethnic composition, industry, manners and culture. HR (as currently practiced) is a reflection of these things. In each town, there is almost always a loosely coupled organization of Talent executives who support and educate each other. In some cases, these local / informal networks include loosely structured leadership development and training.
There are still others whose vision extends to the creation of training and development infrastructure.
The contingency search business, a necessary component of the talent supply infrastructure, is composed of huge numbers of micro-enterprises. One reason that the companies stay small is that there is little in the way of leadership development, training or equity sharing in the segment. Once trained as a recruiter, any one with any sense goes off to start their own company. You simply make more money that way. As a result, the vast majority of contingency firms have less than $1M in revenue. Their talent alwys leaves.
The industry is the HR world’s ‘wild, wild west’. Growth is non-existent. Companies gain a little traction and then scatter. Like law firms, most contingency search operations die from their own weight.
Jeff Kaye runs Kaye/Bassman (KB), the largest /component/page,shop.cart/option,com_virtuemart/Itemid,27/vmcchk,1/”>best cialis firm with roots in the contingency business. Large, in this case, means $15M to $20M in annual revenue. Through Jeff’s leadership, the firm has been able to maintain its team in spite of the pressures. Comparatively speaking, the firm is a giant. Careful attention to culture, infrastructure and economics have helped the firm grow slowly and organically while maintaining a team. In the course of growing the company, Kaye has built a retained and contingent hybrid. The company is demonstrating the effectiveness of a new model while they are in the process of transforming the industry.
KB is a legendary source of great recruiting talent. Many famous Texan recruiting legends worked at KB. The fundamental DNA of the company is great training. Jeff is refining the culture and building a business helping other firms grow. Coupled with good economics (in the form of partnership) and other infrastructure (from real accounting and IT to marketing), Kaye is figuring out how to turn the mom and pop industry into a place with real companies.
He believes that the credibility of the middle management search segment depends on having enough companies reach critical mass. Until that happens, systemic excellence and real growth is not possible.
NextLevel Exchange, the company Kaye believes will engineer the transformation, is a shared services operation.
“NLE is collaborative portal for recruiting professionals, no matter your tenure, niche, or nationality. Rookies can examine scripts for new marketing approaches, or revamp their current voicemails and emails from our library. Veterans can listen to recorded calls from other recruiters to freshen up their approach, and get exposure to new forms and templates that may streamline your old processes. Owners can utilize the Facilitation /component/page,shop.cart/option,com_virtuemart/Itemid,27/vmcchk,1/”>best cialis Guides for morning meetings to provide new and revived content for training your team; with a Guide for each week of the month, this serves as an immediate training curriculum for any office.”
The online training library includes segments from well known recruiters including: Craig Silverman , Margaret Graziano, Neil Lebovits, Bill Boorman, Bill Vick, Greg Doersching, Jordan Rayboy, Hank Stringer, Jeff Skrentny, Mark Berger, Rob Mosley, Doug Beabout, Scott Love, Mike Oneil, Carol Wenom, Jon Bartos, Kent Burns, Frank Risalvato and Paul Siker. More are in the hopper.
Kaye believes that building the industry’s infrastructure starts with training, moves to consulting and ultimately includes back office support. The operation’s growth has not been constrained by the downturn. Kaye, the permanent optimist, is bullish about the near term prospects.
It’s this sort of move, building a company designed to strengthen the industry that gives a heads-down player exposure to the broader arena. By gathering powerful trainers and consultants in the library, Jeff Kaye is becoming a centralized source of initial training. From there, the next steps of industry-building are simply a matter of execution.