Author Archives: zabekhanblog

About zabekhanblog

Global Human Capital Strategist ♦ Striving to put the ‘human’ back into HR ♦ Employee Experience Advocate ♦ Critical Thinker ♦ Well Being & Self Care Advocate

Reflections on COVID -19 in 12 quotes

The COVID – 19 crisis has brought the entire world to its knees. What started in the city of Wuhan in China in December 2019 has quickly escalated into a global pandemic that is testing the social fabric of societies across the world.

As the crisis escalates, perplexingly, we are seeing startling differences in the way the crisis is being managed. Eastern governments have taken the aggressive approach with early intervention, extensive testing, mandatory lockdowns (as in China) as well as rapid upscaling of critical infrastructure (as seen in China with the construction of two hospitals in 2 weeks). Western governments, on the other hand, have operated at a pedestrian pace and have been laissez-faire in their approach, which has resulted in COVID – 19 cases spiralling out of control.

It is in these challenging times we must keep the human spirit alive. Below are 12 quotes that put the current crisis into perspective, and offer some insight into how to cope during this time of duress.

“Reduce transmission. Do not just let this fire burn.” – Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization

“Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person. Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.” – Mother Teresa

“The COVID – 19 outbreak is having serious consequences for factory and gig workers, and global supply chains. Let’s learn the lessons of the 08-09 financial crisis and design income support that working families and businesses need.” – Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Federation

“Social distancing is our current best defence against COVID-19.” – Michelle A. Williams, Dean of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, USA

“A significant proportion of the global population could be infected” – Professor Yik-Ying TEO, Dean, Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore

“Over-reacting is better than non-reacting” – Xifeng Wu, MD, PhD, Dean and Professor of School of Public Health, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China.

“Focused, effective communication and shared trust are essential.” – Landon Myer, epidemiologist, University of Cape Town

“If we continue with business as usual, this will blow up really quickly.” – Michal Caspi Tal, PhD, Instructor at Stanford Medical School

“I genuinely believe the responsible thing to do right now with the Coronavirus is to stay home from work, so we don’t all spread it. One boring month working from home and watching Netflix inside after hours is worth it if we can slow down the spread of the virus like China did. It’s time for us to be responsible adults and own what is happening. The virus is not something to be feared; it’s something to contain as soon as possible through responsible action.” – Tim Denning

“In this information age, fear and concern around health issues like the Coronavirus can be amplified. It is more important than ever to check in with yourself and assess how you are doing – not only physically, but also mentally.” – SHRM

“If I were in office today. I’d pick up the phone to Washington and seek a meeting of G20 leaders, Health Ministers & Finance Ministers. Markets need to see the world’s 20 biggest economies are acting together in solidarity and will use stimulus as needed to overcome Coronavirus.” – Kevin Rudd, 26th (Former) Prime Minister of Australia

“If the Coronavirus has taught us anything, it is the lengths some people will go to when desperate. Next time you want to judge boat people, refugees, migrants fleeing war-torn land – remember we fought over toilet paper.” – Fraz Butt

Let’s hope that things take a step in a positive direction, and we can get on top of this crisis soon. We stand to lose a lot if we do not work together collaboratively, compassionately, and in solidarity as a global community.

Whatever you do, look after yourself, your friends and your loved ones.

Photo by Sindre Strøm from Pexels

Experiencing a career crisis? – 11 Questions to get you back on track

Career stagnation is one of the most frustrating experiences anybody can go through. Some people have continuous career success; some experience lulls and some end up in a downward spiral and struggle to pick themselves up.

To get around this, you need to peel back the layers to understand what is behind the crisis, and that involves a proper understanding of what inspires and motivates you. Here are eleven thought-provoking questions you need to ask yourself to help you put an action plan together to get you back on track.

1.      Am I using my time, background and experience effectively?

2.      What things can I control in my career?

3.      What is achievable?

4.      How do I come across to others?

5.      What are my weaknesses?

6.      What’s great about my career so far?

7.      What are my core values?

8.      Am I aligned with my values?

9.      What does success look like to me?

10.  Where do I want to be in my career five years from now?

11.  How can I move forward and facilitate the achievement of my goals?

In the words of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, “success at anything will always come down to this: focus and effort and we control both.” Regardless of where you are in your career, your attitude will play a crucial part in determining your career trajectory.

Photo by Prateek Katyal from Pexels

Is your recruiting function nearing extinction?

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” — Albert Einstein

In one of my previous corporate recruiting roles, I had the above quote from Albert Einstein pinned above my desk. For me, the quote signified two things in recruiting. One, I believed that it depicted the flawed mindset of many hiring managers and recruiters who had a key role to play in the recruitment process. Second, I saw it as a stark reminder that we absolutely cannot treat the recruiting function as static.

Sadly, the perception of the hiring manager community of an in — house recruiting function is that it should deliver the same over and over again with the same methodologies and techniques that were used previously. Recruiters then fall into this trap and then end up on the wrong side of this and are blamed for failures in the hiring process. What you then get is a perpetual cycle of finger-pointing, mud — slinging and blame. It doesn’t help either party and just creates stress and animosity. In my view, this arises because of the ineffective structure of the recruitment function and the relationship between the recruitment function and the hiring manager community that has developed over time. The recruitment function has allowed itself to become subservient and this has resulted in a master/servant relationship which in turn has created not recruitment but an administrative function — taking orders rather than spearheading the hiring efforts. At its best, a recruitment function should be the engine room for talent.

With the proliferation in the use of AI (Artificial Intelligence) and machine learning in recruiting in the years ahead, companies with recruiting functions that find themselves stuck in this master/servant relationship run the risk of becoming defunct. Below are ten risks that are setting your recruitment function back:

Forecasting

Your recruitment function isn’t aligned with the line business (hiring managers). You are taking orders and instructions rather than providing consultative support to the business. You work reactively rather than proactively. There is no forecasting of talent requirements which means you can’t build talent pipelines and your recruitment team is always starting a search on the back foot. A modern recruitment function works collaboratively with the line business to forecast recruitment requirements so they can plan ahead of demand.

Skill sets

Your current recruiting team does not have the right skills to perform their tasks effectively. You aren’t investing in the right people. On a broader level, the structure of your recruitment department is inadequate to meet the needs of your internal stakeholders. The role of recruitment is changing so what you do internally must reflect that. The modern-day recruiter needs to be a trusted talent advisor to the business. If your recruitment team isn’t performing this role, then they’re just taking orders.

Time-consuming tasks

If your recruitment function is performing 70% of their recruitment tasks manually then they aren’t adding any real value to the business. Typical tasks include scheduling and rescheduling of interviews, sending interview reminders, booking interview rooms, capturing candidate documentation. A significant negative impact of having a manual system is that inevitably team members will suffer from burnout. Imagine running several recruitment campaigns concurrently, and then contacting all the shortlisted candidates for interview, booking rooms, etc. This is just unsustainable and is not the correct use of resources. I have personally been on the receiving end of this and can tell you that this is an extremely uncomfortable and stressful situation to be in. To be that trusted talent advisor, you need to automate the mundane tasks so your team can focus on delivering value.

Policies & Procedures

You need to be resolutely stubborn to enforce your recruitment policies and procedures to the letter. If you are constantly bowing to the pressures from hiring managers to bend the rules, you will never change the master/servant relationship. Your mantra, if you want to work collaboratively and effectively with the hiring manager community, should be, “our house, our rules.”

The above four are just baseline elements I believe that need to be addressed if you want to move away from a master/servant recruitment function to a collaborative and consultative one that delivers lasting value to the hiring manager community. The increasing uptake of artificial intelligence will put more pressure on recruitment functions to reform and restructure. Anything less than that will lead to a sure-fire path of extinction, and lead to the recruitment function being outsourced.

Photo by Umanoide on Unsplash