Big ideas like “crowdsourcing,” “analytics,” and “transparency” start out as exciting, but nebulous concepts. Wait a few years and they go from being exciting to being just the obvious way to get work done. Here’s one case that I think captures how the world has changed.
NextWave Hire is an employment marketing technology built by some young guys out of Harvard Business School. The goal: create a compelling message that will attract great employees. Let’s look at how these guys tackle the issue vs. how my generation tackled it:
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What is interesting
- Things that may have been impossible in the past (e.g. getting employees to create acceptably good marketing videos on their own) may now be easy thanks to technology and the skill sets of a generation raised in a digital age.
What is really important
- Our assumptions on the obvious way to do things can easily become out of date. If the new methods (employees rather than experts, video rather that text, data rather than opinion) are inherently superior, then your excellent execution of the old methods won’t be enough. We need to make a sustained effort to learn about new approaches and the best way to do so is to spend some time experimenting with new techniques. This doesn’t come naturally in a world where we are driven by fighting today’s fire, so we’ll need to make a special effort.
Note to my readers: I’m always interested in innovative firms that signal where HR is heading. I love these firms that are striving to make a difference, but many are startups and a mention does not necessarily mean they’ll be right for you.