Recruiting News, Uncategorized

Alliances—the New Paradigm for Employees and Employers

Today, there’s a fundamental disconnect for employers and employees, says Ben Casnocha, entrepreneur and cofounder of LinkedIn. The old company-as-family approach is gone (if it ever existed), but you can’t build a lasting, innovative business when employees act like free agents. Where’s the middle ground?

Casnocha, who offered his tips at the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) Talent Management Conference and Exposition held recently in San Diego, is the author of The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age, cowritten with Chris Yeh and Reid Hoffman.

Welcome to the Family?

We still say “Welcome to the family,” says Casnocha, “here’s your T-shirt, we’re enthusiastic about your joining, oh, by the way you’re at will and we can fire you at any time. But, again, welcome.” The employee/employer relationship is broken, he says, but high-tech companies in Silicon Valley have found a solution.

There’s an upside to free agency, says Casnocha: flexibility for both parties. But the downside is that you’re essentially working a series of 1-day contracts, and that means no innovation.

 

If you do great work, we’ll help you with your future.

If you make my LinkedIn profile better, I’ll contribute.


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How to Recruit Someone Like John Lasseter

John Lasseter, a young animator at Disney, got very excited about a new level of computer animation and pitched his idea to management. He was fired, Casnocha says, because he was “screwing around with crazy ideas instead of doing his job.” Lasseter soon joined up with Steve Jobs at Pixar, producing, among other films, Toy Story and Finding Nemo. When Disney acquired Pixar, Lasseter returned to Disney and became head of Disney’s animation.

Casnocha offers three lessons from this story:

  1. Getting fired is not the end of the world.
  2. A single entrepreneurial voice will fail.
  3. The manager who fired Lasseter made a 7 billion dollar mistake.

So how do you recruit a Lasseter? The alliance approach is effective in recruiting, as well as managing and retaining, says Casnocha.

You offer a potential employee an alliance, a two-way relationship that lets company and employee work together toward common goals, even when some of their interests differ.

What do you want your LinkedIn profile to look like in 5 years? We can help you get there. Here are the skills you will get, here are the experiences you will have.
Here’s what we expect in return.

In fact, you’re saying, we will improve your career even if it means you’ll leave. You offer a series of “tours of duty.” These are missions that, if achieved, benefit the employer and the employee.

You then boost retention by choreographing progressive levels of commitment in additional tours of duty. Coincidently, you build trust one tour at a time.


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Alumni Groups Are an Additional Carrot

Another carrot is your alumni group, says Casnocha. Ninety-eight percent of the Fortune 500 have an alumni group on LinkedIn. You’ll be able to say, “When it’s time to leave, we’ll welcome you into our alumni group.”

What do the founders of Tesla, Yelp, Yammer, and Kiva all have in common, asks Casnocha? All are alumni of PayPal®.

Then, on the employee’s final day, you introduce them to the alumni group. “Here are your product discounts, here’s your password, here is when the next meeting of the group is, here’s how to contact the group manager, etc.”

Benefits of the Alliance Framework include:

  • Recruit and retain the best talent, even when competing with the Facebooks and Googles of the world.
  • Get every employee more engaged and productive—without spending any more money.
  • Build an innovative company by encouraging entrepreneurial employees.
  • Tap the collective network intelligence of your people to drive the business.

In tomorrow’s Advisor, Casnocha’s template for tours of duty, plus an introduction to the timely webinar, Get Linked! Social Media Recruiting Strategies for the Digital Era.