In recruiting, strategy and tactics are both used on how we will achieve our goals and purposes. Strategy is our path from where we are at present to our decided goals to succeed as a team. It might be to engage talent to move our companies forward. Tactics then are how specifically or solidly we will perform. Such actions might include zoom meetings, key speaking points, etc. If your teams are having trouble differentiating between strategy and tactics, they can use the universal saying, "If you can reach out and physically touch it, it's a tactic."
Descriptors' "long-term and short-term" for strategy and tactics may or may not apply to every approach. So let's break it down; a system that successfully helps you achieve your goals within two months might be short-term compared to tactics you'll use for two years to maintain a competitive edge. Using time metrics as the criterion for distinguishing between strategy and tactics doesn't make sense and could lead to misaligned measurement.
Many recruiting plans list goals, objectives, and then tactics. Most teams use the term strategies; however, most don't set strategy before the tactics, which leads to no way of intelligently changing course when you're not meeting your objectives. At this point, it becomes "tactical roulette," where you continually change a new tactic in hopes that the team will hit decided goals. Sooner or later, you're looking at a failed plan, and the team misses the objective. Since we can't reach out and touch strategy, often this action is skipped in favor of going straight to tactics that are typical in recruiting – if you can't see it, then it's hard to measure it.
As individuals move up the ranks, their job is to pay more attention to the strategic concerns that inform our company's long-term goals. To make that happen, we must first focus on our strategic thinking. If we only focus on tactical issues, we're doing ourselves, our position, and our company a disservice.
With my philosophy, check out the following suggestions for moving from tactical to strategic:
Step 1: Stick to the quick 30 minutes.
As recruiters / sourcers, It's hard to let go of tasks, especially when it's something quick that you're sure you can knock out in 30 minutes. Also, rarely does anything truly take "only 30 minutes," especially with the constant interruptions caused by e-mail, slack, and screens. You won't see it coming; that one "small" task has turned into three jobs—and you've just killed an hour.
If you can't stick to "something quick," ask whether it's essential to your success. Remember, 20% of your efforts result in 80% of the goal to focus on what is necessary and avoid falling into the trap of doing a task simply because it's easy. Recognize that even though it's not always easy to make this decision, sometimes you have to say NO, so you can focus on what's important and what will make your work successful. How would you track your contribution? Including those who always want to help others and "do the right thing," which is excellent, but keep in mind, when you’re helping, it's hard to track your work if those you help take the credit, even if it's a Boolean string that got the individual candidates.
Step 2: Make time for strategizing.
Spend your morning planning out what you're going to accomplish. I usually spend the first 60 minutes of my morning writing down what I need to achieve. This includes tactical and strategy items that must be done (for me, these include sourcers-related tasks), but be clear about how you define these must-to-do's." If you don't, the tactical functions can take over, and your day has gone by, and no strategy has taken place. Think of it being a teeter-totter Once you finish prioritizing these actions. Next, it's essential to block out time and dive right into your strategic planning; if anything, this is important for recruiting. The meaning of strategizing, even if you dedicate only an hour to it. This daily proactive habit is a vital part of your professional life! It's going to make you stand out from the rest!
Step 3: Make a Plan, Stan
Now that you have identified what to focus on, it's time to figure out how to make your strategies happen. First, prioritize your strategic objectives and set deadlines. Unless you choose dates that matter, you'll get distracted to work on your plan, and your strategic goals will not happen, and that can be stifling.
With a targeted end date in mind, the system you focus on will help you accomplish your goals. Work on blocking scheduled time on your calendar, which will help focus and create a healthier habit for your success. This commitment to your strategy is the commitment to your career and development. These habits will help and might be a surprise on how you can accomplish a lot with spending just one hour each day and building a manageable desk.
As recruiting continues to evolve and shifts focus from tactical thinking to strategic thinking, keep in mind that effective strategizing requires these four steps:
Think outside the square. It sounds trite, but it's true. A strategic mindset allows you to foresee what's next before anyone else does at professional, division, and company levels
Constantly challenge the status quo we fall for all the time.You are finding yourself repeating the same things the same way year after year means falling behind. When we get comfortable in our daily jobs, we make excuses because it's easier, but is it?
Focus on yourself. I have always followed this step; no one else really can do it for you. Always push yourself to learn; the more you know, the more you grow. Take these actions back, evaluate where you are at in your current skills and determine what you need to move up within your organization or what it would take to grow in another company.
Focus outward on the communities around you. Identify the communities that can provide options and strategic conversations, and find like-minded colleagues that can help you and you can help the communities. Your voice and your experiences can help others. But contributing to the communities that surround you, your company's future can benefit as well, especially when it comes to identifying talent to continue the growth of your recruiting success and be part of the bigger picture for your team and your company.