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It is better
to not be on
the web than
to be on and
not know why

John Sumser

is more
it seems.
John Gall


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Branding VII
(December 27, 2002) - 
Any CEO or CFO who is worth the paycheck will be concerned about the human costs associated with the past couple years worth of layoffs. Frankly, any reasonable idea on the subject of reducing the potential for that sort of pain will get a good hearing these days. No one wants to begin the next cycle with a guarantee that the next downturn will bring more layoffs.

It all begins with the employment requisition process. The internal requisition (not the document created by an ATS systems) is a highly political tool used in the early days of hoped for growth as the basic tool for managing expenses. It is rarely the case that HR manages the real hiring authorization system (and it is never included in an ATS). Somewhere (perhaps the top right drawer of the CEO's desk) is the hiring plan and the documents awaiting final signature. The CEO and CFO use these pieces of paper to manage the growth of their most difficult expense item: payroll.

While the folks in the head shed have a clear idea about the money they save by not spending, holding a requisition up may not be the most effective use of executive energy. While the case can be argued from gut feel, few HCM executives can clearly articulate the costs and benefits of using the req to manage expenses. This is almost entirely due to the randomness of the staffing process.

Without adequate metrics and with no plan to meet anticipated requirements, an HCM representative can not evaluate the consequences of holding or filling a particular requisition. While the operations manager can easily estimate the costs of hurrying up this months orders to make the financials, the HR people are  woefully inadequate at predicting the organizational implications of shifts in their deliverables. In the most serious matter of managing expense growth through hiring requisition timing, they have nothing quantifiable to offer.

A well executed employment brand management strategy can change all of that.

The process begins with a combination of a needs analysis and a demographic research project. One determines the hiring flow, the other the various qualities and sources. The output of a well executed branding program is the bottom line data required to make HCM into the useful function it should be.

- John Sumser

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