By Mary Ann Faremouth, CPC
The new year brings a time of deep reflection for me to find meaning in where I’ve been, where I am now, and where I want to go. This year’s reflection began as I left the physical therapy clinic the other day, smiling that I can now bend my knee better. Only last week I had a surgical procedure to repair a torn meniscus in my left knee. Gathering up all the instructions to do my bending exercise homework to gain better mobility in this knee, I turned on my “Recruiter Brain” and thought about how that might be an excellent metaphor in the New Work World.
Over the past thirty (30) years as a Placement Consultant/Recruiter, I have seen all the changes in the New Work World post-Covid and beyond. The word “bending” grabbed me in a way that would not let me go. “Bending” represents the ability to manipulate an element and is significant to many aspects of life. According to Merriam-Webster, “bending” means “to curve or cause a change of shape, to adapt to one’s purpose.” Lately, in my job, I sat behind my desk and listened to both sides to find solutions for employers, applicants, and C-Suite Executives. I encouraged them to bend, like never before, and find solutions for all of their business recruitment endeavors.
Interestingly, being the research-oriented person I am, the information I gleaned from the “left knee” as opposed to the “right knee” seemed to have relevance to the New Work World. We obviously need both the left and right knees to navigate. But in our New Work World, the information I found pertaining to the knees appeared relevant for us to perhaps consider as we move into 2023 in every aspect of our lives.
According to Elizabeth Peru in “The Knee Chakra and Spiritual Ascension,” the left knee, or the left side of your body, is influenced by the functioning of the right side of your brain, which is your intuitive, feminine, and imaginative/creative brain sphere. The right knee, or the right side of your body, is influenced by the functioning of the left side of your brain, which is your logical, masculine and intellectual brain sphere. Being that my left knee was the one in need of repair, I grinned thinking that I might need to be more creative in my placement efforts going forward in the New Year. More and more, In the workplace these days, don’t we all need the integration of the imaginative/creative as well as logical/intellectual functions of both brain spheres to be successful? We must integrate both to navigate effectively.
According to Jessee Meschuk, a career and human resources exporter and Senior Advisor with Exequity: “So rapid are the forces of change, many U.S. organizations are still reckoning with the effects caused by the Covid -19 pandemic and the “great resignation.” What I am seeing in the trenches of the placement world is that we have many more issues to face these days as well. With the global talent shortage, an educated generational workforce that has a stronger need for work/life balance, and technological advances, we all need to
BEND our mindsets to solve our complex employment problems and move to a place of outstanding success and profitability.
Let’s look at ways we can bend using a few of the Faremouth Method steps to investigate how to circumvent the problems and have a more enjoyable, successful 2023:
1. Ask Better Questions
Just the other day, a client sent me a job order to fill a new position in his company. The requirements were many, the salary range was low, and he was not at all flexible to consider any remote work during the week. The position was essentially a liaison in a financial capacity between offices, with limited in-person face-to-face interaction. I requested we discuss the position before beginning the search and he agreed. I then asked him the following questions: If the prospective employee would have no daily interface with co-workers or supervisors, was the five (5) day in-office requirement necessary? I explained to him there was a severe talent shortage currently and pointed out that when we have a shortage of any kind of commodity, prices go up. Was there any flexibility in the salary range? If not, would he bend at all on the educational or years of experience required for a candidate that may have proven aptitude to be trained to accommodate his salary request?
2. Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
With the global talent shortage affecting every area of business, both Employers and
Employees need to step out of their comfort zones and be willing to “bend” to
be successful in the New Work World. With business gearing up in the new year, goals and achievements are front and center. Employers might need to cross-train their employees to pick up the workload of another department and perhaps consider hiring interns from the local colleges to avoid heavy overtime which might encourage their employees to seek other employment opportunities. Cross-training will add to the skillset and qualifications of current employees, making them more valuable. Partnering with local colleges to have internship opportunities available, could really be a win-win for all. The student would be more marketable when entering the workforce and would help management understand new technological training that interns could bring to the company. An added benefit would allow current employees to have fewer overtime requirements for a better balance of work/life.
3. Take the Time to Do It Right
The beginning of a new year is always a good time to implement new policies, procedures, and strategies that are more in line with the New Work World. The old ways of hiring and finding a job don’t work any longer. All parties of the New Work World will need to bend their ways of doing business to accommodate the changes that we all are witnessing. Trial and error might be something to consider if a new policy is not well-received by management or the current staff. What I am hearing from candidates who are coming to me for more opportunities is they want to be heard and have more employee input in management’s decisions.
As I continue to do my knee bending exercises and get rid of my crutches, I try to implement my own bending exercises in how I recruit talent for my clients and advise applicants on how to be successful in the New Work World. Healing a torn meniscus is quite a painful process, however, I believe if I don’t take heed of the therapist’s strong homework requirements of the bending exercises, the pain will only increase in my knee and possibly not totally go away. The same advice just might apply to the New Work World. Change is never easy, but the effort can be quite rewarding. By bending into the new requirements to create a better work environment, the benefits can be life-changing for employees and employers. We are in a state of transition where what we have known in the past no longer works. By adapting to the idea of “bending,” we can make this process less painful and produce an outcome that meets the needs of the entire workforce in 2023.
Mary Ann Faremouth
Mary Ann holds a CPC (Certified Personnel Consultant) credential, was certified by the Board of Regents of the National Association of Personnel Consultants in Washington, D.C., and was awarded an Advanced Communicator Bronze, Advanced Leader Bronze Awards by Toastmasters. She cofounded Jobs: Houston magazine in 1997. Mary Ann maintains affiliations with professional organizations, including oil and gas, financial, construction, IT, and structural, mechanical, and civil engineering. (www.faremouth.com)
Mary Ann’s award-winning first book Revolutionary Recruiting has been listed by Book Authority as Number #1 Best 100 Recruiting Books; #1 Best Seller, Non-Fiction, Amazon (2019); Top 20 Recruiting books, Recruitics; Readers’ Choice finalist (2019), Houston Literary Awards; Best Non-Fiction (2018), Best Cover (2019), and Best Self-Help (2018), Authors Marketing Guild. Her books support individuals and corporations, tap into each candidate’s unrealized potential to find the right person for each job, maximizing both employee satisfaction and the employer’s bottom line. Mary Ann showcases her expertise of the recruiting world on a monthly podcast for The Price of Business and weekly articles for USA Business. Her new workbook, Revolutionary Reinvention, was recently released on Amazon. Mary Ann lives in Houston, Texas.