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The House That Yoh Built


My husband and I recently visited Newport, RI, and had the pleasure of touring the Vanderbilt summer cottage. It isn’t even remotely a cottage! It is a National Historic Landmark and the grandest of all the mansions in Newport. It is a glorious example of the Gilded Age. The original home burned to the ground and this one was built in just two years. 70 rooms. 65,000 square feet of living space. TWO YEARS.

Stone, marble, leather, mosaic tiles, and rare woods were imported from around the world. Imagine coordinating materials sight unseen via telegraph, we speculated.

Even for the average Joe, building a house is not for the faint of heart. Survivors compare battle stories of aligning suppliers, deliveries, and contractor timelines with funding disbursements, weather, and work. It makes my heart race just thinking about it!

So, how did Vanderbilt do it while managing his own thriving business? Simple. He hired experts in their field; professionals he trusted.

In the recruiting industry we all strive to be experts, Subject Matter Experts. Today, I am challenging you to rethink your goal of becoming an SME. Why, you ask? Because being an SME is not enough.

An expert by definition has a high level of knowledge about a specific subject. Curiously, nowhere in the definition does it mention sharing that expertise. Yet knowledge-sharing is what makes an expert valuable, establishes credibility and slowly builds trust.

Having a recruitment team dedicated and committed to achieving staffing goals is critical; because like Vanderbilt, our clients are busy managing their businesses. Recruiters and Staffing Specialists take the burden of the hiring process off the already-full plates of their Hiring Managers and Human Resource Business Partners by posting jobs, creating and executing the recruitment strategies, assessing applicants, pursuing top talent and moving the candidates through the process.

Yet, regardless of the depth of your experience, if you have not established credibility and earned trust, then your job may quickly become transactional and administrative, rather than strategic and consultative. The tail may begin to wag the dog! We need to inform and advise; we need to be trusted advisors.

That brings me to my own team, who learned to leverage business analytics for more effective client partnering.

These are the top actions we take to help us achieve and maintain trusted advisor status.

  1. Analyze metrics and identify data trends, both the successes and the roadblocks to success.
  2. Improve processes to solve inefficiency and rework, increase conversion rates, and establish best practice to increase ROI.
  3. Discuss with our clients what is working, what is not working, and develop and recommend solutions.

At Yoh RPO, being a Trusted Advisor is an expectation that Leadership supports with continual training and development. It is more than knowing a client’s industry, culture, competitors, and talent market. It is more than using advanced sourcing techniques, social media, networking, and cold calling to recruit top talent. It’s bringing information to the table every time and communicating it effectively and transparently to inform strategies and make business decisions.

Whether the project is building a 70-room mansion or achieving talent acquisition goals, having an expert on board to inform and advise can create capacity and achieve peace of mind. Clients appreciate that.

This is the house that Yoh built.

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