BLUECROSS

To win people over, never say, "You must."

What are the key things that can foster a positive relationship between hiring managers and talent when processes change?

Joel Broughton, Head of Talent Acquisition at leading aged care provider BlueCross, shares how his team managed relationships during a time of rapid digital transformation.

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How BlueCross Managed Their Digital Transformation

What I did when I first got to BlueCross was do a “voice of the customer”. So I phoned, not all of our leaders, but a lot of them, and I asked them a series of questions about essentially what talent acquisition needed to start doing, stop doing, continue doing.

And there was a clear burning platform. Some of our leaders were spending up to 50% of their week on recruitment based activities. So there was an enormous burning platform. There were some inefficiencies.

And it’s not fair. It’s not fair for people to be doing a role that they’re not qualified to do and expect them to do a great job at it.

I think that the worst thing you can do as a talent leader is to force your hiring managers to do anything.

I think that the worst thing you can do as a talent leader is to force your hiring managers to do anything.

So, recruitment is one of those things that- it seems as though everyone in the business has an opinion on how they can do your job better than you can do your job. I get that. I totally get that because I get that every single day in my working life. The last 25 years I’ve gotten that, and that’s something that I just need to accept.

I would never go to a dentist and tell the dentist how to drill my teeth. I’ve never told my mechanic how to fix my car. But hey, if someone wants to tell me how to recruit, that’s fine. That’s completely cool.

I think that the thing to win people over is to never say, “Hi guys. You must, you must. You must. You must.” Because what will happen is they’ll say, “You know what? That’s great. Don’t tell me what to do. I’ll just continue to do what I’ve done all along. Because guess what? I know more about recruitment than you.”

It all comes back to that first premise. The voice of the customer activity I did when I first got to BlueCross was invaluable because what it did was give me a snapshot of who I thought would be my change agents inside the business. Who were my squeaky wheels? Who were the people who I needed to win over? Then I knew that they would tell other people about it.

And certainly having long discussions with my own manager inside of the business to go, “What do you think about person A compared to person B? I think that’s someone that I can win over and I think that this person will go on. They seem to be on the move. They seem to be vocal. They seem to be having the trouble.”

I think if I can fix their issue, then that becomes a case study that I don’t have to do any work on because that person becomes the person that talks about it. That was the second phase of it. And coupled with the first phase of not saying “you must”, it’s more like, “Hey, what do you think about this?”

“Hey, I was listening to those things you were telling me about in the voice of the customer. What if I was to take away that little bit of pain? Would that help? Would that help your life? Would it make a little bit easier for you if you just had a tap that you could switch on and you have the right candidate at the right time and you controlled that? Would that help you?”

Not in that patronizing way, I’m being overly dramatic for the purposes of making a point. But combining both of those things enabled me.

Inside our business we don’t talk about the tool or the system. I have hiring managers talking about Vervoe. “Put this candidate through Vervoe,” or, “this candidate rang me, they sound really good. Can you put them through Vervoe for me?” [These are the] sorts of discussions that we’re now having, and what are we, three, four weeks, five weeks into it.

It’s really fast and that’s what I needed as well. I needed a really quick win. I could not go in and promise that I was going to change this horribly manual process into something that was sleek and easy and simple without having a quick win. And that’s what Vervoe allowed me to have.

Those squeaky wheels have gotten the quick win and some people that were very kind of folding their arms, “yeah. I dare you to fix my problem,” are now talking about how it’s working for them, which has been fantastic.

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I have hiring managers talking about Vervoe. “Put this candidate through Vervoe,” or, “this candidate rang me, they sound really good. Can you put them through Vervoe for me?”

Joel Broughton
Head of Talent Acquisition, BlueCross

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