The #1 Thing Recruiting Leaders Can Do in 2021 to Improve Recruiting!

There is a saying amongst many in the Private Equity world. The #1 thing you do after an acquisition of a company is to double its sales training!

Why?

Private Equity makes acquisitions to make money. The fastest way to make money is to increase revenue. That means more sales. Some will say it’s to decrease costs, but decreasing costs can have both short and long-term effects on revenue. So, get sales up, and then work to make the organization more efficient, etc.

Recruiting is sales! 

Want to make your recruiting better? Make your recruiters better! Great recruiting technology does not make average recruiters better. It makes them more average faster. Help make them a better recruiter, then give them great tools so they can be greater faster.

The number one thing a talent acquisition leader can do is increase the training of their recruiting team. The problem is, most talent acquisition leaders aren’t in the weeds enough to know how to do this on their own. So, we go out and find “experts” to come to train our teams.

The problem with so many recruiting experts is they are failed recruiters. They couldn’t recruit well, so they decided to go teach others how to not do it very well. For every great recruiting trainer, or recruiter training technology platform, there are a hundred awful recruiter trainers!

So, we get frustrated, “Well, Tim, we tried that a couple of years ago, it didn’t work, it was a waste of money.” Okay, I hear you, but you don’t stop trying! Just don’t go back to that person who wasn’t good. Great TA leaders, running great TA teams, have ongoing development and training of their teams. Not a “we tried it three years ago and it didn’t work’ development and training program!

Great recruiter training should pay off exponentially to your investment! 

I like to talk about recruiting dollars and sense. A mid to large talent acquisition shop can easily train their entire recruiting team for about the cost of one big agency fee. For that investment, you’ll probably save 5-10 agency fees, if the training is good and sustained!

It’s not a one-to-one investment to the outcome. It should be five to ten times the investment.

The mistake we make is we instead get sold on the premise that all we need to do is just have better technology. (BTW – it’s not an and/or proposition! It’s both! You need better recruiters and better technology!) Better technology does not make a bad recruiter better. Say that to yourself five times in a row!

What are you doing in 2021 to Improve Your Recruiters? 

In the past couple of months, we continue to hear about hiring increasing at an alarming rate. Organizations are going from zero to one hundred! On top of the rate of increase, so many TA shops cut their staffs during the pandemic, so now we have this problem. A problem that won’t have quick fixes.

You will have to build back up your team. Build back up your technology. AND, build back up the development of your team. Otherwise, you’ll make a short-term problem, a long-term problem, and probably one you’ll eventually get fired over.

You need to ask yourself, right now, what am I going to do to develop my team over the next six to twelve months? How can we do this so we get sustained improvement? What is the best bang for our buck, right now?

The Weekly Dose: @Visage_Jobs = Smart Sourcing

Today on the Weekly Dose I take a look at sourcing technology Visage. Visage is a platform that allows you to leverage crowdsourced, best-in-classes sourcers from around the world with AI embedded technology and outreach.

I run a technical staffing firm, where all of my recruiters run a full desk and I would classify them as excellent sourcers in their own right. But, like every other company, from time to time we have capacity issues. Too many jobs, not enough time and talent to get them filled!

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a professional sourcer at your beck and call?

I had a friend refer Visage to me. She and her team were using it to help them source passive candidates that her recruiting team could then reach out to. Of course, I was skeptical. Sure! I’m going to pay them money to have some person in India working for $2 a day just sending me crap off LinkedIn and Job Board databases! I didn’t need that, I needed “real” sourcing help! Thankfully, Visage actually worked.

How does Visage work?

  • You give them an upload or a copy and paste of the job you want them to work, and their AI matching technology immediately matches you with a real Sourcing Pro that has background and knowledge of the type of talent you are looking for. The more details the better!
  • This Sourcing Pro then goes to work and will send you around twenty potential candidates. Your Recruiter then takes a look at the first run of candidates and gives feedback to the Visage sourcer.
  • The platform runs on credits. So you buy so many credits for so many dollars, the more you buy the cheaper they get, etc.
  • On the back-end, the Visage sourcing pros are actually graded on how well they do based on your feedback on the candidates they send you. So, if a Sourcer sucks, they won’t last long, because they’ll grade out poorly and eventually be dumped.
  • From the Visage platform, you can then send personalized emails out to candidates.

What we learned:

  • The more detail you give the sourcing pro the better the quality of candidates they send you. Understand these are only “sourced” candidates, completely passive, there is no outreach by the sourcing pro to these candidates. So, you can get very specific: We don’t want candidates from “X” company, and only in “X” market or city, and must have three years of experience, and they must be from “A, B, or C” company.
  • If a Sourcing Pro sends you someone that is completely off, you can get a credit back from Visage if it’s a total miss, but honestly, if we gave great detail, we found almost no misses.
  • The problem we ran into was not about Visage, but our own team and outreach. Most recruiters are used to working with “Active” candidates and not cold-sourced candidates. The outreach we had to use was much more personalized and extensive than for active candidates. Once we got that straightened out, we had really great success. (I.E., you can’t send them some crappy mass email and think you’ll get responses!)

Overall

Visage is a sourcing technology that we will use again! We found the quality of candidates found for us to be of a really high match and quality. Of course, you have to put in context that you are working with passive candidates, not active, so your response rate will always be fairly low. You also have to give very specific feedback to make it all work to the best possible result.

From an investment standpoint, we figured we got a 6 to 1 ROI. For every dollar we spent with Visage, we got back 6 dollars in value for the people we hired based on the cost of hire metrics. This actually was trending higher the longer we used it as we got better in giving better feedback, and got better at our own messaging. That is a very solid ROI for recruiting technology.

Playing the Long Game in Talent Acquisition!

Yeah, but we need talent NOW!

I hear you. No, really, I HEAR you! And I feel your pain, I also need talent right now. In fact, I have not spoken to one organization since March who hasn’t needed talent. Everyone needs talent, now!

Here’s the thing…

(Editor’s note: This is where Tim will wax poetically about the big philosophies in life and some sh*t.)

It’s not about winning the battle, it’s about winning the war! CEOs love saying stupid sh*t like this, am I right? Actually, we aren’t fighting a war, we’re just trying to fill some jobs, calm down, Cindy! (Cindy is my fictional CEO, FYI) So, we have some short-ish term pain, currently in finding talent. The problem is, most TA leaders and organizations will spend 99% of their focus on this current issue.

When you do this, the current issue, becomes your future issue, because you have no vision or plan to actually get out of your current situation. Your current situation sucks, but you don’t want it to keep sucking. A part of me wants to tell leaders to just ignore the present if they truly want to solve the problem. Just go to your hiring managers and say, “Look, we can’t help you, you’re on your own!” The pain will probably be about the same anyway, but you’ll actually get to build a true plan for solving your real issue long term.

Of course we can’t do that without getting fired by Cindy.

We must play the short game and the long game simultaneously, at least, that’s what the best leaders will do in this time of crisis hiring. You’ll have your team fight the fire, while you truly maintain a focus on the future, ignoring the burning building you’re sitting in the middle of. That’s hard to do, and the only way you get away with it is by constantly communicating you’re working on a “permanent” solution for the crisis for the future.

The reason we don’t play the long game in talent acquisition is that we feel too much pressure to fix the present. The problem is you can’t fix the present, that is beyond broken, you can only fix the future. But, if our c-suite trusts we know what we are doing, we buy ourselves time to do what really needs to be done to fix this stuff permanently. Turns out, they will trust us more if we are communicating our plan for the big fix!

The Long Game Plan

Blah, blah, blah, just tell us the plan!

1. Admit that your stuff is currently broken and a mess, but we’ll have to muscle our way through this crisis in the short term.

2. Have a vision of a long-term plan and solution. We need some belief we won’t be living in this hell forever.

3. Look for some short-term wins for your team. Maybe it’s a new tool, some extra help, something that shows them this time it’s going to be different.

4. Make a timeline of action items. This might be a year or more. If you’re stuck in a crappy, dated ATS contract for the next 18 months, your plan is going to change drastically right away. But, this also gives you time to build the right process, tech stack, and team you need.

5. Get alignment of your plan with finance to secure the resources you’ll need. This actually solidifies your plan in concrete because finance pros are pretty good at following up constantly wanting to know how and when you’re going to use those approved resources!

And of course, constantly communicate publicly what you are doing and going to do. Being a great leader is part execution, part politician, and part being a dealer in hope. And right now, your organization needs some talent hope!

7 Very Short Rules For Being Better At Recruiting!

Over the past few months have had dozens of conversations with Talent Acquisition leaders across America. From SMB to Enterprise, all types of markets, and all with basically the same kind of problem. The need to get better at recruiting, and the need to do it very quickly! (By the way, I actually wrote a book on how to do that! Duh!)

The reality is, none of these folks wanted to read my book (TL;DR). Okay, actually, some have, but they still wanted those silver bullets. Yeah, yeah, I can read the book, but “really” just tell me what I need to do right now to get better! We are desperate to hire better, NOW!

Very Short Rules for Better Recruiting!

1. You must advertise your jobs.

No, posting your jobs on your own career site doesn’t count! Also, this isn’t free. Quality advertising that gets results will cost some money. Also, just posting on job sites, for most, will not be enough. Job sites are for people looking for jobs. The best organizations advertise to people who are not actively looking for a job, and those people are not on job sites.

2. Stop working on requisitions for Hiring Managers who are not “immediately” ready to hire.

Your team already has limited capacity to recruit. You don’t need to be messing around with openings with a hiring manager who is unsure. “Well, just leave it open. Maybe someone will apply.” No, it’s canceled, when you’re serious about hiring we’ll re-open that position and make a hire.

3. If a job is always open, it’s never open.

No one wants a job that is always open. There is a problem with that job. Why can’t you fill it? Why is it never closed? “But, Tim, this is a greenfield position!” Stop it! Think about this from a candidate’s perspective and the recruiter’s perspective. A candidate doesn’t want a position that never closes, and a recruiter doesn’t want to work that position. Plus, it’s very difficult to get both recruiter and hiring manager ownership over a position that never closes. If you have openings that never get filled, there’s a bigger issue at play.

4. It’s not Quality or Quantity, it’s both.

When it comes to measuring a recruiter’s activity and performance, quality and quantity are not mutually exclusive. We need both. You must work through enough candidates to get both a certain level of quality and enough quantity to meet the obligations of the job. We don’t have a quality issue, because every one of our recruiters would only send high quality. Not having enough quantity then becomes a work effort issue, that can be solved in a number of ways.

5. If your recruiters aren’t using your old ATS, they will not use your new ATS.

We buy technology because we truly believe it will make our TA team/process better. Thus, if they are not using our technology, there is a belief that they are better than your investment in technology. So, you must assume that this will happen with any new technology you buy as well. In my experience, this actually happens in about 90% of cases. It’s not a technology issue, it’s an adoption issue.

6. You must know your own baseline recruiting capacity, then improve upon that.

Yes, I can tell you how many reqs, on average, a recruiter can effectively carry. Also, that number is basically meaningless to you. Your team, your leadership, your technology, your market, is different than everyone else. Continuous improvement of yourself, should be your true measure. You only know if that is happening, if you know your baseline performance.

7. Stop doing anything that doesn’t lead to or help you fill jobs.

Most of my job, as a recruiting consultant, is not about finding out what you’re not doing, but finding out what you are doing that you should stop doing. 100% of the time I find recruiters and recruiting teams doing things that have very little to do with filling open requisitions. While, organizationally, those things might be important stuff. Functionally, they are a waste of time.

Bonus Rule:

If you have recruiters who love to administer your recruiting process, but they do not love to actually recruit, you have two options: 1. Fire them; 2. Move them into Recruiting Operations if you’re an enterprise-size shop. You need recruiters who recruit, not ones who talk about the process. We do not have the time nor the resources to carry non-recruiting, recruiters on our teams. FYI, letting them go, won’t hurt your capacity, they weren’t really recruiting anyway!

What are your favorite recruiting rules for being better at recruiting? Share in the comments so we can all get better together!

If you can Recruit, you can Recruit!

I grew up and lived most of my life in Michigan. There are so many things I love about living in Michigan and most of those things have to deal with water and the 3 months that temperatures allow you to enjoy said water (Jun – Aug). There is one major thing that completely drives me insane about Michigan.  Michigan is at its core an automotive manufacturing state which conjures up visions of massive assembly plants and union workers. To say that the majority of Michigan workers feel entitled would be the largest understatement ever made.

We have grown up with our parents and grandparents telling us stories of how their overtime and bonus checks bought the family cottage, up north, and how they spent more time on their ‘pension’ than they actually spent in the plant (think about that! if you started in a union job at 18, put in your 30 years, retired at 48, on your 79 birthday you actually have had a company pay for you longer than you worked for them. At the core of the Michigan economy, this is happening right now and it’s disastrous! Pensions weren’t created to sustain that many years, and quite frankly they aren’t sustainable under those circumstances. Seniority, entitlement, I’ve been here longer than you, so wait your turn, etc. are all the things I hate about my great state!

There is a saying in professional sports – “If you can play, you can play”.  Simply, this means that it doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from, how much your contract is worth. If you’re the best player, you will be playing.  We see examples of this in every sport, every year. The kid was bagging groceries last month, now a starting quarterback in the NFL!  You came from a rich family, poor family, no family it doesn’t matter, if you can play, you can play. Short, tall, skinny, fat, pretty, ugly, not-so-smart, if you can play, you can play. Performance in your specific field of play is all that matters. A few year back the NHL released this video supporting the LGBTQ community (if you can play…) –

This is why I love being a recruiter!  I can play.

Doesn’t matter how long I’ve been doing it.  Doesn’t matter what education/school I came from.  Doesn’t matter what company I work for.  If you can recruit, you can recruit. You can recruit in any industry, at any level, anywhere in the world. Recruiting at its core is a perfect storm of showing us how accountability and performance in our profession works. You have an opening – and either you find the person you need (success), or you don’t find the person (failure). It’s the only position within the HR industry that is that clear-cut.

I have a team of recruiters who work with me. Some have 20 years of experience, some have a few months. The thing that they all know is if you can recruit, you can recruit. No one can take it away from you, no one can stop you from being a great recruiter. There’s no entitlement or seniority – ‘Well, I’ve been here longer, I should be the best recruiter!’ If you want to be the best if you have to go out and prove you’re the best.  The scorecard is your placements. Your finds. Can you find talent and deliver, or can’t you? Black and white.

I love recruiting because all of us (recruiters) have the exact same opportunity.  Sure some will have more tools than others but the reality is if you’re a good recruiter you need a phone and a computer, and an ability to connect with people. Tools will make you faster, not better. A great recruiter can play. Every day, every industry. This is why I love recruiting.

Should Candidate Response Time Be a Measure We Care About?

I have expectations as a leader in my organizations for other employees who are in a leadership position in my company. One of those expectations is, if I call or text you on off hours, weekends, vacations, etc., for something that is urgent to the business, I expect a reply in a rather short time frame.

Some people would not like that. I don’t care. You’re a leader, the business needs you, there’s no time clock for that.

That expectation is set for someone at a leadership level in my organization. They know this expectation before taking the job. Also, I’m not an idiot about it. I can probably count on one hand the number of times in the past five years I’ve reached out to someone on weekends or vacations expecting and needing a response.

But, what if you measured candidate quality in the same manner? Seems unreasonable, doesn’t it!?

Well, check this out:

Nardini is the CEO of the sports and men’s lifestyle site Barstool Sports. In a New York Times interview, she detailed her process for vetting job candidates. After saying she was a “horrible interviewer” because of her impatience, she explained a unique process for gauging potential hires’ interest in the job.

“Here’s something I do,” she said. “If you’re in the process of interviewing with us, I’ll text you about something at 9 p.m. or 11 a.m. on a Sunday just to see how fast you’ll respond.”

The maximum response time she’ll allow: three hours.

So, Erika believes if a candidate doesn’t reply back to her on a Sunday at 9 pm within three hours, they are not interested in a job.

This is why recruiting is hard.

You have moron leaders who come up with stupid ideas of what they think is ‘important’ and then they make you live by these dumb rules. This rule is ridiculous. Erika’s assessment of why this works is ridiculous. But, she’ll get a pass.

Why?

She’s a she. If some dumb white dude came up with the same rule the New York Times would write an expose on how this guy is a complete tyrant and out of touch with today’s world, and how crappy this candidate experience is, and how bad leadership this is, etc. But, no one will. She’s just leaning in and doing what the guys do!

Yes, she is. She’s being an idiot.

Now, I’ll say I actually agree with her on her assessment on response time, assuming the roles she is expecting a reply from in three hours are time critical roles. She runs a media site with breaking stories. Twitter has these things up in seconds, media sites need replies to what is happening within minutes and hours. So, there could be some legitimacy to something as arbitrary as measuring candidate desire by response time.

It’s fraught with issues, to be sure, but for certain roles, it might find you some good talent. Should it be a golden rule of hiring for your organization? No, that’s just dumb.

If you really want a silver bullet I ask every candidate if they’re a dog person or cat person. Works every time!

How Should We Structure New-Hire Sign-On Bonuses for Hourly Hires?

Right from The Project mailbag comes this beauty of a question! Very timely in that so many organizations are moving super fast to add sign-on bonuses for new hires to help them attract more hourly candidates right now. Here’s the actual question:


Dear Tim,

We are looking to offer a new hire sign-on bonus for our hourly hires. I was wondering if you have any advice in terms of what is the best way to do this that one, makes it attractive to candidates, and two, works to help retain these hires so we aren’t just throwing money away?

Thanks for the help,

Mandy


How would I offer an hourly sign-on bonus?

It’s a great question because there isn’t any one correct answer. The correct answer is you do what it takes to meet your goals! In this scenario, without giving up Mandy’s specific details, here’s what I would do:

  • Offer an amount that makes staying on extended UI/Stimulus a non-issue. So, if someone is making $300 a week additional stimulus ($1200 per month), I’m going to pay that on top of our hourly wage.
  • Pay this sign-on as a fraction per hour worked. So, an additional $300 per week would be $7.50 per hour over your normal hourly rate. So, a person who normally makes $15/hr, would be making $22.50/hr until the “sign-on bonus” is paid off.
  • The decision you have to make is how long do you pay this additional extra hourly sign-on addition? One month, two months, until the end of September?! I would pay it for one month and if the person quits and tries to collect unemployment, we would challenge it. The reality is, once someone has worked for a month, there more than likely going to keep working. The ones who really don’t want to work, won’t make it a month.
  • “Tim, we just can’t afford that much”-edition. I hear you, $300 per week is way too much. What can you do? Steal workers from other employers who are making roughly the same as what you pay, but you pay more, just not $7.50 an hour more! Maybe you pay $2/hr more.
  • But, wait, you’re not done! What about your current workers? The reality is, if you start offering a sign-on bonus to new hires, your current employees are going to be upset, especially your best ones! So, you have to make it good with them. More than likely you end up in a compensation track that pays your more experienced people more than your new hires. The key for success here is whoever is getting the best pay must be your best performers, or you get rid of them.
  • Also, you can’t pay your more experienced hourly workers $.50 to $2/hr more if you’re paying new hires sign-on bonuses worth more than that, but you don’t have to pay them the same. The key is to make sure your best workers are being paid at a rate that leads the market, so they can’t go anywhere else for similar work in your market and make the same or more. Pay for performance.
  • Move quickly to make changes to market compensation. In crazy employment times, as we have right now for hourly workers, you can not rely on paid compensation data and services. They move too slow. Pay attention to what candidates are telling you and make some calls to fellow pros around your market to see what folks are paying.
  • Bonus Tip: Have multiple sign-on bonus/retention plans for potential new hires/current employees to choose from! Let’s face it, no one plan will be what everyone wants. So, design three and let them choose. Maybe some want an additional hourly rate, maybe some want a retention bonus paid at the end as a lump sum, and maybe some want something totally different. Get creative!

Brainstorming Idea: What if you paid bonuses for certain activities that lead to the new employee behaviors you wish to have? Show up for the interview, get $50 cash in your hand. Show up to the first day of work, get $100 cash in your hand. Make it through the first week, etc.! Reward based on the behavior you want to happen, and ensure it happens. Yes, payroll will hate you, but it doesn’t mean that it can’t be done!

Yes, this is expensive, but not as expensive as going out of business because you can’t find labor. You can always increase your prices for your products and services to meet this additional demand. Say hello to inflation, it’s going to happen, the current administration made sure of that with a multi-trillion dollar stimulus package!

The key to making sign-on bonuses work is to only pay those bonuses fully to those workers who truly are working. If you start paying that higher wage to slackers, you’ll be dead in the water. People are willing to work market leading wages, but they are also willing to collect market leading wages for not working so hard if you allow it.

Do you care about Ethical A.I. in HR and Talent Technology?

Or should you care, could have been an alternate title to this post!

The reality is, almost everyone in HR and TA will be using technology that has some built in Artificial Intelligence and/or some IA (Intelligent automation/machine learning), either currently or in the near future.

What does this really mean? It means, machines will be making decisions we used to make and that can be amazing and problematic all at the same time. My super smart friends, Madeline Laurano and Tyler Weeks discuss this concept with me in the video below.

The Weekly Dose: @Rejobify – A Better Way to Reject Applicants!

Today on your Weekly Dose of HR and TA Technology, I take a look at the candidate experience technology Rejobify. Rejobify is a combination of a better candidate rejection template experience versus your normal ATS rejection email and free candidate tools that will help them in their job search.

Rejobify was founded by RecTechMedia’s founder, Chris Russell. I’ve known Chris for at least a decade and he’s one of those guys that just gets Recruiting Technology and the pain points of recruiting at a very high level! So, I knew if Chris was behind this, it was going to be useful and cost-friendly, because he gets what it’s like to be a head of talent!

Rejobify is basically a platform that your rejected candidates can use for free to increase their job search skills. It’s a seven-day course that takes them through things like how to build a better resume, higher-level interview skills, how to better search for a job, etc. They do this through your normal rejection process by simply clicking a personalized link that you have built into your normal rejection templates.

Here’s what we know about rejected candidates right now. First, most don’t even know they’ve been rejected, because we kind of suck at dispositioning candidates. Rejobify helps you ensure not only is your process of dispositioning working, but you can now measure it to be certain.

What I like about Rejobify:

  • For one, it doesn’t change the workflow of your recruiting team, but it does work immediately to raise your candidate experience of rejected candidates.
  • Rejobify gives candidates this psychological feeling that yes, I was rejected, but this company cares enough about me to give me some feedback and direction for the next steps.
  • Rejobify actually measures which candidates begin and complete the training as candidates click through the links and sign up for the training.
  • Using a tool like Rejobify has the potential to help you increase your employer rating on Glassdoor as so many of our negative reviews many times are coming from displeased rejected applicants.

At the end of the day, giving rejected candidates a better experience is a clear differentiator from your competitors. Most employers, at least 50% by recent studies, still don’t even tell candidates they’ve been rejected. They just kind of ignore them and hope they die or something! This has a long and ongoing impact to your employer brand, especially in small and highly competitive markets.

Using technology to not only help ensure you let every candidate know they’ve been rejected but turning this opportunity into a positive for your brand by showing the candidate you want to help them on their search is a true win-win. I found Rejobify to be a cost-effective and automated way to help you increase your candidate experience at a time when most candidates don’t feel very good about the experience or your brand! Well worth a demo, and there are no integration issues with your ATS as it gets built out within your current ATS process (meaning? super easy and inexpensive to get it up and running!).

Do you feel like an imposter in your HR or TA Leadership Role?

Imposter syndrome impacts everyone at some point. The feeling like you don’t belong because your abilities aren’t up to par with others, or your accomplishments don’t fit the role you were given. This belief that you might be a fraud, except no one has figured it out, just yet!

So, there is a couple of ways I look at this feeling of being an imposter in the role you have:

  1. It’s true, you’re an imposter. You might get lucky and no one will figure it out, but most likely at some point, they will. So, you have the time from right now, until you’re figured out, to actually not be an imposter! Good luck.
  2. You feel like an imposter, but you actually know your sh*t. This one is just your insecurities f’ing with you. You probably just need a good life coach or partner, a little self-confidence boost to actually put you on the right path. (Don’t call me, I’m not a Life Coach!)

Within HR and TA we see quite a few imposters. It usually. takes about 12-18 months for an imposter to be figured out after hiring. The world, and LinkedIn, are littered with imposters with year and a half working stints. Some are so good at being imposters they actually will jump from one failure to the next and get promoted! But, the timing always stays true!

The world is also full of really great people who feel like imposters. Why does a good, solid performer feel like an imposter?

  • You work for a weak executive who don’t know that you are actually a really great hire and have great potential. This lack of belief by your leadership leaves you feeling like an imposter.
  • You just suffer from lack of confidence. You might have always had low confidence. Did you feel like you did bad on every test in college, but always got an “A”? Here’s your sign.
  • You have a bunch of senior level terrorists on your team that make you feel like you don’t know what you’re doing, when in reality they don’t know what they’re doing, but they’ve been around longer and you’re the fourth leader who will fail with this ragtag bunch of under performers.

How do you stop feeling like an imposter in your leadership role?

Validate your greatness!

The more time you spend within your peer group outside of your organization, the more you’ll be able to assess if you’re an actual imposter or if you actually know what you’re doing. The first step is to hang out with some peers you believe are rock stars and start assessing what they say versus what you say. Are they asking you for advice? Are you only asking them for advice? (Pro tip: true imposters don’t ask for advice, because they want to continue to believe they know everything!)

Remember why you got hired into your role!

What were you hired to do? Did you do it? Are you close? If you did accomplish what you set out to do, what’s next on your plan? What still needs to be fixed? Can you fix it? Do you need outside help? Have you upgraded your team? You were hired because an executive thought it was important to do something in your organization, and that’s your job. You will either do it, or not do it. Imposters never do the job they were hired to do, but they’ll tell you they did!

Leaders are action oriented. Imposters are not.

Imposters don’t take action, because they don’t know what action to take, or they are fearful that the action they will take will blow up and they will fail. Leaders take action to better the situation of their department/function, knowing failure could happen, but doing nothing if just continued failure of why they were hired. The one action imposters will take are usually around something to do with showing someone else is to blame for the failure of their function. “We would have succeeded if marketing and IT would have given us a better career site!”

Don’t fear your feelings of being an imposter!

Feeling like an imposter, especially for new leaders, might be the most natural feeling a leader has! Questioning yourself and your abilities will drive you to learn what you don’t, and partner with those who know more. The imposter feelings will give you the pressure you need to succeed and not slow down.

One helpful key to imposter feelings if having a mentor or peer, outside of your organization, that you can share your feelings with. Someone to bounce ideas off of, and help you understand the difference of being an imposter and being a leader. These discussions are important for your mental health.

Are you an imposter in your current role? The real imposters will answer “No!” and change nothing. The real leaders will think about it and determine the feelings are just feelings, and go about doing something about it.