Business innovation: hire great people, then let them experiment

Business innovation can be a major influence on competitive advantage, particularly within the talent space.


Lori Hock offers more than 30 years of experience in recruitment and innovation.

A lack of innovation bears on an organization’s ability to stand out in a crowded marketplace for great talent.

A lack of innovation can also make talent acquisition less effective and more costly.

Lori Hock, CEO for the Americas, recently spoke with TALiNT International for their September cover feature on organizational innovation, which you can read here.

Alongside other Hudson RPO leaders, Lori addressed what businesses should consider when developing a culture of innovation.

To continue driving that conversation forward, we asked Lori for more of her insights, which she has gained from more than 30 years of experience in the talent sector. During that time, she has pioneered a range of innovation initiatives, including implementing a Recruitment Center of Excellence. Discover her insights below.


What does a company need to do to be innovative? 

Hire the best people. Assess candidates for creativity and innovation. Train hiring managers on behavioral interview questions that indicate high performance and innovation.

Give permission. Fear crushes innovation, so employees must feel empowered to try new things. If an organization has a culture of blame, it will be safer for employees to stick with their day jobs.

Educate employees on how innovation goes beyond product or service innovation. It extends to business models, operations, policies, and non-client-facing roles.

Innovation is an ongoing effort, otherwise employees will focus on innovation for a few months and then it will be back to business as usual.


What challenges can crop up when innovating?

Managers, who are charged with delivering optimal results around core products and services, may find it easier to tell employees “no” rather than jeopardize results for new ideas.

Educate employees on how to pitch a new idea and to whom.

Create a wider support system for those willing to take on new challenges. Of course, support managers in achieving their core objectives, but don’t let great ideas die at their feet.

When trying new innovations, expect some failures, but frame them as valuable learning opportunities. If employees fear that association with an unsuccessful project will be a black mark on their record, they will avoid participation.


Can innovation ever be overrated? 

No. When employees develop an innovation mindset, it leads to breakthroughs and successes. Employees are more engaged and retention rates improve, both of which lead to better results.


What trumps innovation?

Delivering business results and meeting client promises are more important, but innovation fuels continuous improvement for both.

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