As Halloween draws near, it is uncanny but rather wise to draw vital staffing lessons from the life of scientist-turned-monster Victor Frankenstein.
What’s the connection, you say?
As you may already know, Victor Frankenstein was a fictional scientist who became obsessed with one project–giving life to someone who had already died. This obsession led to a successful yet ultimately tragic experiment–the creation of a monster.
This monster eventually made Frankenstein regret what he did and was overcome with guilt and despair. In the end, he dies aboard a ship sailing in the icy waters of the Arctic.
But how can a 19th-century scientist’s tragic life illuminate the daily challenges of CEOs and managers of staffing companies? What can you possibly have in common with Dr. Frankenstein?
Well, there surely are more commonalities than you would think.
Staffing Lessons from Dr. Victor Frankenstein
Don’t Get Blindsided by Creation Obsession or Flawed Ambition
Dr. Frankenstein became so obsessed with creating a life that he failed to consider the effect and impact of his creation on those around him. His creation may be a breakthrough, but in the end, it did not produce an impact that benefited anyone.
Have you experienced this in the past? Perhaps, implementing a new automation sequence script or, better yet, introducing a new platform to your tech stack? During the planning phase, did you consider the realistic failure points and how they would impact your business ecosystem?
Take the example of Google Glass. This high-profile creation from tech giant Google got everyone excited in 2014. But after two years, the much-hyped smart glasses were dead in the water. Google failed to realize that the device only had hype and did not create a dent in solving the problems of users who patronized the product.
Staffing agencies are always in competition with one another to stay on top. Thus, many forward-thinking agencies invest in innovations to stay ahead of the pack. But what’s even more important to dwell on is how a new creation or innovation in your company can positively impact the business.
Don’t Push Beyond the Limits of Technology Without Predicting the Consequences
Creation obsession often overlooks the potential consequences of pushing technology to its limits. This is another classic lesson from Dr. Frankenstein.
Over the past five years, the staffing industry has seen a huge surge in tech solutions. Each provides a value to serve a known gap to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of a staffing firm. In fact, 32 percent of hiring managers plan to add new technology to their staffing firms this year—a greater percentage plan to do so in the next year or so.
While all this is GREAT news for the industry and your firm, monsters can lurk in the shadows. Here are some ways to avoid the things that ‘bump’ in the night:
- Assign a dedicated internal resource or consult with a digital transformation specialist when considering making changes to your tech stack.
- Understand the original purpose of the solution before bending it to your will.
- Test and use sample groups before fully rolling out to your community.
- Assemble a quality assurance team to help monitor the rollout.
The Latest Innovations Require More Attention and Care Than Creations That Conform
It is undeniable that Dr. Frankenstein did something AMAZING! Was it perfect? Definitely not.
Take, for example, Google’s failed ALLO project back in 2016. To compete with Apple’s iMessage and WhatsApp, ALLO had automated responses that depended on the context of the conversation, among other top features.
However, it lacked SMS support and was tied to mobile numbers instead of a Google account. As a result, in just two years, Google had to shut down the project. The silver lining, though, was that it was able to salvage one useful innovation from it – the Google Assistant.
When our final product isn’t what we expected, it’s time for us to do an evaluation. This three-way test might be helpful.
- What works as is?
- What can be adjusted to work?
- What will never work and is a complete loss?
Doing this exercise will also help identify if there’s enough left at the end to still work on the initially desired goal.
Isolation is Void of Constructive Support, Feedback Matters
To say that Victor Frankenstein had a lot going on when he ran away from his creation would be an understatement. But, sadly, in doing so, he lost out on an important Super Power… Feedback!
Ninety-one percent of individuals believe that companies should fuel innovation by listening to buyers and customers, as against just 31 percent who think they should hire a team of experts.
Don’t be afraid to invite others to provide valuable feedback. Remember that:
- Getting a new perspective is hard when you’re so close to the project in question.
- Problems always seem worse until a solution begins to form.
- Well-thought-out ideas rarely result in a complete loss.
- Sometimes the biggest mistakes can yield the greatest innovation.
Now that you’ve seen how feedback loops can impact internal projects think about how they can be used externally. If your team can help you identify blind spots in a project, how can your employers and candidates help you find opportunities for improvement in the experiences you create?
Put Yourself in the Shoes of Others
Another thing that Dr. Frankenstein failed to do is stop to think about what his creation might be going through. He didn’t consider the real fears, insecurities, and challenges as a newly assembled body of work in an unfamiliar place.
One of the most frequent areas this occurs for staffing firms is with Core Purpose, Core Values, Mission Statements, and Vision Statements. The body of work is assembled from various sources and stitched together in a way to be original and authentic. It is then passed on as a living, breathing entity for your organization to adopt. Makes sense now?
Remember Starbucks’ once-famous unicorn frappuccino? Launched in April 2017 and went viral in just a short time, this unique drink eventually bit the dust because the company failed to consider two things.
First, the baristas found the drink very difficult to make, resulting in long queues in many Starbucks branches, which garnered more than just a few customer complaints. Later on, as the hype winded down, customers also gave feedback that the drink did not taste all that great.
There is wisdom in putting yourselves in the shoes of groups that engage with your staffing agency. Getting the perspective of your candidates, clients, and internal employees can provide invaluable feedback on aligning your marketing communications, tech automation, and the overall experiences your organization creates. By doing this, you obtain answers to these questions:
- Is my staffing agency living up to its core purpose and mission?
- Are our words, actions, and experiences in alignment?
- What can we do to be truer to the claims we make?
No matter where you are today, there’s always an opportunity for improvement.
Own the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
What if it wasn’t a monster that Dr. Frankenstein created but a poorly planned and orchestrated automation? Would you run from this monster because the resulting automation is bad?
Take a moment and attempt to turn your monster into a masterpiece.
- Rally your teams (and Igor).
- Identify what you’ve learned.
- Outline adjustments that can significantly change the outcome.
- Document the process for future reference.
After all, ubiquitous companies like KFC, Rovio, Apple, and Walt Disney all had very challenging beginnings but are now massive successes. Whether something good or bad (or ugly) happened, there was a lesson to be learned that would make you better in the future. The key is to be present during and reflective afterward to identify the lesson earned.
APPLY THESE LESSONS WITH THE GUIDANCE OF ALLIED INSIGHT.
Who would have thought that the story of Dr. Frankenstein has key takeaways that we can all use for introspecting our approach to staffing practices today? If you need further guidance and a fresh understanding of the impact, effects, and outcome of implementing new frameworks or tools, look no further.
Allied Insight is a full-stack marketing agency that integrates your entire digital strategy into your business ecosystem and tech stack. Founded on the principles of Accessibility, Impact, and Development, we support the entire marketing infrastructure to help staffing firms elevate their brands, scale their businesses, and learn the benefits of leveraging marketing best practices.
Beyond marketing delivery, Allied Insight helps clients to build brand-centric competitive advantages and productized services to insulate the brand further, the offers, and the market position. Reach out to us today and get these staffing lessons into action!