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Why can't my life be more glamourous...

20110731-100944.jpg The blurred picture is the delayed 20.33 to reading from new street... I was on the delayed 19.07 from Manchester... In short my delay was bigger than their delay and as all you train travel fans will know running from 3b to 7a is possible but an awful lot of stairs.

Ever obsessed by George Clooneys character in the film ' up in the air ' as he travels across the US sacking people in luxury airline seats I notice the subtle difference in my vehicle choice. I am not greeted by anyone, thanked for travelling or in this particular case given a seat. I have no doubt this will improve by coventy. If not then 22.35 and reading are a long way away.

In the film that man crush George stars in they centralise their us operation in omaha. Neither exciting nor crap omaha is average a little like reading, ironically my destination and the EMEA hub for my talent acquisition team. (I say mine, I am just looking after them until next year sometime).

This got me thinking as I have pretty much got nothing else to do stood here next to a man who has been in the sun all weekend and would be deemed cooked if he was a lobster and a loud short girl on the phone to what I can only assume is another loud short girl. I can't tell the height but the volume is the same.

My thought is that like many global TA organisations we have centralised into 4 hubs. Americas, APJ, EMEA and an Indian team that supports itself and the other global hubs. None of this is confidential and before you ask my NDA restricts me from a number of things.

The question though is have we got it right?

My team is based in reading. We deliver true pan-EMEA recruitment from Ireland to Russia, Estonia to South Africa, supporting 38 countries and who knows how many languages, employment regulations and cultural quirks. Our central model has some advantages. I am based near the SVP I support and an entourage of VP's and senior directors, giving me valuable client facing time to engage with them to assess performance, issues and future projects or requirements. The next advantage is that we operate in english and for the vast majority of the time engage in English although many of the team are multilingual our business language is english. The final advantage is proximity. It's easier to manage a team sat next to each other, their communication with each other is easier, contextualising their team contribution is simpler and above all it is easier to dynamically manage workloads balancing open roles more easily across the team.

Its the bits we don't do that are starting to worry me. Whilst we are like many TA teams with the centralised approach we don't have any travel budget which means 99% of our work is phone based. Are we missing out on good face to face local presence? Do face to face interviews result in better hiring decisions and what if the hiring manager is in another country resulting in multiple telephone interviews and very little pressing of flesh. Are we missing out on key elements of the candidate experience? And if so how do we bridge the gap without losing the good bits of a central team.

I am sitting down (or standing up I haven't decided) with the team on Wednesday. We are going to do a couple of exercises to help us answer some of those questions. Depending on where we go with it will depend on how much i share. If it's useful I'll get a decent post written.

martin