Is it Worth to Recruit Talents Who Are Resistant to Change, Set in their Ways?

What if your recruits were open to relocating and were perfect for the job, but they turned out to be resistant to their employer’s cultural openness and diversity? It can happen. Not too long ago, a male software engineer published a piece about his lack of trust for the capabilities of female software engineers.

Some may have had a conservative upbringing and didn’t realize that northern California is a liberal state that is open to change in terms of diversity, minority hiring and relocating talents, sexual orientation, even political leanings.

The problem starts when these same talents who discriminate against other people accept work in northern California only because the FANG (Facebook, Apple, Netflix and Google) companies are here, not realizing their values could very well clash with them or the residents.

Company operations and organizational structure can also be a bone of contention for recruits who let their politics get the best of them. Shouldn’t one know what they are getting into before they even consider jobs in northern California?

But who can resist working in Silicon Valley or the San Francisco Bay Area when the most coveted positions in the most desirable places to work in comes calling? This can also be a problem for those who are farther away, from another culture and country, and they simply accepted the job, because of Silicon Valley’s solid reputation in the tech world.

The resistance of those recruited talents from abroad is another thing altogether, though.

They made not be about politics, but about fulfilling a dream to work in the United States. They may be resistance to change only in the sense that they have gotten used to a different system of working. This is rare in northern California, as most of the foreign talents easily adjust to the system of work in their assigned companies. However, it does happen if the person hired was already a troublemaker to begin, even before they were hired.

The tasks of a global mobility manager is not easy when one factors in the culture or professional style of their prospects.

To be fair, these talents may be resistant to change only because there may be a better system they are used. On the flipside, they may be resistant to change only because they feel like it. They’re used to certain routines.

If they were not used to attending hours-long meetings and then they’re suddenly thrust into a company that takes prides in settling every issue with long meetings, it will be hard for these transplants to make the adjustment.

A global mobility manager has to make every talent aware of a company’s organizational quirks ahead of time. That includes their living conditions. As the leading corporate housing provider in San Jose, California, California Corporate Housing, also makes sure it personalizes their guests’ apartments, even if they’re going to stay just a little over six months or a year.

Companies need to be clear about their expectations for global mobility managers to help them out. This means a company has to be clear about the talents they need in its job description, although it’s common to find talents who accept jobs because it’s new to them or different or in the company they desire to work in.

For example, some make the mistake of accepting work as a data analyst because of the lure of getting a job in those companies when it turns out, they prefer to work as a software engineer–two different things these days.

The former is clearly a more analytical position that requires crunching numbers, while the other is more about building something. And even others fail at both and realize, they would rather do something else, perhaps be on the business side of things — and do product management.

In Silicon Valley, this would not be considered resistance to change. It just so happens that that mere mention of the location makes some professionals sacrifice what they really want, so they can work in their favorite companies. The problem is when they resist to make the change once they are hired for the position they didn’t like to begin with.

In this case, the resistance was never about the company’s operations, but their internal struggle to accept the job assigned to them.

Global mobility managers should be able to make sure that the right talent is hired for the right job. By right talent, that means the employees should have shown in their previous employment that they are open to different tasks, even in their ideal chosen profession/assignment.

A Balance piece suggests solving by affecting the degree to which resistance bogs the change down and reducing natural resistance by taking necessary actions. “Deep in their hearts, they want to become part of the bigger picture of the organization. They should make the best of each work situation. In a company-wide change effort, for example, the employee input will most likely affect how to implement the changes at a departmental level, not the issue of whether to make the changes in the first place.”

Open people’s minds to working in a company that suits them better and reduce employee resistance to working with different people and philosophies with the following tips, for global mobility managers, companies and their talents:

Own the changes

No matter where the change originated—and change can show up at any point in your organization, even originating with you—you must own the change yourself. It’s your responsibility to implement the change. You can only do that effectively if you plan how you will implement the change with the people you influence or oversee in your organization.

Get over it

Okay, you’ve had the opportunity to tell senior managers what you think. You spoke loudly in the focus group. You presented your recommended direction, with data and examples, to the team. The powers that be have chosen a different direction than the one you supported.

It’s time to move on. Once the decision is made, your agitating time is over. Whether you agree or not, once the organization, the group, or the team decides to move on—you need to do everything in your power to make the selected direction succeed. Anything else is sabotage, and it will make your life miserable. It can even get you fired.

No biased and fractional support allowed

Even if you don’t support the direction, once it is decided, you owe it 100 percent of your leadership and support. Wishy-washy or partial support is undermining the effort—it won’t earn you any points from your managers or senior leaders or cause your coworkers and reporting staff to respect you.

Support the change or it’s time for you to move on and out. (Don’t wait for your senior leaders to terminate your employment for non-support. You can do a lot of damage while waiting for the end to come.)

Recognize that resistance is minimized if you have created a trusting, employee-oriented, supportive work environment. If your employees think that you are honest, trust you and feel loyal to you, they are much more likely to get on board with the changes quickly.

Communicate the change

How you communicate the change to the people you influence has the single most important impact on how much resistance to change will occur.

One of the key factors is an environment in which there is a widespread belief that a change is needed. So, one of your first tasks in effective communication is to build the case for “why” the change was needed.

Empower employees to contribute

If you have communicated transparently, you have provided the direction, the rationale, the goals, and the parameters that have been set by your organization. Within that framework, your job is to empower the employees to make the change work. Practice effective delegation and set the critical path points at which you need feedback for the change effort—and get out of their way.

Create an organization-wide feedback and improvement loop

Do these steps mean that the change that was made is the right or optimal change? Not necessarily. You must maintain an open line of communication throughout your organization to make sure that feedback reaches the ears of the employees leading the charge.