Pre­vent­ing des­per­a­tion hir­ing

Ottawa Business Journal - HR Update - - Recruitment -

When do most com­pa­nies start the hir­ing process?

When they need some­one. It can then take up to three months to hire some­one. By this time, the hir­ing man­ager and their staff are over­worked, projects are fall­ing be­hind sched­ule, over­time is through the roof, work is back­ing up, short­cuts are caus­ing mis­takes and ev­ery­one is frus­trated. At this point, the hir­ing man­ager is des­per­ate.

What kind of hire will the hir­ing man­ager make?

A poor one. They are likely to take the next best per­son that comes along, or worse, set­tle for one of the pre­vi­ously in­ter­viewed av­er­age can­di­dates.

Why does this hap­pen? We be­lieve it’s be­cause most com­pa­nies don’t start the hir­ing process un­til they need some­one. They then cross their fingers and hope that the per­son with top tal­ent that they want to hire just hap­pens to be look­ing at the same time. We re­fer to this as the “ran­dom luck” hir­ing method­ol­ogy. Un­for­tu­nately, this is the hir­ing method­ol­ogy for many com­pa­nies.

Des­per­a­tion hir­ing is one of the eas­i­est mis­takes to cor­rect in the hir­ing process since most hir­ing man­agers know in ad­vance of an opening.


Be­gin a soft launch. Don’t wait un­til the last minute to start the search. There are many things hir­ing man­agers can do prior to in­sti­gat­ing a full-blown job search. Start let­ting peo­ple know you will be look­ing to hire a per­son and ask for re­fer­rals. Let ev­ery­one in the com­pany know the opening is com­ing. Con­sider at­tend­ing local as­so­ci­a­tion meet­ings that po­ten­tial hires might at­tend. Start iden­ti­fy­ing and en­gag­ing peo­ple you be­lieve have the right at­ti­tude to fit your cul­ture. Use so­cial me­dia sites to iden­tify po­ten­tial can­di­dates. LinkedIn is one of the best tools for do­ing this. You can search LinkedIn for peo­ple in your ge­o­graphic com­mu­nity. Start by re­quest­ing to be linked together. Then maybe meet one morn­ing for cof­fee just to get to know each other. Don’t even men­tion you are con­sid­er­ing hir­ing some­one. If hir­ing sales­peo­ple, start ask­ing cus­tomers who they think are the best sales­peo­ple work­ing with them. Your cus­tomers know it is in their best in­ter­est to have the best sales­peo­ple work­ing with them. If you at­tend trade shows, when you meet peo­ple you think will be a good fit you should talk to them, get their busi­ness card, and fol­low up once back in the of­fice. It might be as sim­ple as an e-mail let­ting them know you en­joyed meet­ing them at the show. It could be some in­for­ma­tion on your com­pany or any­thing that be­gins to en­gage this per­son. Even­tu­ally, ask to meet for cof­fee or for a short meet­ing when you are in their area. When un­so­licited re­sumes come in, don’t just throw them away be­cause you aren’t look­ing at the mo­ment. In­stead, re­view them, and if the per­son looks like some­one you would hire, start to con­nect with them. Be­gin the rap­port-build­ing process. Re­cruiters do this all the time. That is why we seem to al­ways have can­di­dates when com­pa­nies call us. I have placed peo­ple two years af­ter first re­ceiv­ing an un­so­licited re­sume. Start build­ing a queue of po­ten­tial peo­ple. Most com­pa­nies and hir­ing man­agers know those key po­si­tions that are hard to fill. Th­ese are the po­si­tions for which you should al­ways be on the look­out. Just start a file on who and where th­ese peo­ple are. Don’t worry that they may not be on the mar­ket six months from now. If they are pas­sive can­di­dates, chances are very good they will be avail­able.

There are a lot of things that hir­ing man­agers can do proac­tively to shorten the hir­ing process and bring bet­ter can­di­dates to the ta­ble. Too of­ten, man­agers only think about hir­ing when they need some­one. Like most things, the time to do any­thing is when you don’t have to and aren’t un­der pres­sure. Com­mit­ting just a few hours a month can help your com­pany or depart­ment avoid des­per­a­tion hir­ing.

Brad Remil­lard is an ex­ec­u­tive re­cruiter and co-founder of IM­PACT Hir­ing So­lu­tions.

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