Preventing desperation hiring
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.
STEPS TO AVOID DESPERATION HIRING:
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.