Sunday, October 3, 2010

Where are your best potential hires hiding? Not behind a job board.

I recently had a birthday and I don't know if it's from getting older or wiser, but something grabbed my attention: the number of birthday greetings and wishes I received. I got cards from restaurants, car washes, hair salons and even carpet cleaners. The only service provider from whom I did not receive a birthday offer, (and I am not complaining), was from a funeral home, (hopefully an offer without an expiration date).

Now that I think about it, I get these often, and it made me think that these emails are about recruiting. These companies that where targeting me were in fact "recruiting" me to come to their place of business in hopes I would spend money and improve their financial performance.

I wasn't looking to go there, nor was sitting around reading ads looking for their services (especially the funeral home). Nevertheless, I fit their patron demographics and they wanted to solicit me.

Well, as it turns out, they are indeed recruiting. Their patron demographics are just like "position requirements" while ads in the paper are analogous to the “want ads or job boards" that everyone sees regardless of whether or not they are a fit for the position. So, as they know that getting patrons that conform to certain demographics will enhance their business performance, they email targets that are most likely to purchase, just like a business looking to hire should seek out those people most likely fit into their corporate culture.

As employers, we can take a clue from this in a couple different ways. One is if we desire to build an infrastructure of stellar employees who will add more to the performance and positive culture of the firm, then you have to go out and cherry pick them. Whether you are a business looking to drive store traffic or to hire the right talent, just running ads and thinking that they will just walk in the door is right up there with waiting for your ship to come in.

You are a successful person in your field. You have passion for your work, and you are making money for both your firm and yourself. Moreover, you are happy there. Now ask yourself how many job boards are you looking at? How any resumes have you sent out, or do you even have a current one? You most likely are not looking and too busy making money and enjoying your work, right?

Well, that is what your best candidates are doing, and you are not going to see them beating a path to your door, or emailing you their resume. This brings me back to all those emails I received soliciting me to do business, and, guess what, it worked! I did use a few of the companies, was happy with the results, and I am glad I gave it a shot.

I was a candidate to them, and, while I was pleased with the current vender I was using, I listened and took a look and I am glad I did since I would never had tried them otherwise.

You see, the candidates I recruit are no different. They are performing well and have no desire to leave. However, when properly approached, candidates who have a strong passion for their work, are presented with an environment and culture that will feed their passion. It's a no brainer decision for them: they want to join you. It a win-win. The candidate joins a like minded team, and the employer builds a strong performing group that can out-pace its peers.

The most important element a recruiter can bring to the table - besides the candidate - is the skill to locate and evaluate the proper physiological and emotional fix to the firm's culture. The bottom-line is that it is very much like selecting your mate for marriage. Turnover is like divorce: painful and costly. But that is another blog for another time...

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