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Business has always been driven by three imperatives, under which almost everything can be categorized.
There is never enough of it. We are all equally blessed (or cursed) with 7 x 24 x 365.
- Money (i.e., CASH)
Yes, it makes the world go around. Driving your business on low cash is like driving your car with no oil. You won’t get far before seizing up.
Without the right people on board, no plans will ever be made, no sales will occur, and nothing will be produced or delivered. Unless your business is completely automated at all levels, building a great team one member at a time and providing an environment that will encourage their longevity is critical to your success.
In any mid to large-sized organization there can be multiple open positions at any time. Some of these are existing positions which are currently vacant, while others may be new positions that have not yet been filled. The degree of difficulty caused by these unfilled positions depends on the extent to which the rest of the organization depends on the particular function and whether it is a “standalone” role or one of many similar roles.
As a general rule, the more senior the unfilled position, the more impact it will have on the organization and the more urgency there will be to fill it and fill it well. Despite the urgency, “filling it well” is key since unwinding a poor hiring decision is unpleasant at any time but the damage done by the unwinding is proportionately greater with increasing seniority of the position. More senior roles have a higher profile, with wider contacts across the organization, and externally with clients, governments and other outside organizations. A poor senior hire can cause a lot of damage while the incumbent is in place and can cause wide disruption when a decision must be made to part ways and start the search again.
Hiring For The Unfilled Positions
- Promote From Within For Unfilled Positions
If you can do it, promoting from within is the best approach. By doing this, you are saying to the entire organization that everyone here has a potential career path. In addition, you are opening up the position that has been vacated and, therefore, are creating an opportunity for another internal promotion etc., etc.
In many situations (particularly with smaller organizations) different roles are just too different or the differences in requirements from one level to the next are just too great and so promoting from within is not a viable option.
- Do It Yourself (DIY)
With all of the online tools available today, almost anyone can be a recruiter! Just set up an account, provide your credit card and you are in business.
Here are some of the challenges you will face:
• For unfilled positions that are fairly common, you will receive hundreds of applications. Candidates will typically ignore your carefully considered “minimum qualifications” and will apply anyway. It will be up to you to sort through them to find the gems.
• For unfilled positions that are rather unique due to the required skill set, credentials, experience or off-beat location, you may only hear crickets. You can change the dynamic to some extent by increasing your ad spend. You can also play with the title and the compensation to try to make the position more attractive.
• In general, most of the people who apply to job ads are either currently unemployed or employed but unhappy in their current role. People who are already employed and not that unhappy are typically too busy and not motivated enough to be looking at job ads. This latter group comprises a very large section of the available candidate market and it is basically inaccessible by job ads.
• The DIY approach has the added problem of typically not being quarterbacked by someone whose mission it is to get the role filled as soon as possible and well, without distractions. When in recruiting mode, timing is everything. Delays will result in the best candidates always being lost to the competition.
- Hire a Retained and Exclusive Recruiter
If the above two approaches don’t work for you then you need to consider engaging a professional organization that will provide a concierge service that is committed to assisting you in hiring the candidate that you want to hire. If you do take this step, this is what you should expect:
• A total commitment to finding the best candidate for your role without regard for how long it takes or how difficult it is.
• A focus on both speed and candidate quality. You will see only candidates who are highly qualified and closely match your hiring criteria.
• Market intelligence and advice on how best to present your open position to the marketplace in terms of compensation, title and your organizational description.
• A search that goes far beyond just job posting and uses professional tools to identify potential candidates who are not necessarily looking for a new career but may well be willing to consider it if they are contacted personally and “sold” the benefits of working with you.
• A “quarterbacking” service that maintains the momentum of the search, ensuring that the best candidates are dealt with expeditiously so that they are not lost to competitive employers before you have a chance to consider them.
• Detailed interview reports that build on each candidate’s résumé and identify related industry or functional experience, the reason that they may be open to a new career, their compensation history and expectations, and any issues that should be considered such as location.
• Scheduling assistance so that interviews with you and your team are arranged seamlessly.
• Constant communication with candidates so that they are kept informed of the status of the hiring process and you are informed of the status of other employment offers that they may be considering.
• Assistance with preparation of the offer so that it has the best chance of succeeding.
• Assistance with presentation of the offer to the chosen candidate so that their reaction is well understood and that any negotiations will result in a positive outcome.
• Provision of a guarantee period, during which time if the candidate resigns or be terminated, the search will be repeated again for no further fee.
Why the Emphasis on Retained and Exclusive Recruiters?
• Only retained and exclusive recruiters can afford to do the extensive research required to ensure that your role is communicated as widely as possible and that you are presented with the best possible candidates.
• Only retained and exclusive recruiters will maintain their focus throughout the search, for as long as it takes, and will not expect you to hire anyone until you are satisfied that your offer is being presented to the candidate that you want to hire.
When it comes to filling an important “hole” in your organization, consider first whether you can promote from within. If not, do it yourself if you can, but if neither of these is a viable option, we look forward to hearing from you.
Kathbern Management is an executive search firm based in Toronto, helping companies find the executives and senior managers who not only have the experience and credentials to fulfill their responsibilities, but also have the emotional and “fit” requirements that will enable them to be successful in a particular environment. We simplify the process and, through our deep research, are able to bring more and better candidates forward than would ever be possible through a do-it-yourself passive advertising campaign.
Contact us today for a free consultation about your key person search.