5 Reasons To Keep Recruiting When Fully Staffed
Years ago when I was an area manager of a regional chain, my regional director and I were talking about staffing strategies. He said something that I disagreed with at first, but came to know the wisdom of in the years that followed.
His advice to me was:
Always be in hiring mode. You’ll never know which person comes across that will build your brand better.
Initially I bucked against that advice. Why, I asked myself, should I continue to hire when I need to invest my time into the people I already have?
Then over time I realized the rationale for why companies should always recruit even when their staffing levels are full:
- Talent will never slip through your fingers. Like the fisherman who let the big one get away because they went out when the fish were not biting, talent that is not caught will go into another company’s pool. Being able to constantly recruit will help you identify and land the talent needed instead of waiting for the right time for talent to bite.
- It creates healthy competition internally. This was my biggest objection to this approach. As long as you invest in your people, and are above board with them to let them know that you are always looking for complementary talent, people will be engaged with the efforts to look out for a great colleague. And in those instances when people aren’t fully engaged, you will create a healthy culture that everyone knows to not be complacent. It requires the correct leadership mindset to do this, but when done right it transforms your culture into a productive and supportive one.
- Your hiring skills stay sharp. By keeping your organizational mindset in recruiting mode, you’ll be more keenly aware of talent when it appears. You’ll also develop better questions to ask instead of going over the same old ones again and again. In addition, you’ll be able to tailor your search to the current needs to the team instead of reacting to a past problem.
- You’ll build a future talent pool. If you found a talented person but just can’t justify bringing them on board right now, you’ll develop a bench of people that you can easily recruit. Having conversation with them to let them you will indeed be contacting them when the circumstances are there will allow them to be ready to jump aboard when it’s time. Without a depth of talent in the waiting, you’ll be further behind the hiring process when you do need them.
- It allows you to hire on a dime from pre-qualified talent. This last point sums up the previous two. Many times companies hire after the need is identified, which is usually past the best time to hire and meet that need. Compound that reaction time to the typical hiring process, and it may be at least 4-6 months before a key person is on board. In today’s business climate, that’s too late. Constant recruiting involves ongoing dialogue with candidates and being able to get certain aspects done ahead of time: interview questions, background checks, references, etc. The company that can hire immediately today has huge advantages over those that lag behind in their process. Having this recruiting mentality every day greatly helps you to be in position at any given moment.
Be in recruiting mode all the time. Keep you eyes, ears, and social media open for great talent that you’ll need. It’s an advantage you’ll be glad you have.