As a business leader, how many people in your network can fill a vacancy on your team? If, tomorrow morning, the best employee on your team resigned, what would you do?
Depending on the manager, the organization and the position, the answers often vary…
Too often in today’s business climate, business leaders barely have enough hours in the day to deal with the routine and the expected; having time to proactively work to fill potential vacancies on your team is rarely a priority. While your personal and professional networks are the best places to find talent, you must also have a “plan b,” in the event your network cannot come through for you in your time of need.
What is your “plan b”? For organizations fortunate enough to have a Human Resources Department, most business leaders would immediately cite HR as their “plan b” (actually, many might consider this “plan A”). While HR is a great internal business partner, do they have the resources to find you that next “A player?” Especially in more technical and skilled environments, you might have a HR recruiter at your disposal, but is that person deeply knowledgeable of your positions, or are they simply generalists, with limited exposure to the technical or skilled aspects of your positions (IT leaders are nodding their heads right now)? Even if the internal HR Recruiter has a working knowledge of your positions, how well networked are they among professionals in your field? With or without HR, maybe your “plan b” tells you to advertise on the job boards. While this may yield resumes, the more relevant question is “will a job board help you find your next ‘A player’?” In a recent presentation from a leading job board, the Account Manager proudly proclaimed that his company had 25% of the entire US workforce represented on their site. While many decision-makers may have been impressed by this stat, everyone should have wondered how they would recruit from the 75% of the population not represented on this leading job board. Finally, if your “plan b” is a DIY approach, consider this detail from the Wall Street Journal (Jobs Open, but Filling Them Slows Down, March 7, 2011): “managers invited between five and six candidates on average for second-round interviews last year.” For the DIY hiring manager, if you there are six candidates in the second round, how many resumes did you review and how many first round interviews did you go through to get to this point? And how much time was lost from other work activities to find your next hire?
The Real “Plan B” – Other People’s Network: If research and reality confirm that professional networks are the best place to find your next talent, why not utilize the professional network of other people? Think about it…do you find any value in tapping into a network of someone who, each month, is networking with hundreds of professionals from your industry? Even the strongest of networkers probably does not have the time it takes to network with that many people in any given month. Thus, when your own personal and professional network does not fill your open position, your “plan b” should be a great partnership with a staffing or recruiting firm, such as MiSource, Inc. Each day, our recruiters are meeting and talking to people in your industry. They are building a network of qualified talent available to help you fill that vacancy on your team. However, for this “plan b” to be effective, you must indeed be partners. You must be willing to not just provide a job description to your staffing partner, but also be willing to share with them a more in-depth perspective of your expectations for the position, the culture of your organization and the goals of the company. Among the details, we want to know:
Managers often cite hiring as one of their least favored responsibilities. For anyone who is responsible for leading a team, finding “A players” is a goal, but one often burdened with frustration. Hall of Fame basketball coach John Wooden said that “Failing to prepare is like preparing to fail.” Managers should always be preparing to find their next “A player” by building their personal and professional networks and establishing a great partnership with a quality recruiting firm like MiSource.
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