Could you pitch your hiring strategy – Part I
Every company seems to have a well thought out marketing strategy, but why don’t they have an equally well thought out hiring strategy?
For companies that are hiring, especially startups, there appears to be a kind of willful blindness when it comes to their hiring strategy. Perhaps because founders believe so strongly in their company that they think everyone would want to work there, hiring managers often act like hiring is just a process of going out to the candidate tree to pick out a few top performers.
Here’s what I mean. When I ask companies what their marketing strategy is, business leaders articulate a smart, strategic plan that considers their resources, their presence, their available time and what their target customers care about. What I almost never hear is something like, “I’m going to release my beta and then I’ll call the 5 biggest customers in my industry and get a deal done within 2 weeks”. Try pitching that in an investor meeting!
Yet somehow this is basically the hiring strategy of most startups. I’ll hear: “When I start hiring, I’m going to post a job on a job board and I’m expecting many of the top people in my industry to apply. Then I’m going to start interviewing them in a couple weeks and I’ll make a decision on who to hire within a month”. Sorry but that’s insane. It might work 1 out of 100 times but the most common result is a frustrated hiring manager or the hiring of below average employees with the mistaken belief that you’ve hired “top talent”.
If you want to hire real “top talent” without paying massive recruiter fees or looking for 6 months, then you need to be working on your hiring strategy all the time, just like your marketing plan. You have to consider your competitors for top candidates. A good hiring strategy is exactly equal to a good marketing strategy.
You need to ask yourself:
- Who are we hiring? Someone Senior? Junior? Are they motivated by the same things? Why should they work at our company versus all the other companies they could work at? You need to know this because you have to sell your company and the job you’re hiring for
- How are we going to reach these people? Typical job postings? Sorry, but top performers are not Googling “jobs in (city name)”.
You need to:
- Market to the people in your industry and let them know that you exist. Don’t assume people know who you are (unless you’re Google or Coca-Cola).
- Market that you are a great employer.
- Let people know that you’re hiring. And I don’t mean that you have a single posted job opening, I mean let people know that you’re a growing company, because growing companies are hiring!
In Part II, I’ll offer some ideas and strategies to help you develop a hiring strategy that will help you attract phenomenal candidates.