March 22, 2016
17 HANDS, LLC.
Would you buy a new house, and let complete strangers stay there for the weekend? What irreparable damage could be done? By not placing a high value on hiring the right people to run your business, you are leaving your cherished investment vulnerable.
Whether you run a Fortune 500 or a local boutique, your people are the face of your business. The actions and behaviors of your employees shape the perception of your brand, and create a public persona that will stay with you, for better or worse.
With that said, it is not often that an amazing candidate just falls into your hands. Think about it...how many times has the perfect candidate walked through your front door and applied for a job on their own volition? How often do you open your e-mail inbox and think, 'this is the one!', when someone applies via an internet ad?
Contrary to popular belief, finding and keeping top talent is a labor of love. All too often, business owners are unwilling to invest time and money in to finding the right people, instead filling positions in the most convenient and cost-effective manner possible. They call it, 'finding a body'. Yes, that is a real phrase that business owners use. Many have gone so far as to request I help them 'find a body'. Without judgement, let's pause for a minute and reflect on that one. Yikes...am I a recruiter or a body snatcher?
I have cringed, many times, watching companies pass up that perfect candidate, in favor of a passable one, with the intention of saving a nominal amount of money. After making the wrong hire, turnover inevitably ensues. Money is lost, hand-over-fist, when trained candidates turn and leave. Despite the clear solution, this cycle repeats itself, creating a 'turnover wake' that seems never-ending.
Understandably, it is a hard stone to turn: where does one find talented, affordable, game-changing candidates that have future potential? Many business owners have excellent intentions, yet lack the time it takes to truly delve in to the hiring process, often missing red flags that could have saved them valuable time and money.
That said, some recruiters think the key to finding top talent lies in the mechanical process, of sorting through resumes and cold-calling. While those are valid tools, successful recruiting, which ultimately results in higher retention rates, is a much more organic process. The foundation of people management lies in communication, not administration.
Though, at times, the candidate with the amazing resume turns out to be the one, there are also times when that 'perfect on paper' candidate turns out to have a notable lack of 'the kwan'. What is the 'the kwan' you ask? The passion, coachability and magnetizing social skills that will enable a candidate to excel in nearly any role. Checking off boxes might work for some recruiters in the short-term, but a candidate's true colors will surely reveal themselves down the line, often at the expense of the business.
Talent sometimes presents itself in unusual places. Some of my strongest, longest retained hires have been cross-industry recruits, and candidates who may not have won the resume contest, but had that indescribable quality that made them the right fit for the role. They are gifted with traits that one cannot teach. These candidates are passionate, eager to succeed, and have an excellent foundation of professional and personal skills that set them up for success in the roles they are stepping into.
The message behind all of this is simple: though the easy choice is making a quick and convenient hire, it is our willingness to dig deeper and view hiring as a long term investment that will earn us a 'diamond in the rough'.
Bonnie Larity Carson
17 HANDS, LLC
Newburyport, MA | (978) 778-4609