You run a fast-growing company. You have to hire talented people, and you have to hire them quickly. So, who do you trust to find the right people and get them into the fold?
Your first impulse might be to put a human resources (HR) professional in charge of all of your recruiting and hiring, but think twice before you do. You need someone who can sell your business concept, ideas and vision to professionals who may already have a good job with a long-standing employer. If you’ve started a new company, the skill of selling becomes even more important.
Gone are the days when you placed an ad and then passively sat back and waited for applications to come in. Talent shortages are a top concern for CEOs worldwide. Businesses are fighting for the best, most talented workers. To compete in that arena, you need a salesperson. You need a professional recruiter to help you build your team, and it has to be one you can trust.
I am the CEO and founder of a relatively young company. We’re growing quickly, but we have to hire the right people. We work too closely together to accept anything less than total professionalism and teamwork. (And our clients demand it.)
I’ve found success in going after people I want, rather than waiting for them to come to me. We post open positions, but I also keep an eye on social media sites. Most of the time, the people we want aren’t actively looking for employment, but they aren’t happy with their jobs and are open if you contact them and are able to sell them on your vision.
That’s how I’ve found some of our best team members. It hasn’t been easy to assemble a top-notch team, and we are never done.
Also, whether we’re currently hiring or not, we keep some positions posted on our website — just in case. You never know when your next top employee will find you and submit an application.
Here are some lessons I’ve learned about building and maintaining a good team:
- If you want good employees, be good to your employees. Never refer to them as “my staff” or “my employee.” I try to refer to them as “my colleagues.” It’s just two words, but it means a lot.
- Create win-win situations for the people you want. Know what they want out of their next job and be willing to give a little to make it happen for them.
- Rub elbows at trade shows or professional development events. The best people will be there, so it’s a perfect time to strike up a conversation and get to know possible future employees.
- Stay in touch on LinkedIn and other social media sites. Even if you’re not hiring at the moment, it’s good to know who’s out there.
Let me be clear: HR is essential for any company, but it takes a different personality to do HR processes than proactive recruiting. While it's possible to perform the functions of both, most people are better at one than the other.
Recruiting is no longer just an HR function. Recruiters are becoming more appropriately known as talent acquisition specialists, and they’re excellent at knowing how to market a company. Smart CEOs understand and appreciate the difference.