Talent Talk: Recruit Like George Jetson, not Fred Flintstone

Don’t wait until there’s a job opening to recruit talent. A continuous recruitment process may sound futuristic, but it is, in fact, an emerging best practice.

Last week we talked about how our fundamental hiring process in the United States is about 80 years old and laid out some of the basic problems we face today because of a lack of innovation in that process.

As Albert Einstein famously said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” Our way of hiring was developed when the workforce was plentiful and far less diverse. The jobs were not as specialized, and the technology not as advanced.

What I am about to suggest will seem futuristic at first, like something from the Jetsons, so you may have to work through denial, anger, bargaining, and depression before reaching some level of acceptance.

The concept is to actively recruit the type of talent you would like to add to your company or team, and to do it on a constant basis. Companies in the plastics manufacturing space that can begin to embrace this philosophy and move away from the paradigm of waiting until someone quits or announces their planned retirement, or when business growth requires adding personnel to existing staff, will outpace the pack over the next decade.

Years ago, we had an opportunity to bring someone into my company. I had known her for years — she was a super-smart engineer, but with no background in recruiting. I was not sure exactly which market segment would be the best fit for her, what types of roles would be best for her to work with, or really anything for that matter.

But, I thought to myself, if I had a chance to get Michael Jordan on my basketball team, would I worry about which position he was going to play? Or would I just get him on the team?

The practice is not yet widespread, but we have clients who will ask us to always let them know if we talk to someone who is confidentially open to a new opportunity, if they have a certain product knowledge, skill set, or come from certain companies within the industry. It is an emerging best practice.

A final note: This does not include running a continuous job ad. That only cheapens your brand, and over 95% of top performers will not see it, nor would they respond if they did.

 

About the author

Paul Sturgeon is CEO of KLA Industries, a national search firm specializing in plastics, packaging, and polymer technology. If you have a topic you would like to see discussed, a company that is growing, or other ideas for this blog, e-mail Sturgeon at paul@klaindustries.com.

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