Throughout our 23 years of marriage, my wife and I have purchased 10 homes. We’ve resided in five of them, while the remaining five served as investments. The most nerve-wracking home purchase we ever made was in 2003 in Jacksonville, FL. At that point, we listed our home for sale, and within a mere 72 hours, it was already under contract with a full-price cash offer. This meant we had just 30 days to pack up our lives and move 8 hours away, back to our family and friends in Baton Rouge, LA. We had not informed anyone at work about our impending departure, but we had an ailing family member in Baton Rouge, and we knew God was calling us to move back home.
After work on a Friday afternoon, we drove into Baton Rouge – my uncle gave us the name of a realtor, and we had done our research on what homes we wanted to see. We had 36 hours to pick a house before we had to make the 8-hour drive back and be at work on Monday morning. There we were with our printed MLS sheets in the back of an Oldsmobile with a realtor I could only describe as a typical Grandmother – if your Grandmother had a turkey neck, blue hair, crazy ambition, and a vision for how you should live your life and didn’t listen to you. She took us to every house she wanted to sell and very few of the ones we wanted to see. We were running out of time. We called a friend from the back of that Oldsmobile for another referral. We chaotically shared our plight with Mel Landry, and Mel told us to ask the nice lady to leave us on the side of the road. In no time at all, Mel came in on his brown Nissan Pathfinder horse to save the day. Mel showed us two houses that we wanted to see, and we purchased the first house. Mel and his wife Denise became very close friends, and we purchased five more properties with Mel over the years.
So, what does that crazy story have to do with recruiting?
- Everyone writes a job description when they need to hire (well, most of us anyway!). But just as important as the technical details is to know how quickly you need to make that hire. Are you in need of hiring the best person who is looking in the next two weeks, or would you prefer to wait until the perfect person comes on the market? In our most recent move, Sarah and I didn’t have to move. We were simply passively looking for years until something close to perfect came along. Be crystal clear with your team who is helping find your folks on how urgent your need is.
- Ensure your recruiters are listening and understanding what you are looking for and not their own beliefs/opinions about what you should be looking for. Usually, this is a process over time as you work with your team, but often, you can tell right away if something is amiss. Bias and unconscious bias in recruiting will be a future blog (Malcolm Gladwell’s book Blink should be required reading for anyone interviewing and hiring).
- Move quickly. But do not misunderstand – it’s important that you DO NOT skip the steps in your hiring process to ensure you have the right person in the right seat. So often, we see clients lose the best candidate because the hiring process took too long. You must be able to decide on a person in one week or less in most cases. The longer that person is looking, the less of a chance they will accept your job or your offer. Just like you are hunting for a new employee, they are hunting for a new home, and you have no idea what their timeline is. Are they going to accept the first thing, or are they going to shop for a year? The longer you take, the less chance they accept your offer, or the bigger chance they counter because they have another offer, or you spend a ton of time on a candidate that turns you down to get a better deal at their current job and wastes you and your team’s valuable time. Even if you are passively looking – you must have the discipline to push your hiring process forward in one week (note: this fits 80% of positions but not all).
Thank you for reading – I believe God put me on this earth to help bring people to a better place, so I am always trying to explore and learn. If you have ideas or stories for a blog – or a topic you would like to see more about, please let me know, as I would love to connect and learn together.