Change the Odds…Hire Only People You Know…Build a Talent Community

Who are your best hires?

Aren’t they the ones that were in your little black book or rolodex that you were just waiting for the “right” opportunity to hire? Obviously, the people we already know, or those referred to us by people we absolutely trust, are the very best people to hire. We know what to expect from them and what they will do once they get on board. This area of building a business is the fun part when you surround yourself with known talents that will do what you need done - without having to worry about it.

Then the time comes when you have to hire your first employee that is a total stranger. Try as you might, you can’t find anyone that you know who can refer someone for the opening, so you venture into the messy and turbulent waters of recruitment. It’s typically no fun at all.

You find pretty quickly that there are no systems in place for recruiting that can tell you what to expect. You get a lot of vague advice speckled with plenty of gray areas. The only concrete advice is to end up relying on past performance as a guide to future success (...you know from your investment broker just what that can mean…). The people you contract to help you through this mine field, after getting past the bluster, you find are as clueless as you are about guaranteeing hiring success. It all comes down to reviewing resumes that are written by the candidates (dare I say embellishment!), and going through perhaps a series of interviews where a candidate is judged a “success” by how well she “talks” about herself and the job at hand. She may not be able to “do” the job that well, but a good interviewee will really be able to talk about it.

After you have the other people you trust interview and determine the best talker, it’s time to hire someone. Even if all the interviewers are certain that you have found your new employee – you still have only a 60% chance of hiring someone that will be successful performing the job (that's the "best case" scenario, on average its closer to 20%...).

So, what can you do to change the odds? Our suggestion is to only hire people that you know. O.K., now that we’re all done laughing - we’re serious! The best way to improve the possibility of hiring success is to get to know more people that do the various jobs that you will be hiring for in the future.

Here is how it can work...

Create a Talent Community of people with specific talents, particularly the ones that you’ll need at some point. Then, employ specially created networking events to get to know these people better and increase their interest in you and your company. These networking events shouldn't be your average Webinar or Q&A Chat Session, they should be crafted to demonstrate a person's "mental acuity," so at the end of the event, you'll be able to easily see who fared well and who didn't. These events also HAVE to be easy to implement as this new approach should SAVE time - not add to it! Using this approach, you'll fairly quickly be able to learn who you like the best, and begin cultivating them to join your organization. Over the course of an event or two, you will certainly get to know them way more than any resume or interview can provide. Of course you would eventually interview the ones you’re most interested in when the job is “open,” but that interview will certainly begin at a much more advanced stage of evaluation. You'll now know that person...

The best part is that the people in your Talent Community will get to know you also (and your staff too), and will begin to know what you expect and whether they see themselves working with you in your business. Now, mix in a healthy dose of people that work at your competitors, people that know your business or your business sector - and you have a winning formula for advanced hiring success.

The interesting thing is that this will take less time than you would invest in traditional hiring methods (much less), there are third party companies that will develop and manage the process for you (uh…that would be us!), and it costs a ridiculously low amount to get underway (similar to the average cost of an employee referral bonus).

Pretty simple choice actually, a scenario of up to 80% hiring failure using traditional methods (ads, job boards, agency recruiters, Linked In exchanges, etc.), or having on average a 90% hiring success rate by using a Talent Community approach .*

It really is simple choice isn’t it…

* Based on 6 years of Talent Community hiring metrics tracking at Step Hire/Clean Journey.

Views: 401

Comment by Marvin Smith on August 6, 2010 at 12:30pm
I like the your idea of "hiring only those you know...and those that know you and your team.
Comment by K.C. on August 6, 2010 at 1:57pm
Thanks for the comment Marvin! I heard your speech at the ERE event earlier this year and with your team of 75 - I think you said - certainly have moved the ball forward on the corporate Talent Community front. We were excited to learn that many of the metrics and experiences you talked about matched up with ours...our focus on networking is to create interaction with networking "events" where both parties get a "bang" out of it - limiting the exhaustive and time consuming typical networking activity (we augment the rest with Texts/Emails to Community members with salient and interesting info...to keep up their vibrancy and motivation). This is how everyone gets to know each other and hiring quality increases substantially.

Look forward to reading your tweets and hearing what you are up to moving forward!

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