The hiring manager comes to you and says I need this and I need it yesterday. That’s typical, but definitely not optimal. If you need it right now, it’s late, and you’re at a disadvantage. This leads to mediocre hires, maybe even bad hires. Mediocre hires build mediocre businesses. Bad hires…..well, you know the rest.
If the long range plan is that you will need someone with xyz qualifications, but there is no plan in place to get to the point where the business really needs that person, it’s too early. Still, not optimal.
There is a window of time that is optimal for recruiting. It’s way before the desperate immediate need and way after the long range plan.
You don’t have to be perfect, exactly on the dot, to have optimal timing. You do have to be within that strategic window that allows you the time to find a great candidate and in which you will be able to act to bring them in.