Hiring vs. Recruiting
You step outside. It is cold and raining (for dramatic effect). You walk down the street and around the block to wait for a bus. You arrive 15-minutes early because the next bus is not for another two hours and that simply will not work out with your schedule. You wait the 15-minutes plus an extra 11 since the bus is late. Due to the time lag, you wonder if you read the maps and schedules correctly, then you wonder if you have the route picked out and even consider that the bus could have been early and passed just before you got there. You stick it out because you believe you were on time. Finally, you see the bus coming around the corner. It bounces a few times on route toward you, it comes to a stop and you get on. You pay the fare, find a seat and get to where you need to go.
Your systems put in place to catch a bus on time are highly analogous to the hiring process. It is a grind and there will be times that you feel it is a waste of time. You might even question your process if you do not immediately uncover promising candidates. You need to trust your process and yourself. The work leading up to signing on the dotted line is called recruiting. It is a ton of work: posting ads, collecting resumes, researching promising candidates on social media, interviewing, running background checks, checking references and having discussions with your team about fit and future.
Recruiting is 99% of the work. It is all the steps necessary to catch the right bus on time. Rush that process and we run the risk of hiring the wrong person. If people are the most important piece of our puzzle, our recruitment process should be meticulous and this means investing our time. Time to run more candidates through our systematic recruitment machine.
Hiring is 1% of the work; it is the act of stepping on the bus. It is the by-product of excellent recruiting. It is the reward. Hiring is signing an offer letter, introducing the candidate to your team and drafting the onboarding plan. It may even involve touching base with excellent candidates that were not chosen and helping the selected candidate transition from their previous employer.
SO WHY DO WE TRADITIONALLY WAIT TO START THIS PROCESS UNTIL WE NEED SOMEONE?
Instead, keep job postings up the entire year and network constantly. Meet with candidates on the basis that when good people are available, you meet with them so that you are ready to hire when the need presents itself. Your business is always changing and you need to be ready. You owe it to your staff, your customers and yourself. You do not need to know what to be ready for. Just meet good people and you will have an answer when you need it.
Q: Are you hiring?
A: We are rarely hiring, but we are always recruiting. Since we have a clearly defined culture, we know what we are looking for. It is a narrow field so we need time on our side. We do not have to be hiring to be recruiting.
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