Want To Get Ahead? Hire Before You're Ready

George Bell
Want To Get Ahead? Hire Before You're Ready

Gone are the days of the traditional recruitment process, where businesses would advertise open positions and be left with dozens of suitable candidates to pick from. Social media and apps have given prospective candidates new ways to search, apply, and stand out from the competition for jobs.

It’s left a completely different recruitment and hiring structure in its midst. With dozens of networking events always on offer, an increased number of outreach opportunities through platforms such as LinkedIn, and more ways than ever to cross paths with potential candidates, there is a huge pool of talent at your doorstep.  

Perhaps you will meet these potential candidates before you’re ready to hire. But missing out on this talent could be hugely costly for your business. And that’s why you should hire for your organisation, even without an open position in mind. 

A business is about people

Businesses create products, services and goods that we make use of every single day. From smartphones to transport, it’s businesses that make the world spin round. It’s sometimes easy to forget that behind these businesses, whether large or small, it’s the people that are making it successful. Many a business has collapsed not because of a bad idea, but because of bad people running the show.

For example, both Apple and BlackBerry have been close to failing and collapsing, but only one of these similarly-natured companies has truly survived today. Why? An in-depth analysis of BlackBerry found that its management continuously made the wrong choices. On the other hand Apple, who were only 90 days from bankruptcy, replaced their CEO with the previously-ousted Steve Jobs, who saw the company rise to profit.

This shows that the right people are the lifeblood of a business. From entry-level employees right up to the top, every single cog in the machine of a business is essential in keeping it turning smoothly. Businesses that remember this, and keep each and every person engaged, are the ones that succeed.

This is why it’s also so crucial to know that to keep your machine growing, you need to keep adding new cogs, sometimes before you’re even ready. The world is moving at an extremely fast pace, and waiting for the right time to hire for your business can mean that the talent you had your eye on has been snatched up, or your competition is already leaps and bounds ahead of you.

It can be a daunting thought, hiring someone for a position that you hadn’t even considered vacant. It can be even more daunting creating a position and parting with what might be much needed cash in order to bring someone new on board.

But if you meet someone that displays a genuine passion for your business and your industry, and you know that they can add value, why would you not find a space for them?

The business leaders say it best

This tactic of hiring talent even if there isn’t an open space is something that business leaders all over the world not only appreciate, but adopt for their own organisations. James Caan CBE, a highly successful entrepreneur, was given an elevator pitch by a lady after a talk he delivered at a University.

After inviting her in for an interview, he created a role specifically for her. But it wasn’t just because of what was on her CV. It was because she approached him after his talk. It’s because she showed determination to impress. And it’s because she’d displayed a passion for his business and his industry.

The industry is awash with other entrepreneurs and business leaders who place their focus on people, rather than solely on their business. After all,it’s the people that you hire that will help to shape your business.Just one of these business leaders, Lawrence Bossidy, the former COO of GE, said “I am convinced that nothing we do is more important than hiring and developing people. At the end of the day, you bet on people, not strategies.”

What you need to look for in candidates

How can you apply the methods that these business leaders use practically to your own business? As Simon Sinek says, you need to start with the “why”. All businesses know what they do, the majority know how they do it, but many don’t know why they do it. And “to make money” isn’t an answer.

What’s the purpose of your business? What problem are you trying to fix? What ripples are you trying to create in the industry? When you’ve defined the ethos of your business, you’ll start looking beyond filling the standard checklist of employment positions in your organisation, and you’ll start looking for people who share your beliefs, passions and ideas.

Just as you’ll have a game plan for the growth of your business, it’s important to have one for the structure of your company too. Think ahead to what positions you’ll next most need, even if you aren’t quite ready to hire yet. Consider that you may meet the perfect candidate earlier than expected, and be prepared for this.

What should you look for? Look past the CV and the experience, look for potential. Look at what makes someone tick, look for their drive and ambition, for their humbleness and for their passion for your business. If they share your vision but you aren’t ready to hire, see if you can make room. As one quote reads, “great vision without great people is irrelevant.”

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