Having Trouble Finding Good People?
It seems that all my clients are looking for senior-level people to join their management teams. Some have been looking for more than a year. They’re searching through “networking,” and aren’t ready to use — or pay for — the services of a search firm. Cost aside, they believe they have a better chance of finding the right person through personal networking rather than a search firm. This gives them a perceived vested interest in fast placement.
The ill logic here is that all the while, their businesses suffer, and the opportunity cost of not having that ideal person in the job (and producing) is many times the cost of his proposed annual salary.
Furthermore, in the recruitment situations I’ve experienced, there are always two great stumbling blocks:
1. relocation; and
Relocation, especially now, is a huge issue for two reasons. First, experienced senior people in their 40s and 50s are “settled” with kids in school, family and friends nearby, spouses with jobs, etc. More of these people are saying the “opportunity” doesn’t justify turning their lives upside down.
Second, many can’t sell their homes without a major loss.
The “fit” issue is about getting along with an entreprenuerial owner or corporate culture, and it involves great risk on both sides. The good employers realize that when they hire new senior-level employees they have to change, too. Over the years I’ve seen about a 50 percent success rate with new hires at the VP-and-above level.
So what’s the alternative? Here are a few points to consider:
* If you’re hiring, think seriously about the services of a search firm. Some are very good and well worth their fees.
* Start thinking more about “growing” your managers into directors and your directors into VPs. Are you training, mentoring and investing in the development of your people?