Success = Having the Right People
“The success of an organization is dependent on the quality of its people and their commitment to excellence.” (Drucker)
It follows that to establish a high performing culture you have to be able to attract and retain the right people with the skills and character to take your enterprise forward. Of course, for organisations that are already “in the zone” it is far easier to find and keep people. They are known for being successful, having a positive culture supported by great leadership and management. But what if you are still trying to get there?
In this post I am going to talk about how you get the right people in the first place.
When the economy is growing good people with the right skills and abilities tend to be in short supply. Those in jobs, having gravitated towards good companies, are not looking to move (why would they?) and the small number of the candidates you want will look at well-known companies with a record of success. So what can you do when you are still on the road to success and at first glance do not seem to have much to offer? Traditional advertising, either in the media or on line, is not hugely successful. The result is often expensive, but wasted, effort getting CVs from pretty unappealing candidates often via seemingly expensive recruitment agencies.
One frequently underutilised and misunderstood approach is Search, or “Headhunting” as it is sometimes known.
Headhunting is usually perceived as a method only used by big companies to find top level executives via some mythical black book kept by a hugely expensive consultant sitting in plush offices in London! The reality could not further from this.
Search is research – it’s the process of selecting the environment within which the sort of person you are after might be found, identifying the actual potential candidates and making direct contact with them. This provides the opportunity to have a conversation as even well settled individuals are usually curious, you have connected to their ego and so will have that initial chat. Then it is possible to explain in far more detail what you have to offer than can be conveyed in a job ad. Following this process will invariably lead to the person you are after.
In over twenty five years of “headhunting” I have used this approach to find sometimes quite junior people, but with specialist skills and knowledge, for small companies without it costing the earth. Design Engineers, Flavourists and a Head of Retail in Italy are just a few of the roles where Search has worked when conventional advertised recruitment has failed. The cost – a lot less than not having somebody or employing the wrong person!!
So there you have it. To succeed you need the right people and sometimes that means adopting an unconventional approach to getting them. Headhunting is not just for the big boys!
(In my next post I’ll talk more about how you select the right people from your short list of great candidates to help build a great team - and keep it!)