Guest blogger William S. “Bill” Green, author of All In: 101 Real-Life Business Lessons for Emerging Entrepreneurs (www.bgreenauthor.com/media), is a serial entrepreneur who has built multiple businesses during his 40-year career. He is best known for “bootstrapping a startup” before anyone even knew what the word startup meant. He propelled his first company, Wilmar Industries, from a flea market table to one of the largest industrial distribution companies in the U.S., now known as Interline Brands.
The U.S. unemployment rate continues to drop, and that’s generally regarded as a good thing.
Unless, of course, you’re an employer competing to hire top talent for your company.
Job growth is making it more difficult for companies to find candidates with all the qualifications they require, much less desire.
The job market is a little like the housing market – a lot depends on inventory and the economy. Sometimes there are more buyers, and sometimes more sellers.
Right now, job seekers tend to have the edge.
If your company’s latest collection of resumes is looking pretty slim, it could be you’ve already made your first mistake.
“Why wait until you have an opening to start the recruiting process?” says Bill Green, founder and CEO of LendingOne. “You’ve likely already met the best candidates out there.”
A smart company keeps the pipeline open, says Green, author of “All In: 101 Real-Life Business Lessons for Emerging Entrepreneurs” (www.bgreenauthor.com). That way you won’t have to scramble if someone leaves, or settle for less than you want. You’ll always have someone waiting in the wings.
Even if you think you already have a great team, find some way to keep meeting potential employees, says Green, who has employed thousands at the businesses he’s either built from scratch or acquired and led to success.His tips for finding top talent include:
- Get creative in the interview process. Ask questions that are not the typical interview questions that candidates are prepared for. “If you can get people speaking honestly and off the cuff, you’ll learn much more about them,” Green says.
- Raid other companies for talent. If you find someone who can help your business and you know he or she is underappreciated at a competitor, he says, “Release the hounds and get poaching.”
- There are diamonds in the rough everywhere. Don’t overlook a current or potential employee just because his or her resume isn’t an exact match to your job opening. Today, there are computer programs that toss out applicants before a real person ever gets a chance to check out their qualifications or reasons for wanting the job. Don’t limit yourself to a checklist. Hire people who have a genuine passion for your mission and the skills – self-taught or not – to do the job.
Green has a hiring mantra: Always be interviewing.
“I’m not saying run ads and interview people every Friday,” he says. “But you need to keep the mindset that you are never finished recruiting.”