As he said to me over coffee one day, “Companies can’t go public in this day and age, unless people believe they are a hiring machine” John Zagula, Founder and Managing Director at Ignition Partners.
In short, if you follow all the steps we’ve outlined in our ten-part Blog Series on Elevating Recruiting your company should be at the beginning stage of becoming a hiring machine. John Zagula’s statement above predicts ever so eloquently how failure at a compelling talent strategy, process, and overall investment impacts a company’s long-term liquidity and success outcomes. Simply put, if nobody wants to work at a company, not much is going to happen there regardless of a good product or service idea. Recruiting well has gotten even more attention over time as the job market demand outstrips supply.
But why do some companies succeed in spite of a somewhat broken hiring machine? It’s typically because they have a compelling product and they pay very well either via direct pay or stock. Take Amazon for example, now with over 560,000 employees, they must be doing something right. Yet, many people you talk to that work there or worked there in the past talk about major culture stress and that they lived to hit their 2 year stock vest milestone. If you ask people in this situation, generally they will say they did it for the stock or for the money versus staying for the heart of the organization and supporting their purpose. Imagine what could happen if you could add in a driving purpose for employees to show up bright and bold for the mission of the company and not just money?
A company’s long-term success requires that the best talent stays and thrives. Recently, I had the pleasure of leading a panel of local Seattle talent leaders at the Seattle HR Collective Transformational Summit. Recruiting Bandwidth co-founded this group with our HR partner, uniquely HR. In a series of questions meant to provoke thoughts from these leaders about how companies can become hiring machines, we had some great responses:
Shannon Anderson, Director of Talent at Madrona Ventures, “Companies come to Madrona and as for funding to fuel their product generation, marketing plan, and recruiting is often an afterthought.” Shannon went on to say she will often vote yes to great product ideas that come with a strong mindset around talent acquisition being a key lever in the growth plan, not an afterthought.
Leang Chung, Senior Director of HR at Getty Images, shared, “For a company to become a hiring machine, everyone has to play a role in that process regardless of their job title or position in the company”. Leang shared that she got so good at her company pitch at her last New York startup, that candidates would say, “Whatever it is you are selling, I am in! I’m buying how you are representing the company and if the company culture instills this in you, I am sold”.
Sean Kelly from Amazon, talked of how recruiters move beyond being the order takers in the company, “You have to understand the business first and immerse yourself in the operating plan. If you have a tough business problem to solve, bring together a coalition of folks to talk through it from the lens of the business”.
Last and certainly not least, Nicole Maddox, a true talent entrepreneur, shared how often times as talent leaders we need to adopt the language of our peers in the organization, “We talk about what’s at the top of the recruiting funnel and how that translates to hires, however, it doesn’t matter what’s happening at the top of the funnel if we’re not making hires.” Nicole encouraged us to look at each stage in the recruiting process and pipeline and ask ourselves questions such as, “Why are people dropping out at the various stages to get to inform what needs to change….time to fill is one of the biggest metrics jokes in the world if we’re making bad hires.”
Going back to the beginning, companies achieve ultimate long-term success with a talent first approach. If this isn’t the case now at your company, what can you do to help move it towards becoming one, one step at a time? Stay tuned for more discussions on our road ahead to elevating the talent/recruiting industry. Here at Recruiting Bandwidth, it’s our mission.