We all know that a top performer is ten times more productive than an average performer and they only earn about ten percent more. The bottom line impact of having an “A” player on your team is enormous. Ultimately, Corporate America is interesting in the fact that due to pay grades and internal equity, rock stars get paid about the same as the kid in the high school band. No one needs to be reminded of the cold, hard truth that your job rides on the quality of the talent you are surrounded by. That in mind, who do you want to go to battle with everyday? Bono or the pimply faced kid playing the trombone?
As organizations have reduced headcount overall and eliminated the fat they have become laser focused on cost in ways that are counterproductive. You cut the bottom ten percent of your workforce because expenses were out of line with revenues. Now it is time to make some strategic investments in talent and your process for doing so is to hope you find an “A” player who fell into another corporation’s bottom ten percent? If so, you are asking for an underperforming professional and to have to do the search over again in twelve to eighteen months. It is true that there are some very talented people in today’s job market. However they are clearly the exception rather than the rule. If you look at the placements our firm has made over the past 18 months, 84% of the candidates we have presented to our clients have been in a position or employed at the time we submitted them for consideration. These passive candidates resulted in 93% of our placements. Interesting that at a time when unemployment is around 9%, our clients are overwhelmingly convinced the best talent is not out looking. When compared side-by-side, you are able to see their simply is no comparison.
Today it is more important than ever to have quality people in your organization. Simple math really, you have fewer people doing more work. With an increased importance being placed on marketing, nowhere is this more important than in the group responsible for differentiating you from your competitors. Peter Drucker says, “All business in marketing and innovation, everything else is just an expense.”
Business is harder than ever, we are still in a recession and not sure what the new “normal” is. Globalization puts constant pricing pressure on companies who do not have that level of competition built into their cultures. If you hope to compete and win, it is vital that you have the best possible people on in your organization. Yet the strategy many executives carry to their HR organization is DO NOT spend any money on search fees. Even worse, they tie the bonus of the HR executive to how little they spend on search fees. How about we tie the bonus of the HR executive to the quality of hire? If you send your hiring manager enough average candidates, sooner or later they will find a bad excuse to hire one of them to the detriment of your bottom line.
I believe that eighty percent of organizations have quality people working in HR and recruiting. Problem is based on who they are, they cannot effectively research, target, contact and most importantly convince passive candidates to join your team. RPO (Recruitment Process Outsourcing) companies have not improved upon this they have just shifted an identical process to outside your company. You get prettier reports, but not better talent. The only tried and true method for attracting the best passive candidates to your team is to call an executive search firm. Most importantly pick one who is at the top of their specialty. The best search firms know they cannot be all things to all people and can move exponentially faster when they niche focused.
Not everyone in the executive search business is an “A” player their respective niche. The best ones hire people with domain expertise in the area of specialty and train them to be top recruiting professionals. For example, you cannot recruit a top marketing professional if you have never worked in a marketing role. Globally, the recession will end soon enough. Your company’s ability to come out of its own doldrums and grow again is 100% dependent on the quality of your team. Are you surrounded by rock stars motivated to do great things or kids from the high school band just looking to get by? The deck is stacked against you if you are looking to hire another organization’s castoffs.