ON YOUR MIND: Top 5 worries keeping IT pros up at night
"As we enter into this tacit economic recovery, companies that don't have a recruiting staff can't be aggressive about getting people in. The danger for these organizations is that if you don't address the problem, it just grows and grows and grows," Capperella says. "The top quartile of companies that care about how they manage and strategically plan their talent will be fine, but that leaves 75 percent that will inevitably have to compete on wages."
Another danger is choosing the wrong person.
Oftentimes the effects of bad recruiting don't show up for six to 12 months, but they're painful when they do. Dealing with a chronic procrastinator, a bad communicator, or a perfectionist can take its toll on the entire department. In addition, a negligent hire can expose a company to financial and reputational risk.
"The greatest risk to a company is hiring the wrong people, and the single greatest control you have over corporate risk is hiring the right people," Rowson says. "You will end up paying much more than the cost of hire for a bad hire."
In the end, the burden of a bad hire will be felt more by the manager, who has to deal with that person on a daily basis, than by the recruiter. For IT managers, it's worth investing more time and energy in recruiting. Here are a few tips to get started:
1. Get more involved in recruiting
If you're a manager, cultivate a strong partnership with HR. You'll need it -- particularly if hiring does suddenly pick up. Pick up the phone, ask a recruiter to lunch, express interest in the recruiting process and offer your expertise, Winegardner says. "Create that relationship with your business partner in recruiting and HR because it will pay dividends."
2. Get your own house in order
In an ideal world, companies should always be in recruiting mode, scouting for new talent not only in the open market but also inside their own organizations.
"A good organization is always making its first priority to understand what talent they already have and how it's deployed. Is it being rewarded properly and competitively?" Rowson says. "If don't have your own house in order, you can't go to market."
In reality, however, a lot of companies solely focus on external recruiting and ignore opportunities to optimize their existing workforce. "I see companies misfire on this all the time, but the great companies don't," Rowson says.
When companies decide it's time to recruit again, the smart ones first make sure they have their current talent deployed in the right positions, Rowson says. "Why waste even one precious dollar going to market, speculatively, to recruit until you've gotten that house in order?"
3. Deal with poor performers
Now is the time for dealing with poor performers, Rowson suggests. Some managers have held onto subpar employees rather than risk losing headcount and not being able to replace it. "It's an opportunity to confront performance issues," he says.
4. Ask for input from existing staff
The most efficient way to go about a talent search is to talk to existing staff members and ask them to weigh in on what's needed for a particular position -- the skills, experience and certifications, for instance.
"The people in these niche areas know the competitive companies and their colleagues better than any recruiter -- especially one who's been out of practice," Rowson says. "Nothing's worse than leaving them sitting on the sidelines, when they could be in the game, helping you recruit."
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