In preparation for my forthcoming book, The Magnetic Workplace: How to Attract Top Talent That Will Stick Around (Nicholas Brealey, 2013), I’ve been conducting research with magnetic CEOs to learn how they go about securing top talent, when others are struggling to do so. Here is a sneak peek of what I learned. Great CEOs are always on the lookout for talent, regardless of the month on the calendar. Follow their lead and you too will see some great results.
Here’s why the holidays are a great time to hire talent:
1. Networking opportunities are in full bloom. During the holidays, you are bound to attend a networking event or two or perhaps your spouse is dragging you to yet another holiday party. You’re going to be there, so you may as well make the best of it. Try to find out ahead of time who will be attending the event and see if the host is willing to make an introduction on your behalf. Say hello to the people you’d like to meet and then ask for permission to call them next week to discuss a business matter.
2. Better access to candidates. It’s easier for candidates to slip out the back door without others noticing during the holiday season. Most will assume this person is sneaking out the door to do some Christmas shopping. It’s also not uncommon to come to work dressed in more formal garb, especially since many attend holiday functions that begin right after work. This allows job hunters to come to work dressed as they would for an interview, which makes it easier for you to convince them to come by for an interview.
3. Less competition. Companies tend to focus more on tying up lose ends during the month of December and to many that means finalizing their hiring plans, instead of putting them into action. Smart employers recognize this is the perfect opportunity to get a jump start on the competition. If you know what you are looking for, then stop planning and go out and get these people.
Case Study: Taking Action and Getting Results:
Here’s a recent case study (and a true story) about a CEO who was having an extremely difficult time finding technical sales people with industry specific experience. This CEO had placed his job openings with a number of highly regarded placement agencies, but was still unable to find the people he needed. At lunch, just prior to Thanksgiving, he shared his frustration with me. I told him about one of my clients who had flown across the country to have dinner with a candidate he knew he had to have. It was at that moment, that he realized that he knew exactly who he wanted to hire and these people all knew him. In spite of the fact that it wasn’t exactly the best time to try and convince people to leave their organizations to come work for him, that’s exactly what he did. And you know what? Within a few week’s time, he was fully staffed.
So this holiday season, give yourself permission to do whatever is necessary over the next month to bring in the talent that you need. This will guarantee you’ll be starting off the New Year fully staffed and ready to do business.