“The most impactful people tend to be the doers in the organization. We can’t rely solely on entrepreneurs, who may have very little time, to make change happen. Anyone with a strong voice can be a role model. It’s easier to get started when you’re a leader but real change happens when you build momentum across a much broader spectrum.”
“A team made up of the younger generation, with courage and inventiveness, together with older men of wisdom and experience, should bring success.”—General Georges Doriot, in the American Research and Development 1949 Annual Report. ARD was the first institutional venture capital firm. (via fred-wilson)
There are three primary reasons why firms should emphasize fast hiring.
The first relates to the ability to land high-demand candidates.
One large accounting firm recently found that if they didn’t act within 22 days, their chances of landing “high-demand” candidates decreased by nearly 90%. A large electronics firm researched the issue and found that the very best in their field (the top 10% of candidates) were often gone within 10 days.
The logic of speed hiring is simple: if Tiger Woods decided to leave his golf team, he would be in such demand that he might be in and then out of the job market in as little as a few hours.
A second reason for speed hiring is the economic loss to the corporation of having position vacancies. Obviously, if an airline has insufficient pilots for each of its planes, it would lose revenue from each of those canceled flights.
The pharmaceutical firm Merck found that having vacant positions in its R&D function has a direct measurable impact on the time it takes to develop new products for market.
Financial institutions have also found that having vacant positions in revenue-generating jobs, such as loan officers, costs them revenue on a daily basis because these vacant positions caused them to “miss” opportunities to make profitable loans.
The third reason relates to the “sudden” availability of currently employed individuals. The very best recruiting departments proactively seek out individuals who are currently working at other firms in an attempt to convince them, over time, to leave their current job and to join your firm. This process is known as “relationship recruiting” or “pre-need” recruiting.
The concept is a simple one. A corporation identifies highly desirable individuals and “works on them” in order to eventually convince them to join your firm. Unlike normal recruiting, when the candidate decides when to leave, this recruiting process pushes them to make that decision earlier than normal.
This process takes some time, and it’s hard to predict exactly when it will succeed. However, whenever the individual does decide to leave, it’s important for recruiters to act quickly. Fortunately, because your firm approached first, it’s highly likely that you will be the only firm directly targeting this person. But if you don’t hire quickly, he or she will likely begin looking at other firms.
Slow hiring decisions will also give their current boss an opportunity to make counteroffers, further reducing the odds that you will successfully land them.
You don’t create a culture. Culture happens. It’s the by-product of consistent behavior. If you encourage people to share, and you give them the freedom to share, then sharing will be built into your culture. If you reward trust then trust will be built into your culture.
Artificial cultures are instant. They’re big bangs made of mission statements, declarations, and rules. They are obvious, ugly, and plastic. Artificial culture is paint.
Real cultures are built over time. They’re the result of action, reaction, and truth. They are nuanced, beautiful, and authentic. Real culture is patina.
Don’t think about how to create a culture, just do the right things for you, your customers, and your team and it’ll happen.