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5 Years Ago

(July 18, 2005)

Underlying Assumptions

(July 12, 2000) It's easy to forget the most important part of Recruiting: having enough money to pay the people you hire. Not surprisingly, having enough money and valuing the people you hire correctly is the central issue in making more money to hire more people. Although it's possible to have lots of money and not be able to hire the right people (this happens in Silicon Valley), for most employers the principle can be taken at face value.

In a publicly traded company, an additional component of this equation involves the management of the company's stock price and its expected market performance. Since company stock is often issued as a part of retirement programs (in hipper operations, it's used to supplement actual compensation), everyone in the organization (and all of its potential members) is interested in Wall Street performance. With over 50% of the population identifying themselves as investors, the scrutiny in this area is much higher than it used to be.

In smaller companies, the sense of financial well being comes as a part of the payments and collections cycles. Since business cash flow and profitability are elusive topics in smaller organizations, the behavior of the management team (when handling financial matters) is a critical component of establishing a high momentum attractive workplace.

In today's environment, Recruiters are typically insulated from the questions of financial health and weakness of the operation. As it was in Victorian times, some topics simply aren't discussed with strangers. Subconsciously, the organization eliminates the problem by keeping the Recruiters in the dark or delivering a packaged story for them to tell. While a significant percentage of recruits are interested in the financial stability (at least) of the enterprise, Recruiters are buffered from the information.

This is one of the dynamics that will undergo profound change in the coming years. As Recruiting performance is more directly tied to the well being of the overall unit, they will come to depend, even more heavily, on the success of the business while contributing more measurably to it.

This implies a fairly rugged shift in internal politics. Non-contributors who are fed a story can be discounted. Participants with a face value stake in enterprise success have political clout. The emerging generation of Recruiters (and their leadership) will be dynamic players at the strategic decision making table.

John Sumser

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