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Relationships Take Time 3

(October 12, 2007) It's better when you hire people you know. It's better when you've had the time to evolve a relationship so that you understand the potential and the realities of the fit. It's better if the people you hire think that they are really lucky to be coming to work for you.

It's "more better" when hiring is the result of a relationship. It's "less better" when hiring is the cause of the relationship. The trick in recruiting is building the network of relationships required to keep the organization growing and operating.

In the old days, you could afford to build the relationship once the candidate was in the job. That process, sometimes called "onboarding", is a wasteful burden on the organization driven by a mistaken view of the labor market. It is rooted in the idea that people are inexpensive and not investors.

The idea that human beings were commodities (or worse yet, some form of capital) stems from the permanent state of abundance that has blessed us over tens of thousands of years. For as long as there have been people, there have always been more people. Until the past 50 years, the problem of growth was easily solved with more bodies.

As is becoming apparent in New York City, things are changing fast. Where there were once bodies, there are now gaping holes. Where there were once five applicants for every new job, the replacement workforce doesn't have enough raw material for growth.

That's no doomsday forecast, it's an opportunity to be competitive. As any number of critics of the Labor Shortage notion have pointed out, you don't have to experience a labor shortage.....if you manage your labor needs appropriately and competitively. The people who will face a shortage are those who won't invest or prepare.

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