Developing a Strong Recruiting Pipeline

cost of recruiting employee engagement employee experience engagement how to improve recruitment process inspiring and engaging leadership leadership culture profit profitability profitability killers recruiting recruiting leadership recruiting toolbox May 16, 2023
cost of recruiting

Any way we slice it, recruiting great candidates to join our team comes with a price tag! When we’re forced to recruit constantly because the business is growing, it’s hard enough - especially in a world where those great candidates are hard to come by… But if our voluntary turnover is an issue, and we haven’t provided the best team members we did have with a solid reason to stay, we can expect those recruiting costs to turn into real profitability killers! While leadership involvement can have a significant impact on our recruiting process, there’s never a shortage of demands on a leader’s time so it’s critical that we’re extremely intentional about being involved where it can help the most.

Just recently, a friend who does high end video production for a national healthcare system asked for my feedback on streamlining that organization’s orientation process. He shared that each member of that executive team had a direct role with all new employees that came into the organization and they had approached him about the potential of creating video orientation to replace what they were doing and free up some of that time. He shared that this would also ensure consistency in the message and provide coverage any time one of those executives wasn’t available. I replied that it certainly would be possible and that both of the things he mentioned could be achieved, but then I shared the comparison of the two management teams I described before - and more importantly, the feeling I still have about their different levels of involvement all these years later…

Here’s the thing, just showing up and rambling through a canned speech isn’t the secret sauce. Quite frankly, the managers who never participated in the weekly orientation sessions I held with new employees from March 2013 until I moved on in October 2014 likely improved retention by NOT interacting with those team members right away! The impact the plant manager made on me in 1996 wasn’t simply because he popped in and talked to us; it was abundantly clear that he meant what he said and he backed his words up with his actions for as long as I knew him.

I emphasized to my friend that how and when the executives he was working with interacted with their new team members was far less important than it was for them to be completely genuine in every interaction they had with their teams - and that would never just happen! They would need to be very proactive in their approach. While doing that seems to be far too rare in organizations today, I just don’t believe that it’s difficult. I also don’t believe that the majority of executives and owners who aren’t involved in the recruiting process have ill-will toward their teams, I think it’s usually a matter of being pulled in all directions and initiating involvement in the recruiting process or engagement with the folks at all levels of their organization isn’t necessarily the fire that seems to demand their attention the most.

Regardless of what pulls a leader away from engaging their team, developing a strong recruiting pipeline isn’t very likely to happen otherwise. I found an article that spoke to The Negative Impact of a High (Turnover) Rate and detailed some undesired, and often unrecognized, challenges that come from constant recruiting that high turnover forces. It shared, 

“When you’re constantly having to recruit new employees, there is an increased risk of making poor hiring decisions. When there is a constant outflow of employees, you may be tempted to hire someone quickly, without taking the time to properly vet them and assess whether they’re a good fit for the company.”

The article also referenced how much this can spill over into the overall customer experience, and ultimately the company’s reputation with those customers! If, as leaders, we have the awareness of how this can impact our customers (and kill our profitability), being proactive about how and when we engage our teams may just be the fire that demands our attention the most - and I believe that goes a long way toward earning the kind of candidate referrals that keep our recruiting pipeline full. 

None of this happens immediately, and I’m convinced that we should never shut that pipeline off completely once we have it flowing, but it will happen and it will produce results. And to make sure we have a steady flow of potential candidates for every part of our organization, now and into the future, we need to use that time where we’re engaged with our team members to keep the vision in front of them and to make sure they have a clear picture of how they fit into that vision - so that’s where we’ll pick up next time!