“Susie, let’s put out an ad for X position by days end.” I’ve seen it happen all too many times. A position opens up and moments later your companies golden opportunity is plastered all over Monster, Indeed, LinkedIn, Career Builder, Simply Hired, Glass Door, Zip Recruiter, Bright, Experience, etc.

“This is great!” or is it?

The following 48 hours your human resource department has to sort through the plethora of under-qualified, over-qualified, and sometimes downright humorous resumes. Phone calls begin pouring in from applicants looking for that backdoor way into the company. These are then followed by more phone calls from recruiting agencies looking to provide you with that “all exclusive top talent.”

I’ll admit, back when I was seeking work through the various job boards, I’d submit applications knowing that I would be miserable in the long run (sometimes I’d even go through the interview process too!)

When I meet other business owners, I sometime ask them  “where do you do your hiring?” Their typical response is “well, online and then at our office of course.”

I’m sure you get it by now, but do you see the inefficiency here? It’s clear to me, but what can we do!?

You may or may not have an HR department performing your companies sourcing, but regardless, the few tips I’m about to share with you will help your hiring process by leaps and bounds.

My Motto: A.B.H. – Always Be Hiring (Yes, a play off of the film Glengarry Glen Ross)

I was in an interview once and I wasn’t a fit for the particular account executive position due to my young age and lack of “gray hair.” The owner proceeded to offer me another opening within his company, managing their social media and marketing efforts. Before presenting me with this opportunity, he said something that I’ll take to my grave. This was “If you see that special something in someone, do whatever it takes to get them on your team. You can always find a position for them later.”

Whether it’s you or your hiring manager,  keeping your eyes open for rare “rock stars” is crucial if you are to bring top talent into your company. Besides, why pass up on a talented individual because the ideal position has yet to become available? I’ve seen companies suffer from high turnover simply because they hired too quickly and out of necessity.

Recruiting firms and other sources want you to believe that the most talented individuals are presently employed. While this is sometimes true, you can believe that many talented individuals are unemployed as well (especially in this economy!). But, what will ALWAYS be true is that the most ambitious and driven individuals can be found at networking and professional events, in area groups,and participating in local organizations.

So what does all this mean?

The best hiring is made out of the office. This is done by constantly networking with professionals in your field and placing yourself in an environment conducive to ambitious  individuals. Several colleagues of mine tell me of  instances where a simple conversation led to a potential and rewarding career opportunity. Just as a salesman is always seeking out a sales opportunity, a hiring manage should always be looking for their next hire.

Companies that are proactive and seek out candidates through online communities (ex. LinkedIn) often make more efficient and effective hiring decisions. Unfortunately, too many businesses are reactive and don’t seem to mind mining through the hundreds of e-mails, resumes, calls, and letters that come from prospective candidates.

Having taken this advice, next time a position opens up, you’ll be able to tap your previously established network of qualified individuals and hire that “rock star” that’s going to make a lasting difference in your company.

Have you ever worked at a company with high turnover rate? Have you ever found talent through networking? Which means of hiring do you find most effective? How does your company qualify potential candidates? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.

In my next blog, I’ll share some of the best places, events, and professional organizations to source top talent in Grand Rapids.

Blog Post by Kyle Johnson, seeking actual responsibilities with a growing company in the area of Strategy & Business Development