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Why Reactive Hiring is Dangerous For Your Startup

More often than not, companies view hiring as a reactive exercise. You lose someone, and then you look for their replacement. Going about hiring in this way isn’t just bad; it can be downright dangerous for your startup! Hiring should always be a proactive process.

Employees working

Here’s why:

If a key person leaves your team unexpectedly and you don’t have any benched talent or people already in that hiring funnel who know you, like you, trust you, and believe in you and your product, you’re looking at three to four MONTHS of pain, time, and money to try and fill that need. Not only can hiring be incredibly expensive (in both money and time), but without someone completing the job you’re hiring for, your productivity could come to a screeching halt — especially as a startup where every working body matters! 

You might be saying, ‘How can I make hiring a priority and attract candidates I don’t need when I’m already juggling a million other balls with my startup?’ We hear you. It’s not easy! However, it will save you time in the long run and ensure your startup stays as efficient as possible, even if there’s a disruption in your team.

Here are three steps to making proactive hiring an easy addition to your SMB:

Step 1: Understand Your Ideal Candidate

It’s that easy. Know the profile of the person you need to hire. What does your ideal employee look like for each role? Once you know that, look for people in the real world who can provide objective results. They’ve proven through their work that they’re the person you need on your team when that job opens up. 

Here’s a tip: Everyone is available for hire, even if they have a job. Passive job seekers with a proven history of outstanding work make great candidates to have in your funnel.

Step 2: Say Why It’s Worthwhile for Them

Especially these days, hiring is a two-way street. You’re not just interviewing your candidates; they’re interviewing you. So, let them know what’s in it for them often and throughout all your messaging (including your employer branding). Hiring is a two-way conversation. Positioning what they get from your company helps you gain steps in that relationship journey and will accelerate your hiring results. Good relationships are crucial. 

When you reiterate what your candidates get out of working for you, you’ll also see fewer rejections at the job offer stage and fewer candidates dropping out of the interviewing process.

Step 3: Be Transparent

You want your candidates to know what to expect from your interview process. If they’re left in the dark, they’ll likely drop out because things are taking too long or they have received zero feedback from you after the big day. A three-interview process is totally fine. A seven-interview process will see people dropping out — BUT, if you’ve told them up front what to expect, your retention will be better. Our golden rule is to tell your candidates the process up front and often, and to provide feedback in a timely manner. Giving feedback is key to successful hiring. Even if they’re not right for the current job opening, they’ll be more likely to stay in your funnel until that perfect role for their skillset pops up.

Again, people are not commodities! You can’t just swing out to the shop and pick up any one to fill those crucial roles at your startup. You need to build relationships with the people you want on your team before you even need to hire them. Good people and fast hiring will let you outcompete your rivals every time. 

Keep it Simple, Keep it Smart 

Proactive hiring might sound complicated, but it is incredibly valuable. Remember: the key is to build great relationships with the people you’d LOVE to see on your team. That way, when the time comes, they’re already in your hiring funnel and can step right into that job opening. At Pivot & Edge, we’ve found that proactive hiring requires two things: keeping it simple and keeping it smart. When things are smart and simple, they’ll also be scalable and can keep up with you as your business grows, providing you with the desired outcomes without spending a lot of time and money to recreate processes. Proactive hiring is simple, smart, and scalable.

How Recruitment Marketing Helps 

If your SMB is not already functioning with recruitment marketing, then proactive hiring will take a lot more effort to master and include in your startup’s hiring process. Recruitment marketing will take a lot of work out of the hiring process and once it’s established in your startup, all you need to do is keep building those productive relationships. Here’s how and why recruitment marketing helps with proactive hiring: 

  • It takes things you will already be doing and makes them more productive. 

Let’s expand on that. Think about any marketing strategy for a business. You’ll build a brand, create advertisements, establish values for your business, and spend money on marketing strategies to get your brand out there. Recruitment marketing also does those things but has the added value of attracting qualified individuals to your company and building up a bench of candidates full of talent who can fill those open positions as they come. You already know your startup is fantastic, and people will love working there. Recruitment marketing makes sure everyone else knows it too. 

  • It reduces your hiring time.

The objective of proactive hiring is to reduce hiring time during critical periods for your business. That’s exactly what recruitment marketing is all about. By practicing recruitment marketing, you’re proactively building awareness of your brand and company to potential talent (and, therefore, potential candidates!). If they already know and trust your business, they’ll already be in your hiring funnel and more committed to seeing the hiring process through.

  • It provides you with better candidates for when you do hire. 

You don’t just want a lot of candidates. You want a lot of candidates who are suitable for the role, love your business, and will stay with you for the long haul. Recruitment marketing puts your brand in front of the right people and lets you build those critical relationships earlier. In doing so, you’ll experience less turnover because you’re making hires that better fit your company culture, goals, and values. So, rather than sifting through the explosion of applications you get from a basic job fair or job posting blast, strategically find and place your business in front of more qualified candidates. 

Stay Ahead of the Hiring Need

Using recruitment marketing and keeping your proactive hiring strategy simple, smart, and scalable will give your business a competitive leg up in your industry. Do not wait to hire until you’re desperate for more workers or to fill roles! Build relationships with talented candidates who know, love, and trust your company and have a healthy bench of talent ready to step up to the challenge when they’re needed. Doing so will save you time and money in the long haul and ensures your startup is built by the right people. We know it’s a lot to add to the balls you’re already juggling, so don’t forget that companies like us here at Pivot + Edge create these processes specifically for busy startups! Reach out to us today and see how we can help you with your proactive hiring strategy. 

Hiring Great People For Your Startup

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