‘Executive Recruiting for Dummies’…

November 15, 2017

That is the title of a book from the successful series of instructional/reference books, that includes such classics as ‘Excel for Dummies’, ‘Accounting for Dummies’, ‘Plumbing for Dummies’, ‘Self Defense for Dummies’ and even ‘Medical Ethics for Dummies’ (as scary as it sounds, yes that one really exists).

Through the years I’ve come across quite a few people that assume modern day Recruiting is a simple task that can be done by using technology; searching on LinkedIn or Indeed, finding people that can do a certain type of job. Hiring Managers who focus on the Financial, Operational or Revenue Generating parts of a business, and even HR professionals who, despite being more familiar with the trials & tribulations of attracting and retaining talent, still sometimes tend to oversimplify things. The reality is, not everyone understands or appreciates the value of what truly professional and highly specialized Recruiters can do. And in all fairness, I can’t blame them; with virtually unlimited access to information, who hasn’t been tempted by the DIY (Do It Yourself) Sirens?

I enjoy trying to do new things myself, probably more than most people. Whether it’s preparing an unfamiliar meal, putting together a bookshelf, or doing minor repairs around the house, I like to think of myself as fairly capable and handy. I’ve also learned (the hard way) that the so called ‘simple’ or ‘easy’ projects or tasks, often end up being a little harder than what one might initially expect.

A good example of this is a kitchen re-facing project my wife and I undertook a few years ago. The idea of an aesthetic makeover instead of a more exhaustive and expensive kitchen renovation initially sounded simple and exciting. Definitely something we could do ourselves. Painting a few cabinet doors seemed easy; what could go wrong?  Thankfully (for the most part) I like to research before starting a new project; in this case it meant watching a full 3 minute video on YouTube. Those 3 minutes were enough to convince me (without a doubt) that this was absolutely NOT something we should do ourselves.

Even if we would have thought this was something we wanted to do, it still would have required a significant investment of money and time, and more importantly, there would have been a good chance of something going wrong… and our relationship probably would have suffered a little bit too.

We would have had to deal with buying the right products, preparing the workspace, sanding, priming, painting, varnishing, installing, cleanup and way too many hours of hard work. Did I mention that both my wife and I work full-time jobs, and back then we had 3 kids under the age of 3? On top of that, we learned that our small kitchen actually has over 30 cabinet doors and drawers. Each one has pulls, hinges and/or rails that are delicate and require precise calibration in order to function properly, and cost a lot of money to replace.

Simply put, it wasn’t worth it. No matter what we thought we could or couldn’t do, the stakes were too high, the risk immeasurable and more importantly, the result would have been something our entire family would have had to live with every day for many years. Can you imagine if every meal, cup of coffee or bowl of cereal, reminded you of a mistake you could have avoided?

In this case, better judgement prevailed and we hired a professional to do the job. The fees weren’t cheap, but this was an important decision that deserved the investment. We slept better at night knowing the job was being done by people who had the experience and the track record of successfully completing dozens of similar projects in the past few years. The company we hired offered total transparency in terms of costs, disruption and timelines, as well as guarantees that more than justified the costs.

What initially felt like a very difficult decision, ultimately ended up being a no-brainer…

For anyone who has ever suffered or had to live with the consequences of a failed DIY project (I know there are lots of you out there), don’t give up. Just know your limits. My advice is pick a number. Tell yourself that if consequences of failure will cost you more than $50, $100, $500, $5000 (whatever your tolerance), then it’s probably best to get a professional to do the job.

The risks of a DIY hiring process can be much greater.  The cost of a bad hire is a separate and well covered topic; but even the cost of a “just OK” hire can be very high.  Your company’s success… and very likely your own… depends on engaging the best team you can.  Isn’t that worth an investment in a professional job?

I didn’t come with this quote, but I believe it 100%: “If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.”

Contributed by Fernando Brandt
Senior Manager, Client Engagement, PTC Recruiting

For more information about Fernando click on this picture

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