Is Enough, Enough?
As an executive recruiter, I make a living by filling positions, but I make a difference by helping my clients get better. That is the spirit of this article, because I have found that there is a single word that leads to more companies failing in the area of staffing. It is a simple word that is only two syllables long, but it can mire a company in mediocrity. The word is enough.
Allow me to explain:
We have enough candidates.
I worry when I see companies evaluating their candidate pool quantitatively. Let’s say I’m engaged to find and attract candidates for a company, and I find them three qualified and motivated candidates who fit everything they are seeking on the job description. After repeated phone calls, I get the absolute rock star candidate to call me back. This candidate is better than all the other people I’ve presented, but I end up hearing from my client company, “We have enough candidates.”
The second scenario is that I bring this rock star candidate to a company who already has a candidate pool from another recruiter, and they tell me, “Your candidate sounds excellent, but we already have enough candidates in consideration.” In each scenario, the company ends up hiring the lesser candidate. What is worse, their competitor ends up hiring the rock star candidate.
As a balancing statement, I would stress that a company needs to make a decision so that a vacancy doesn’t persist. My point is to encourage companies to keep evaluating resumes with care up until the point an offer is accepted. It takes very little time to look at a resume to make sure that the decision the company is making is the best possible decision. Someone at the company has enough time to look.
We don’t have enough candidates to make a hiring decision.
Sometimes I can only find one candidate that has everything a company is seeking. Sitting in their building is the dream candidate, but because he is the first or only candidate they’ve interviewed, they can’t hire him. So, they pursue other candidates to get to the quota they’ve set for themselves, but during that time, another company hires the candidate out from under them. Now the company has a couple lesser candidates to choose from, and their competitor has the best candidate available. They lose the candidate because they didn’t move fast enough.
Great companies have the ability to rate candidates, whereas lesser companies have to rank candidates. What that means is the best companies can recognize an A-Player without seeing anyone else. They have an internal benchmark for greatness. Companies who struggle in the area of hiring have to see a few candidates and choose the best they see at the time.
We have enough recruiters on our vendor list.
You would be shocked how infrequently recruiting firms are thoroughly vetted before contractually engaged by a company. Only once did I go through a screening process, where I had to rigorously explain how I was the best possible resource in comparison to competitors. Recruiting services are not a commodity. Not all recruiters possess the same skill sets and abilities to drive results. As an example, look at the sales team at your company—varying levels of success and skill sets, correct? What if you hired the first sales people that came to your company or the ones that would work for the cheapest salary? Do you think you would have the best sales force in the industry? Of course not, but this is exactly how staffing agencies get chosen by most companies. Many companies either choose the first agency that calls them or the cheapest option. My suggestion is to have your company interview recruiters as thoroughly as candidates.
I can think of other examples of how enough can plague a company, but the one that comes to mind is actually a lesson my father taught me. He used to say, “Good enough is never good enough.” I hope this information keeps you at the top, so that this one little word doesn’t begin to worm its way into your company. If you’d like to discuss any of the topics in this article, I’d be happy to make myself available.
About the Author: Michael Pietrack is a leading executive recruiter in a the Pharmaceutical Industry and arguably the top recruiter in the Medical Affairs space. His specific expertise is recruiting in Field Medical Affairs placing Medical Science Liaisons, and therefore, he has been dubbed “The MSL Recruiter” (www.TheMSLRecruiter.com).
What is TMAC Direct?: TMAC Direct is an executive search agency that serves the Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Industries. This boutique firm fills critical staffing needs on a retained, partially retained, or contingency basis. TMAC Direct is the direct-hire recruiting division of The Medical Affairs Company, commonly known as TMAC. Together TMAC and TMAC Direct, provide an unmatched staffing service in the Medical Technology arena, whether the hiring needs are on a permanent placement or outsourcing basis.
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