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Arlington Research

Preemptive recruiting: A game-changer

In every business cycle, there’s a period of acceleration and a period of reflection.

Most businesses like to hire new talent as they’re expanding, just as the workload gets heavy and it’s clear they need more staff. 

However, in my experience the best time to hire is before it reaches that point. Recruiting in the slower periods gives you more opportunities to find the right person and settle them into the role and the organisation. The other factor is the talent shortage and the length of time it takes to find someone suitable.

Finding talent in the slower periods has several advantages for you, the business and the person you’re recruiting. As a leader, you’re able to dedicate the time and headspace to identify both what you’re looking for in a candidate and what makes your business appealing to the right person, which is a lot harder to do when you’re under the pump. 

Knowing what your culture is, and the kind of people you want, goes a long way towards finding a match for your next team member; many newer businesses struggle with attracting quality candidates because these two aspects are often in flux in the early days. As your foundations get stronger, you’re likely to acquire better quality candidates who can see your track record and know that you’re stable and growing.

Anticipating staffing needs also helps the business because it mitigates the risk of burnout for other staff working over capacity, which is generally what happens if you look for a new team member during the busier periods. 

Additionally, it’s worth having the luxury of time to find the right person who fits with the team because if you get this wrong it disrupts everyone’s flow and can be more damaging than not hiring at all. Building trust takes time, and you can’t expect to drop someone new into your existing team and have them work seamlessly straight away.

Optimising talent

Another advantage is for the new recruit, who has time to settle in and absorb the culture before taking the reins of their role. They can get comfortable in the role, get to know the business better and have the full attention of a manager and spend time with them too.

Then, when the busy period hits, they are ready to go rather than starting at the bottom of a steep learning curve. There’s a reason we start learning to drive in quiet streets and not on highways. You’ll get better results from a person who has had time to build confidence in their role – and trust within the team.

At Rate Money, we ended up recruiting our chief operations officer Catherine McFarlane from Brisbane to work in our Sydney office.

I realised it was a priority for her to establish her living situation and get settled so she wouldn’t be distracted by that aspect of the move while at work. It was also helpful to give her time to familiarise herself with Sydney – if you have people moving for the role, go the extra step and find out what they like so you can give them some pointers about their new city.

Considering all of this, I find the start and end of the year one of the best times to recruit. Over the Christmas/New Year period, people look back and reassess their career and in that reflection their goals become a lot clearer. If someone has used the break to get re-energised in order to face new challenges, then I definitely want to hear from them. 

You’ll also find in different industries there are different ‘slow’ periods that could be an ideal time to recruit. In saying that, it is during these slow periods that good talent can also be made redundant; giving you the chance to capitalise on this and make great hires. Take the time to figure out who you need so your team and organisations are ready to go when the business takes off.

Ryan Gair’s recruitment wishlist

  • Good cultural fit.
  • Someone who is driven; if they aren’t a manager, someone with ambition who wants to grow. I usually ask sales candidates what they deem a lot of money and what income they want to make in order to gauge their drive.
  • Someone who aims high; strive to be good at what you do – it’s not fair on anyone else if you’re mediocre.
  • Someone who sees opportunity; I hate when a person says it’s ‘not in their job description’ – they need to look at how to address challenges and meet needs. That’s when you get career progress.

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Ryan Gair

Ryan Gair

Ryan is the CEO and co-founder of Rate Money, an award-winning financial services franchise dedicated to empowering self-employed Australians to achieve their home ownership and property investing goals. He founded the business just three years ago, and since then, has successfully grown the franchise to 33 locations with 170 people employed across the network. The business has also proudly fulfilled over $4billion in loans for 4000-plus customers.

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