[3 min read]
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.
– Albert Einstein
As Albert Einstein so powerfully states, doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different outcome, sentences you to the same results, and inevitable failure.
So why is it that so many new founders and leaders of early stage companies do just that when it comes to talent acquisition, decade after decade after decade, falling back into the same flow and reactionary state?
It makes sense these leaders lean on their networks to attract their first hires, aiming to build a strong core of like-minded individuals. This strategy generally succeeds since the team has a high level of trust due to past relationships, communicates directly, and has cultural alignment. But inevitably, these trusted network sources dry up and founders begin to experience talent scarcity. They feel the difficulty of growing their business, while they're in a highly competitive market for the very talent that is the foundation for their success.
It's then the anxiety, reactionary approaches, and stress set in as they face the reality, and time and cost to hire increases, on average, by over 92%. The founding team members begin to spend more time out of their core competency, chasing, interviewing, negotiating and attempting to close the talent they desperately need.
This is when a company's culture, and even its existence, is at its highest risk of unraveling.
This is where the repeatable “insanity” process begins to emerge as the norm.
In this state, mismatched hires, the loss of top target candidates to competitors, negative or disjointed candidate experiences, turnover, and negative employee engagement with talent acquisition infect the organization. The cost? Millions are siphoned off on average each year, not to mention the detrimental ripple effect of lost time and morale across the entire organization.
This is precisely when investment in people and process can make its greatest impact and pay a perpetual dividend, especially when adopted early on. Research shows that a company that intentionally invests time and resources into early adoption and integration, is 98% more successful overall.
Let’s look at one fundamental breakdown which I find has the biggest impact:
Organizations will ensure, very early on, that strategies, processes, clear communication and systemization are created for all of the functional areas of the organization, in areas like engineering, product, program, projects, marketing and sales, for example.
Every part of the organization except for talent acquisition. Why is this so, when the outcome of this effort are the people they hire—successfully, or not. One good hire makes a difference, and one bad one, makes an even bigger difference, perhaps with devastating negative consequences.
In the game of talent acquisition, where so many expend unnecessary resources and risk organizational failure by adopting the reactionary and scarcity-laden “shotgun model”, it pays untold dividends to invest early, just like you do in all other areas of the business. And even more, it could spell the difference between success and failure.
People are a company's #1 asset. How you hire, as much as who you hire, will determine if and how you make it.
Is it worth the risk of falling into the "insanity" norm, or is it worth taking a look outside of the old model and investing in optimizing your possibility for success?
Written by Alana Fulvio, Pendulum Founder.