Put your BD people in charge of recruiting

Dec 11, 2022

This could greatly impact your firm’s ability to grow and adapt to a changing environment.

Getting tired of having all kinds of people needs and not having any good candidates? Does your business plan call for adding certain types of expertise you don’t have, yet you really don’t know where you will find those people? I have the solution. Put your best business developers in charge of recruiting!

Recruiting is selling, plain and simple. You need to completely rethink your dysfunctional and outmoded idea that recruiting is all about keeping bad people out of your firm. It’s not! It is about getting good people INTO the firm. It’s about selling people on the idea that their careers are better served at your firm than wherever they are at present. Period.

If you accept this idea then it only follows that you need your best sellers out there selling – selling people on coming to work for your firm – then you need to actually figure out how to do it. Because ideas are a dime a dozen. It’s implementation of them that matters.

Just like any sales process, you need to define the steps in the recruitment process, and then track and report on the performance metrics that match up with your process. For example – how many people did you contact to attempt to recruit for any specific job opening over any given time period? How many of those were willing to meet? How many offers were made? How many offers accepted? How long did it take to fill each opening from the time you started recruiting until the person started for work? These are similar metrics you would use for business development but applied to recruiting. These metrics need to be shared widely and discussed in regular management or operations meetings just like marketing metrics are.

I think one place AEC firms fall down is they rely on the HR people to do their recruiting, and a lot of HR people (not all) really aren’t trained nor oriented to be sales people. That’s why they went into HR in the first place instead of marketing. They (HR folks) are geared to training, development, and minimizing liability exposure, but not geared to selling. Get the right people in the right roles, right?

I think this is a really important subject that is greatly impacting the ability of many firms in this business to grow and adapt to a changing environment. Don’t you think it makes sense to rethink it?  

Mark Zweig is Zweig Group’s chairman and founder. Contact him at mzweig@zweiggroup.com.

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About Zweig Group

Zweig Group, three times on the Inc. 500/5000 list, is the industry leader and premiere authority in AEC firm management and marketing, the go-to source for data and research, and the leading provider of customized learning and training. Zweig Group exists to help AEC firms succeed in a complicated and challenging marketplace through services that include: Mergers & Acquisitions, Strategic Planning, Valuation, Executive Search, Board of Director Services, Ownership Transition, Marketing & Branding, and Business Development Training. The firm has offices in Dallas and Fayetteville, Arkansas.