Using a “Buy” Recruiting Tactic to Find Talent

Every organization needs to have a recruiting strategy. They keep us focused and allow us to accomplish our goal of finding the best talent. But within any broad strategy, there are several different tactics. In fact, one could argue that there are “mini strategies” under a large umbrella. It’s like an organization with multiple revenue streams. There’s an overall revenue strategy and separate strategies for each product/service line.

When it comes to recruiting, there are three major tactics called buy, build, or borrow.

  • A “buy” tactic means to hire talent from the outside.
  • The “build” tactic involves training and developing talent from within.
  • And, the “borrow” tactic is engaging contingent talent when the business requires it. 

Each have their advantages and disadvantages and, chances are, you will have to use all three at some point depending on the needs of the business. In this three-part series, we’ll explore the pros/cons along with how to get the most value from each. Today’s post will focus on using the “buy” tactic.

Advantages and Disadvantages to “Buying” Talent

One of the most obvious advantages to hiring talent from the outside is that you can bring in skills and experience not currently within the organization. For instance, if you’re a start-up, the organization might need a professional with experience in getting funding. Or if the organization is launching a new product line, it might make sense to bring in marketing professional with experience in that area.

The other advantage is having a fresh set of eyes in the organization. If the company feels that something is missing in the collaborative process, bringing in some new perspective could be the answer. Also, organizations looking to make some hard personnel changes might find that hiring from the outside helps usher in a new way of thinking. The reality of business is that the people who got the company where it is today, might not be the people who are able to take it to the next level.

The downside of bringing in talent from the outside is cost. If the company wants specific experience and skills, they will have to pay for it. Top talent has always been in demand. Add to that the lower unemployment rate, and organizations need to be prepared to offer competitive wages and benefits to attract quality candidates.

Then there’s the issue of culture. Even when organizations do a great job with their employment branding and candidate experience, new hires don’t know the organization and culture. Organizations have plenty of unwritten rules that new hires need to figure out. There will be a learning curve.

Implementing a “Buy” Tactic Successfully 

Every organization needs to have some level of “buy” tactic in their recruiting strategy. Even organizations that put an emphasis on promoting from within. There are times when bringing in a person from the outside just makes good business sense. Examples are starting a new product or service or need a culture change. However, in both scenarios, it’s important for the new hire to understand their role. The company needs to set new hires up for success.

If you’re looking for a resource to help you onboard new hires successfully, especially new leaders, Michael Watkins in his book “The First 90 Days” talks about how new managers should approach their role. If the organization doesn’t have a mentoring program, this can be a resource you can share with new managers so they can navigate the unwritten rules and traditions around the office. The last thing anyone wants is for a new employee to lose all credibility in the process of demonstrating their expertise.

Use Your “Buy” Tactic Wisely

Having a “buy” talent strategy is an essential part of recruiting. It’s never really going to end. There will always be a reason to look at outside talent. It’s about using that tactic when it makes sense.

Then making sure the company sets new hires up for success. You brought that person in for a reason. And you spent a lot of resources to get them. Which leads us to the next tactic, build. Because once you hire an employee, the company wants them to stay.