Stop placing “help wanted” ads

Do you want to build a real team? Stop placing ads.

I used to place ads. I won’t anymore. When a position opens up, you won’t be able to apply for it. I don’t want to sift through resumes and read cover letters. I don’t want to meet you for the first time when we are sitting down for an interview. Really, I don’t want to “interview” you at all.

Think of it this way. The Seahawks don’t find their first string players by placing an ad on LinkedIn looking for linebackers. “Apply within.”

The people you want on your teams are out there in the world engaged in work that matters. I have coffee and lunch with them regularly. We talk about stuff. I listen to them. I think about whether they would be good on my team. I keep in touch.

One of the primary jobs of any leader is architecting the team. Abdicating this job to an HR generalist, a written job description, and a classified ad is wasting your time and puts your team at greater risk.

Instead, go long and intentionally cultivate a pipeline of potential team members. Meet them at conferences. Ask for referrals. Go to meetups. Connect with them on social. Invite them to your office happy hours. But, please, stop posting for “help wanted.”

by Jonathan Wilson

Jonathan is the Head Coach at Sandcastle Company, a Seattle-based leadership training organization. His first book, Future Leader: Rebooting Leadership to Win the Millennial and Tech Future [link], is now available. Jonathan regularly writes and speaks about The New Leader Way, leadership resilience, and the future of work. He has years of leadership experience in both the public and private sectors, a master's degree from Seattle University, and professional coach training from the University of Miami.

Filed under: Leadership

Published on June 14, 2019

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