It’s Time to Raise Your Standards for New Hires

Finding amazing talent has been absurdly difficult the last 5-6 years. Extremely low unemployment meant that the best employees were already working somewhere else (and, in some cases, being constantly solicited by recruiters with better offers).

How quickly things can change. I’m sure you’ve seen the unprecedented unemployment claim numbers coming in each week. An immediate rebound once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted seems unlikely, not least of all because the working landscape has already shifted. The talent that was impossible to find and hire just weeks ago could be job hunting right now. Your business may have the opportunity to start building your “A” team.

Identify Your Dream Hires

Whether or not you’re in a position to hire at this exact moment, you should keep a finger on the pulse of great talent. Identifying your dream team of employees should be an ongoing effort in your organization. 

Over the next 1-2 months, put together a list of people who would take your business to the top. Here’s how to get started:

Search on LinkedIn.

Leverage an assistant to generate lists of potential team members, then vet and refine the list yourself. Set clear parameters about the role and amount of experience you’re looking for to make the search efficient.

Ping Your Network.

Ask around in your masterminds and networking groups to find the people who have really impressed your peers. Some positions will require experience in your industry; others will be more flexible.

Scout Out the Competition.

You know who probably has a great salesperson on their team? Your biggest competitor. Company websites and, again, LinkedIn offer an easy way to see who your competitors are working with.

Work With a Recruiter.

he first three search options are absolutely free, but they can be labor-intensive. If you’ve got more money than time, or if you just want the added benefit of hiring expertise, consider working with a recruiter. They’ll handle a lot of this legwork for you.

To Hire or Not to Hire

Although every company should be identifying their “A” players, this may not be the right time for you to start hiring. However, if you are in a healthy financial position or know that you need to make a new hire (even 6+ months in the future), now is the time to start looking. 

Once you’ve generated your talent pipeline, the next step is to put out feelers to see if any of your “ideal team members are available. A few things to keep in mind:

–If someone’s LinkedIn status says “employed,” that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are. They may be furloughed, temporarily laid off, or not ready to share their job-hunting status with the world.

–If someone is currently employed, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they aren’t interested in a new position. Offering 10-15% more than what (you think) they’re currently making will likely intrigue them enough to sit for an interview.

–If you’re uncomfortable doing this kind of solicitation yourself, here’s where a recruiter can be a really great resource. They can put out feelers without risking your professional relationships.

If you need help developing your talent pipeline, contact us and we’ll connect you to Tom Pimm at Hub Recruiting. Tom is one of our firm partners, and he’s happy to set up a free consult with you. For an introduction to Tom, email

You should know that simply identifying great talent puts you way ahead of your competition. Most companies don’t want to put in the effort. But the market is telling you that now is the time to raise the bar for the talent you’re willing to accept. With a little extra hustle, you can build the “A” team of your dreams.

–Eric Crews
Founder & President
Crews Consulting Group

For more help navigating the coronavirus outbreak, visit our resource and information center.

Skimmed it? Here’s the recap:

–Increased unemployment means that you may be able to hire excellent talent that was previously inaccessible.
–Overall, you should be raising the bar for the kind of talent you have on your team.
–Start developing a pipeline of potential hires or ideal talent now.
–Leverage LinkedIn and your network, or ask for help and we’ll connect you with our recruiting partner. 
You’re invited to our 13 Elements of a Successful Business conference.