Only You Can Prevent Desperation Hiring

Question: When do most companies start the hiring process? Answer: When they need someone. It can then take up to three months to hire someone. By this time, the hiring manager and their staff is overworked, projects are falling behind schedule, overtime is through the roof, work is backing up, short cuts are causing mistakes, and everyone is frustrated. At this point the hiring manager is desperate. We call this stage in the hiring process, desperation hiring. The only good news is that the hiring manager doesn’t reach the depression stage until 6 months.

Question: What kind of hire do you think the hiring manager will make? Answer: Poor. They are likely to take the next best person that comes along, or worse, settle for one of the previously interviewed good solid below average candidates.

Why does this happen? We believe it's because most companies don’t start the hiring process until they need someone. They then cross their fingers and hope that the person with top talent that they want to hire just happens to be looking at the same time.

We refer to this as the “random luck” hiring methodology. Unfortunately, this is the hiring methodology for many companies.

Desperation hiring is one of the easiest mistakes to correct in the hiring process since most hiring managers know in advance of an opening. Granted not always, but most of the time good managers know.

Simple recommendations to avoid desperation hiring:

  1. Begin a soft launch. Don’t wait until the last minute to start the search. There are many things hiring managers can do prior to instigating a full blown job search. Start letting people know you will be looking to hire a person and ask for referrals. Let everyone in the company know the opening is coming.
  2. Consider attending local association meetings that these people attend. Start identifying and engaging people you believe have the right attitude to fit your culture.
  3. Use the social media sites to identify potential candidates. LinkedIn is one of the best tools for doing this. You can search LinkedIn for people in your geographic community. Start by requesting to be linked together. Then maybe meet one morning for coffee just to get to know each other. Don’t even mention you are considering hiring someone.
  4. If hiring sales people, start asking customers who they think are the best sales people calling on them. Your customers know it is in their best interests to have the best sales people calling on them.
  5. If you attend trade shows, when you meet people you think will be a good fit you should talk to them, get their business card, and follow-up once back in the office. A follow-up might be as simple as an email letting them know you enjoyed meeting them at the show. It could be some information on your company or anything that begins to engage this person. Eventually, ask to meet for coffee or for a short meeting when you are in their area.
  6. When unsolicited resumes come in don’t just throw them away because you aren’t looking now. Instead review them, and if the person looks like someone you would hire start to connect with them. Begin the rapport building process. Recruiters do this all the time. That is why we seem to always have candidates when companies call us. I have placed people 2 years after first receiving an unsolicited resume.
  7. Start building a queue of potential people. Most companies and hiring managers know those key positions that are hard to fill. These are the positions you should always be on the lookout for. Just start a file on who and where these people are. Don’t worry that they may not be on the market 6 months from now. If they are passive candidates chances are very good they will be available.

There are a lot of things that hiring managers can do proactively that will shorten the hiring process and bring better candidates to the table. Too often most managers only think about hiring when they need someone. Like most things, the time to do anything is when you don’t have to and aren’t under pressure.

Committing just a few hours a month can help your company or department avoid desperation hiring.

Join the other 10,000 CEOs, key executives and HR professionals and download a FREE copy of our best-selling book, “You’re NOT The Person I Hired.”  Just CLICK HERE  and under the FREE Hiring Resources section you can download our free eBook.

Retaining your best talent is always the best thing any company can do. Download our FREE  Non-Monetary Rewards and Recognitions Matrix. It will help you retain your best people without additional compensation. CLICK HERE to download under the Free Resources section.

I welcome your thoughts and comments.

Brad Remillard


About the Author

Brad Remillard is a founding Partner of IMPACT Hiring Solutions, co-author of "You're NOT the Person I Hired", and "This is NOT the Position I Accepted". Brad is an award-winning international speaker, retained executive recruiter, and expert on hiring and retaining top talent, and executive job search.


  1. Dear Mr Brad,

    Brilliant summation of hiring managers way to recruit.we indeed fall in the trap of selecting the second best or average person.
    The best part of this article is you have given solutions along with raising issuess and that completes the article and makes it worth reading.

    Thanks once again
    Director-inVentiv International

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