My involvement in the High Velocity HiringSM movement started at the most unlikeliest of times … when I was 16 years old.
When I was looking for my first job, I went from door to door, visiting the businesses all around my Canton, Ohio neighborhood. I asked for a job at the florist, the dry cleaner, three convenient stores, the car dealer, and even the funeral home (although the thought of working there creeped me out).
I heard many variations of the same “no.”
It was not until I got to a little mom-and-pop restaurant, named the Sandwich and Waffle Shop, that I was hired as a busboy, even though they were not actively looking for one. Of course I was thrilled, and I assumed this was how all businesses hired, quickly and decisively.
This belief was reinforced in college, when I was hired the same day I applied to work in a manufacturing plant. For four consecutive summers I held roles ranging from data entry to shipping and receiving clerk to quality control inspection.
My early days of my career as a recruiter was when I discovered that the instantaneous hiring I experienced was far from the norm. Jobs at the employers I contacted had frequently been open for weeks, months or sometimes years.
Typically, this wasn’t because they could not find someone. Instead, they had often already interviewed several, if not dozens of people, some of whom were well qualified.
Even though that empty seat was costing them lost time, missed opportunities, lots of overtime or a myriad of other consequences, these leaders allowed the process to drag on, and on, and on. I saw this as my opportunity to do the greater good – facilitating a process where the needs of all parties were met much more quickly.
Was this easy? Heavens no! I was working against the status quo. I had to have talent ready to go, enroll hiring managers in acting more quickly and then keep the process moving forward. The payoff of being an on-demand provider of talent became clear fairly quickly.
One of my favorite examples is Thorlo, a specialty sock manufacturer in North Carolina. They needed a leader for their information technology department. In a matter of minutes, we came to an agreement on our business arrangements, including my telling them about Mark Ford, a candidate in my Talent Inventory, my “warehouse” of people that were ready to go.
The next day, the deal was done. That was more than two decades ago, and Mark is still there, reinforcing for me that rapid hiring can be done immediately and accurately. In fact, he was promoted to CTO and plans on retiring there. Unless he gets an unexpected call from NASA.
Watching the ongoing, positive impact that this approach was having in the companies I led inspired me to share this with a broader audience. That is why I founded the Wintrip Consulting Group in 1999.
Having now shared this expertise with thousands of companies and staffing firms, and ten of thousands of their employees, I know that, together, we have impacted the lives of hundreds of thousands of people who have gone to work faster, improving their lives and circumstances along the way.
All the while making those companies better organizations that achieved improved revenues, higher employer retention and greater market share, just to name a few of the many positive results.
Now, as I look back at that first job as a busboy, it never crossed my 16-year-old mind that it would have an impact more than just putting money in my pocket. That’s what makes it so special. So many of my greatest joys in life have been from these type of unexpected lessons.