The farm team approach is a ‘powerful tool’ when it comes to hiring the best talent for your business (I will talk more about this later in the blog).
As any business owner or senior leader will know, putting processes and strategies in place for all your operations is key to running a successful business. For example, your marketing team should have a systemised process to follow, from creating attractive social media content to driving in funnels via a landing page. They will know exactly how this should be done from beginning to end. In many cases, these processes and strategies have been put together by someone that have tried and tested different steps, before creating the best one, where new members of the marketing team are able to follow. At this point, you could take it even further by building an automated machine through technology, but I won't speak about this today.
Okay, let's take a look at a traditional step by step recruitment process: -
1. A job opportunity goes live within the business,
2. A detailed job spec is posted internally and externally,
3. You pre-screen and short-list the applicants before arranging an interview for the successful candidates,
4. Candidates get interviewed,
5. The successful candidate is offered a position within the business.
This is a very simplified recruitment process and yours will most likely differ from this, however, you get what I'm saying. A systemised process is key to all your business operations. Whether you hire a trainee or an experienced recruiter, if there is no process to follow, things could slip and mistakes will happen, most likely leading to a bad hiring decision.
So, I guess you are now asking, what does a systemised process have to do with a farm team approach?
What even is a farm team approach?
Before I move onto this, let me ask you a question. How many of you wait for a job opportunity to go live and then begin the recruitment process from scratch? After working with many business owners over the years, the answer to this question is almost every time. You could get lucky and one of your colleagues knows of someone that would be a perfect fit for the job and just happens to be looking for a new opportunity, but in most cases, the step by step process I spoke about earlier is what follows.
Unfortunately, this is a re-active approach to recruiting and quite frankly when the pressure is on to hire, in many cases, bad decisions are made, potentially leaving you with under performing employees…..This isn’t good for both parties!
There is a quote for this. "If you wait for a job opportunity to go live before you start to recruit, the job has already been lost"
How to implement the farm team approach: -
The simple answer is to create a systemised process that builds a pipeline of candidates, so when a vacancy goes live, you can reach into that talent pool like a grab of a hat and almost cherry pick the best candidate for the job.
Let me dive in deeper here. To create a pipeline of candidates or what we like to call 'The Farm Team Approach', you must pledge to continuously source and meet with potential candidates. This can be done using many different tools such as CV search database, LinkedIn, Reaching out to local Colleges and Universities or even that Waitress who recently served you dinner with outstanding customer service. Top performers are everywhere, you just need to keep your eyes open and understand how to approach them.
So, here is my golden tip: -
When reaching out to these potential candidates, you must explain the following; “We are always looking to meet with great people. We do not have an opening at this time but feel you could potentially be a great candidate for a future opportunity of ours. This might not be today or tomorrow, but very likely this will happen soon as we are a growing business – how would you feel coming in for an interview”?
Using this phrase, you are being transparent that there is currently no live job opportunity, however, after viewing their CV, LinkedIn profile or meeting them at a local restaurant, you feel they could potentially be a perfect fit. The person will most likely feel very happy or even overwhelmed with happiness that you have gone out of your way to approach them even though you don't have a position at this time and will take up your offer to attend an interview. If they don't want to attend an interview, you can ask to capture their details and ring them when the future opportunity goes live.
This my friend, is how to start building your Farm Team that can be tapped into whenever needed. You can take this approach to so many levels, by adding the contacts to mailing lists (with permission of course) to keep them interested in your business, what you do and upcoming job opportunities. You can ask other employees in your business to also pledge to creating a farm team. I promise you, the next time you need to hire, you won't need to use the recruitment process, you will now have created the 'Farm Team Approach' which is a system you and others within the business have committed too and by using this, will only have a pipeline of top candidates readily available to speak with you about your next job opportunity.
I hope you have found this information useful. If you would like to discuss more ways on how we can help you, please contact us @
T: 01656 330951
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