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Should You Wait To Hire That Key Individual?


Before we answer the question, letís start with a few facts:

1) No matter what prediction financial economists are giving regarding the length of this recession, your business can gain a big advantage over your competition now and in the coming recovery with only a single leadership addition or change.

2) As the economy shows signs of recovery, the attraction and identification of talented people to fill your key positions will become even more difficult.

3) Even during this recession, it is still hard to find that right individual for your business to fill a key leadership role or one-of-a-kind position.

In recent months, many businesses have been making cuts in expenses, programs and even, people. Few, if any, are prepared to reverse this trend and instead make new hires in the anticipation of a recovery. However, most companies and organizations currently have at least one critical need which can be filled by hiring, or replacing, a key leadership position.

For many businesses, this leadership void was recognized when times got tougher. In other cases, the void was spotted during more favorable times, but the company was simply unable to find the right talent for the role. A common statement at your company may have included ďIf only we could find someone with ___________ experience, we could take our company to the next level.Ē

How did you fill in the blank? Did you seek more sales capability, technical or operational expertise, how about financial acumen, or possibly someone to start a new territory or initiative? The need varied but the bottom line is the company was limited in reaching their full potential because they could not find the right person for a key role, or they delayed the decision to upgrade from a B player to an A player.

Carl J. Taylor & Co. was recently approached by a company that bucked this trend. The company President and Vice President of Sales wanted Carl J. Taylor & Co. to help them add several new Sales Directors for some new regions they were planning to add. They also identified one territory which required the need to upgrade the quality of the Sales Director.

The recession hit and the company had to implement many cost cutting measures in its operations, and they knew that the recruiting and compensation of these new sales people would have a significant impact on the companyís short term cash flow. Nevertheless, they moved forward with these hires.

The VP of Sales had this to say about the decision to work with Carl J. Taylor & Co. to add these new hires and the results. Her comments included:

"These are difficult roles to fill, and we did a thorough search in each market to find the right person for our organization. We have added some outstanding people that we may not have been able to entice at another time.

We have taken full advantage of this difficult time to let these people learn our sophisticated products and services and to integrate them into our company and culture.

The new Directors are developing important relationships with our current customers, and they are identifying and contacting a large number of new customer targets.

The visibility of our competition is noticeably reduced, or absent, in some of these markets, and customers recognize our presence is increasing.

Sales are hard to close, but we are selling more during this time because of these new people.

We are ideally positioned to take advantage of the recovery, and we wonít lose sales or market share because we have to delay our efforts to find the right people"

At a time like this the adding of any new hires (especially for key leadership positions) can create a strain on the company budget, but itís important to remember that delaying that one key hire or upgrade can cost you far more in terms of lost sales, delayed initiatives, reduced market share, negative customer relations and/or missed opportunities to improve operations.

Something else to think about is what is your competition doing or planning to do? Are they investing in top talent now to take advantage of the current environment and to position themselves for the recovery?

The economy will recover and as it does your competition and numerous other businesses will realize their leadership voids and seek people to fill these key leadership positions. At that time it will be even harder to find and attract the top talent and as a result many companies will make hasty decisions which will lead to bad hires.

And, no company can afford to make a bad hire no matter what the economy is doing.

Carl J. Taylor & Co. is an executive search firm based in Dallas. For over 20 years, the firm has successfully completed challenging search assignments for clients of all sizes in Texas and around the country.

If you would like more information about this or other executive search related topics, please call Carl Taylor at 972 490-7697 or email him at The company website is


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