A Gardener’s Guide to Recruitment – One Year Later

Last year at this time, I published an article about spring pruning. It was the height of Covid and lock-down and I was in a cold, panicked sweat wondering what the next year would bring. I wrote about all the calls I was receiving from clients and candidates worried about making it through.

The State of the Marketplace

A year later, I have re-read the article and am happy to see that there has been a seismic shift to a candidate’s market. I am frequently speaking to people who are receiving multiple offers. Now, I think the challenge is the fight for talent—retaining top producers, attracting world class aptitude, and also remembering to appreciate those contributors who sacrificed during an unprecedented time to produce great work. Many of the people who flourished may have been the introverts on a team who didn’t need as much of the in-person collaboration to inspire them. Now that things are opening up, I hope companies recognize that some of their team may do their best work with a space and flexibility and that there can be room for both.

Salespeople & Gardeners

To borrow from my prior article, there are the salespeople of the garden—showy and reliable. The best of the sellers are the flowers who bloom consistently, even if the soil and conditions are not ideal. They survive, bloom, and do not choke out the other plants. They are symbiotic and respectful, attracting the bees so the other plants flourish too. The operations people as the evergreens of the garden, they don’t dazzle and you may not notice them, but they are essential. They provide shelter for the birds. Their roots keep the soil from eroding and create a backbone and infrastructure for the garden. Like any good gardener, a growth-minded organization must consider the mix and diversity of their talent, as well as the environment they need for success.

The past year has been challenging, but I’m excited by the number of companies that have embraced change and are working hard to attract and cultivate talented teams.

Note: this article originally appeared on LinkedIn here.
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Kelly Herrick

Kelly Herrick is the founder of Searchlight, a digital recruitment firm specializing in media, advertising, and emerging technology. Originally from Texas, Kelly has made NY her home and lives with her husband, son, dog, and three cats in Westchester.