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Published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on February 9, 2000. All rights

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Hiring? It’s a Sale: Terry Williams

Approach hiring like you would sales if you want to

recruit the best talent in a tight job market, says management

consultant

Terry Williams. "If a company has to fill 200 jobs in the

year 2000, it’s no different than a sales organization having to go

and sign up 200 customers," says Williams. "It’s a matter

of developing a plan, executing it, making offers, and closing

deals."

Williams speaks on "Sourcing and Attracting High-Tech Talent:

The New Corporate Agenda," at the New Jersey Technology Council

Meeting on Wednesday, February 16, at 5 p.m. at the Princeton Hyatt.

Call 609-489-2626. Cost: $75.

Based in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, Williams specializes in technical

recruiting. Williams grew up in Collegeville and went to Indiana

University

of Pennsylvania, where he earned a BS in criminology and psychology,

Class of 1979. Instead of pursuing law, he joined a headhunting

company.

There’s an incredible shortage of high-tech talent right now, says

Williams, and that’s going to affect companies across the board.

"The

Internet is driving new business and creating a whole new market,"

says Williams, "which means retail companies are becoming

technology

companies, and pharmaceutical companies are becoming technology

companies,"

he says. "Recent estimates put the number of E-commerce jobs at

800,000, while the number of college graduates last year hovered at

about 35,000."

"I view recruiting as a sales function rather than a human

resources

function," says Williams. "Traditionally, most firms will

put the burden of hiring on the human resources department, but they

may not be qualified." Recruiting, like sales, should be proactive

and strategic, says Williams, with emphasis not just on hiring, but

on sourcing, attracting and retaining employees as well.

Companies should add the following to their personnel procedures,

says Williams:

Relationship recruiting. Instead of seeking only active

candidates (those searching for jobs), establish a routine for

recruiting

passive candidates (those not searching for a job). Your HR people

can maintain a relationship with some good prospects for up to a

couple

of years.

Training and development. "Training and development

are the top two reasons you retain professionals," says Williams.

"Compensation is only the fourth reason why individuals change

jobs. Listen to your employees."

Flexibility. Provide flexibility in schedules and in

environment.

"Cisco is an example of one company that has established a fun

sort of environment," says Williams. "There’s a lot of

flex-time

and casual dress, not a lot of shirts and ties."

At Cisco, and at other big companies, the prevailing philosophy

is that people are your most important assets. Says Williams:

"CEOs

are aware that the success of the company is dependent on hiring good

people — the back door affects the front door."

— Melinda Sherwood


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