Philie Group Blog

Make Your Hiring Strategy a Competitive Advantage
By Mike Philie

A hiring strategy means different things to different people. It certainly means different things post-pandemic. Finding experienced labor and the work-from-home movement have created challenges that we have not seen before. From the production floor to the customer service desk, the struggle to find people is unprecedented. With some creative thinking, an open mind, and the desire to turn this challenge into a competitive advantage, companies can avoid being the victim and rise to the occasion.

Build Your Bench

This may be where it all starts. Hiring often seems reactive. You land a new account; you need to add staff. A person leaves, you need to replace them. Makes sense, but these searches are performed in a defensive posture. The clock is on to find the best person – fast. You’re filling a gap that when left open, will cause stress, excessive overtime, missed deadlines, and unhappy team members.

What if when that need arose, you called upon one of the candidates that you’ve been nurturing over the few months or so. You’ve already come to an agreement that should an opening come up, you’d reach out to them first. Better yet, should they become disgruntled at their current employer, you’d be the first person they’d call. Now, expand that to the key areas in your business. Task your managers to start developing their own hiring bench. It won’t happen overnight but overtime you could curate a list of potential candidates that are qualified, and eager to join your company.

Employer of Choice

Another key attribute of a good hiring strategy is to become the employer of choice in your market. Simply put, this means you are the place where the right people want to work. It could be for a variety of reasons. A growing business creates opportunities, a business with a positive culture helps staff retention and sends a message that this is a great place to be a part of. You might also be in this category because of your cutting-edge technology or maybe because you’ve attracted the best clients.

One place to start might be to better understand why your current staff stays with you. These days, anyone who is good at their job can work almost anywhere. Why do they select your business – why do they stay? Those attributes could be revealing and help you to attract like-type employees. Once you’ve identified your secret sauce, let the market know. Create awareness that all the ‘cool kids’ are at your place, and if others have what it takes, that there may indeed be a place for them as well.

Successful Onboarding Formula

Hiring for success is more than having the new hire complete the paperwork and send them off to their respective departments. Mapping out the first 100 days of a new employee’s journey with your company can be refreshing. One benefit of doing this is you’ll be establishing expectations for that individual. You’ll also assign them to a mentor or buddy within your organization who can show them the ropes. It just helps to take away or minimize the anxiety of starting a new position within a new organization. You will also benefit from getting some good feedback on their performance.

What Else?

What other attributes are you looking for during the interview stage? I’d like to think you are looking for someone who can answer your need for the four C’s — competency, compliance, commitment, and culture. In a recent post, we discussed four critical components for your next hire. To get deeper into the subject, I encourage you to reread that post.

Mike Philie can help validate what’s working and what may need to change in your business. Changing the trajectory of a business is difficult to do while simultaneously operating the core competencies. Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the Graphic Communications Industry by providing direct and realistic assessments, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach. Learn more at www.philiegroup.comLinkedIn or email at

Originally published in Printing Impressions.


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