Toy industry hiring continues at a furious pace.  Here at Toyjobs, 2004 was our second best year out of 23 years and 2005 is likely to eclipse that.  During the 2001-2003 economic slow down, companies cut back more than fat; they cut muscle and bone.  Now that the overall economy has strengthened (although the toy industry has only strengthened marginally), companies just can’t get the work done.  Nobody really wants to hire, but everybody needs an extra pair of hands or two.

Some companies are shooting themselves in the foot in their quest for talent because they have no sense of urgency.  Larger companies with big HR bureaucracies have painfully slow processes, while in smaller companies hiring managers tend to focus on today’s emergency rather focusing on the bigger picture–having the best people on board so that they can avoid having emergencies every day.  While there are plenty of “bodies” out there, the best candidates will not wait around.  They are getting multiple offers and to secure their services, you have got to move fast.

Slow hiring processes and decision making can be made many times worse by a lack of communication.  I think it was “The One Minute Manager” which said “Never call anyone, or especially call anyone back, unless or until you have something to tell them.”  This has been great advice for “keeping your desk clean,” but a disastrous recipe for getting business done.  It’s easy to “keep your desk clean” if you’re not doing anything.  Just as it’s easy to get blindsided by problems if you’ve decided not to communicate with anyone.  Also, rather than building business relationships, you risk destroying them.  In business, people have very long memories.

In the hiring process, if you are not communicating with a candidate one of two things (or two of two things) are likely to happen.  First, the candidate may reasonably believe that you’re not interested in them and focus on other opportunities.  Second, they may decide that he/she doesn’t want to work for a company where people don’t communicate.  In either case, you have probably lost him both now and if you ever decide to pursue him in the future.  He is also not likely to give your company a great review should a colleague, who may be considering going to work for your company, happen to discuss it with him.

I often wonder, if hiring managers have any idea how many top candidates they lose because either their process or decision making takes too long or they fail to communicate.  The good news is that all three of these problems are pretty easy to fix–“Just do it.”  In the medium and long run you’ll make your own life alot easier. 


All the best,

Tom Keoughan