Marc Benioff: «Build a Recruiting Machine»

I’m reading Behind the Cloud, the story of Salesforce. In the chapter about leadership, Marc Benioff underscore the importance to build a culture of recruiting and to carry on scouting every day, so to always have a list of potential candidates to hire.

Build a Recruiting Machine

  • Much like our sales team, the recruiting team uses every effort possible to generate leads.
    Don’t wait for resumes to come to you. Get the search party going. Erin Flynn, the head of worldwide recruiting, along with her staff, is always searching to identify the top 5 to 10 percent of talent at competing organizations. (Erin is on a constant talent quest, networking with everyone she hires, our board members, and people she meets at parties.)
  • Consider recruiting to be part of our jobs. I am personally on the hunt for talent all times, and still hold one meeting every day that I would consider a job interview – wether the candidate knows it or not. Whenever I meet someone interesting, I can’t help but wonder if he or she would be an appropriate fit for our company. I stay connected to these people and find that many of them turn out to be possible candidate leads. On average, I forward our HR department about five emails a day and ask them to follow up with these potential candidates. Most of these compelling individuals would have not contacted our HR department or blindly submitted a resume, yet this is how we have won some of the most talented people on our team.
  • Include employees in the talent quest. Employees are among the very best sources of top best talent. Talented people always know other talented people. We ask employee to assist us with connections, and we encourage everyone to refer a friend, former coworker, industry peer, or family member with whom they would want to work. As an incentive for their efforts, we offer a bonus ($2,000 to $10,000, depending on the position) in their referral is hired. It works: in 2008 alone, we hired 251 referred candidates and paid out more than half a million dollars in referral bonuses.
  • Add people to your leadership level first. This is the right strategy in the beginning of a company’s life cycle, and should remain the strategy as an organization grows. If we move into a new market or a new product, I want the most knowledgeable person – the guru – on our side. Once the guru articulates the strategy, he or she makes the necessary hires and invests the resources necessary to execute it.

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Entrepreneur, digital explorer, polymath, husband and father of two girls. I study the unstoppable process of “software eating the world” and I'm passionate about digital transformation, open innovation, startup communities and all the techniques to invent new products and new business models.

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