Build it or buy it

Turning away from better managers, let’s take a look at another facet of HR.


I saw a discussion recently about how recruiters make hiring decisions or recommendations and for me it comes down to the age old question of “build it or buy it.”

We’re talking about speed [to hire] and skills [to do the job]. Recruiters have to know their organization’s philosophy of “buying,” hiring someone with the skills to hit the ground running who will get up to productive speed very quickly but will cost you more at the outset versus “building,” hiring someone with less experience or skills but with the potential and willingness to learn. The latter will take longer to reach “productive flying altitude” and will cost less to hire, but the cost will be expended in training. Bottom line is you have to know where your organization likes to spend its money. This often means where the management team sees a greater ROI.

To work effectively with hiring managers and best serve your organization, you have to know your organization’s operating philosophy.

Next post, I’ll talk about how to most effectively work with the hiring manager.
Til then,
Only the best,

One thought on “Build it or buy it

  1. Here are a few additional thoughts on the “build or buy” scenario.

    When we build talent, we are investing in an individual. If that investment is part of an overall company culture of investment in people, retention may be significantly impacted in a positive way. Most of us, and in particular millennials, would be influenced to stay at a company that continues to invest in their development. So the “training” cost also is an investment in retention.

    When we buy talent, we may treat the experienced hire as a commodity assuming no training is needed. If the company culture does not provide the kind of incentives and sense of belonging that ongoing development may provide, the company risks losing the experienced hire. Despite experience and a potentially faster ramp up time, experienced hires do still need to learn their how to navigate their new environment and learn how to be successful in their new company. Underinvestment in experienced hires, and the assumption they already have the skills needed, may lead to poor acculturation and ultimately to higher attrition.

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