GM Finds Solution for Lack of Staffing

May 27, 2016

May 27, 2016—After the global recession starting in 2008, General Motors stalled its staff growth, despite a need for new talent. To solve the problem, GM turned away from third party recruiting, reported Forbes.

Now in a period of recovery, GM saw a spike in applicants recently, up to 35,000 last month compared to its monthly average of 27,000, after it announced the purchase of Cruise Automation.

Bill Huffaker, a former Google executive, joined GM in 2013, and after after a failure of outsourcing recruiting to a third-party agency, Huffaker was given the task of overhauling GM’s recruitment strategy. 

“When we were in bankruptcy, it eliminated our ability to recruit people. We weren’t growing. We just shut that down,” Huffaker said. “GM went from a fairly large [recruiting] team to four people that was put on life support.”

The problem, he said, was that a third-party didn’t understand the needs of the company, and it was difficult for them to describe the company culture to potential candidates. GM was losing to fierce competition. Huffaker was given six months to build an in-house recruitment team. In that time, it grew from a few people to more than 200 globally. 

GM needed a major change in the way it viewed its recruiting. If a company is stuck in a rut and is unable to meet its own staffing needs, a change in perception may be needed. Read Ratchet+Wrench’s tips for better hiring to understand the changes necessary to revamp recruiting.

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