Forty Under 40 Perspectives: Leveraging marketing for powerful recruiting By Andrew Barry

Living in a post-pandemic world, we know the power and importance of attracting quality personnel to build loyalty and legacy and grow business. We are in an age of economy where employees’ interests and needs have changed and employers are challenged to adapt. It’s understood that employers must remain profitable; that is the essence of business. While accomplishing this goal, a company can find compelling ways to attract and retain employees in a mutually beneficial scenario. 


The process of recruiting has rapidly accelerated as quality candidates will appear and disappear in the blink of an eye. Whether recruiting falls under human resources or marketing or it is outsourced, a candidate must be screened, vetted and processed more quickly than in years past. If you have a position that you’re trying to fill, the team must be acutely aware of this reality. Operating under the same level of urgency and alignment — from the recruiter to the interviewer, all the way back to an offer letter — is the first key to success


In a chicken or the egg scenario, how did this candidate find you in the first place — or did you find them and they have expressed interest? Regardless of this answer, there is something about your company that is appealing. What is it? What is your company’s reputation? What about your company attracts candidates? How are you ensuring that your company’s positive narrative is being understood in the marketplace? 

Most of this is proven through years of examples — that is how reputations are built. However, there should be an effort put into ‘pumping up’ this narrative in the most honest way possible. It’s okay to brag about the good things you do, about the feel-good stories of long term employees and other things that would make a candidate want to work with you. There is no better advertisement than a current employee who truly enjoys working for your company. In our case, 76 years of being in business is not a bad advertisement either. 


In some organizations, marketing plays a much larger role with established advertising and branding budgets. Horticulture, historically, does not have the same marketing budget as other industries, yet social platforms help us create dialogue. Have you considered using marketing as a recruiting tool to engage with candidates who may not even be a candidate yet? Effective marketing departments innately create a discourse with industry participants. This type of interaction is not created by a spark but rather a dedication to a process of engagement. 

With the advent of work from home capabilities, companies have a unique opportunity to find talent from anywhere; is your company set up for this? 


You, as a leader, need to put thought into how to supplement this narrative. Find out what folks are looking for outside of the obvious salary and vacation-time benefits. Recognition is important to employees; being not just heard but listened to, taking action on something when you say you will. Your company does not exist without your employees so it’s important that everyone understands the direction, knows their role and sees your commitment to giving them what they need to succeed. 

The long-term employees that are your best ‘advertisements’ only get there from seeing you lead by example. This knowledge-sharing becomes a vital piece of success so you create an opportunity to help scale your people at the same rate you are scaling sales. At Griffin, you will still see the owners hop on a fork truck in the warehouse if they need to. Be visible, be present and get your hands dirty. The chicken and the egg help build sustainable and mutual outcomes.

Andrew Barry

Andrew Barry is managing director for Griffin Greenhouse Supplies and a member of GPN’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2023. He can be reached at