In a tough economy, every employee really matters, otherwise they would not still be around right? Well, not really, because most organizations do not manage performance that tightly – but we’ve already discussed that at length in previous blog posts. So in this 2 part series, let’s talk about your critical new hires, the ones who really count extra now – the really critical new hires that still get approved despite your ”hiring freeze.” These are hires the CEO has to approve, like when your CFO or Director of Development quits exactly when you need them most. Hiring freeze or not, when someone absolutely essential to your future existance quits – you are going to replace them. And, odds are, you are going to make some big mistakes in how you hire that new person you can’t live without.
The only reason to hire is to get business results. If you didn’t care about results, you wouldn’t need employees – so, if staffing is ultimately about getting business results, why does it so often fail to deliver them?
Tolstoy observed, “Happy families are all alike, but every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Similarly, every company that becomes unhappy with staffing becomes unhappy in its own unique way. Although staffing appears to be a routine, traditional business practice on the surface, it is actually one of the most daunting and complex tasks facing today’s executives.
Why is staffing so difficult? Let’s break it down. To regularly find and select candidates who can rapidly contribute to business results, you must always succeed at all of recruiting’s critical tasks. First, you need the business acumen to clearly identify the business results you want and how you expect someone to achieve those results. Next, you must identify the precise competencies an employee requires to drive the results you expect. Next, you need to identify exactly what it would take to attract the right person to each job for the right reasons. Next, you need a recruiter who knows how to access a large pool of qualified job candidates, present your opportunity in a compelling way, generate interest, and get the right people to apply. Then, after all the candidates have been fairly evaluated for competency and cultural fit, you must narrow the field and make a job offer. If the candidate you select has not already accepted other employment and accepts your offer, (s)he can finally begin to apply his or her skills to getting the business results you expect. If along the way, you make even one misstep, you end up unhappily starting all over. It’s no wonder that so few recruiters actually measure themselves by the standard of getting specific business results from their recruiting efforts.
In reality, the situation is far worse. Almost every aspect of traditional recruiting stopped being effective over 20 years ago, but nobody seems to have noticed. Let’s review some of the most common hiring mistakes and the very understandable reasons people make them. Read the rest of this entry »