Hiring? Don’t Sleep on the Job!

So, you’ve got a vacancy on your team, but you are not an expert in hiring. You’re trusting your HR team to deliver the right talent for your opening and you need it yesterday!

As a hiring manager, the worst thing you can do is expect your HR and/or Talent Acquisition team to handle everything for you. It’s your opening. Either you or your team is absorbing the extra workload and bearing the burden of the opening.

If the job isn’t filled soon, you will have bigger problems on your hands. Every day your position remains open it costs your company money and you or your team will burnout trying to cover the extra work. Your HR partners can empathize, but you must be an active participant in your own hiring process to ensure it goes as fast as possible.

The best thing you can do is be prepared to hire. I’ve helped companies hire everything from shift supervisors to executive leadership. The jobs that should have been the easiest to fill were sometimes the hardest. When that happened, one of these steps was missed. If you do these 5, I guarantee you will have a shorter time to fill and it will be a better experience for all involved.

  1. Know the market. You’ve got to know where to find the talent. Prepare a list of target competitors, closely related job titles, related professional associations, online forums, social networking groups, local meetups and a list of those in your personal network who may know people for the job. Identify these places and people and be ready to push the word out about your job to the places you identify in partnership with your recruiter.

  2. Thoroughly define the job. If you are hiring for a role and you can’t describe what the job will do, why the job is appealing, or how it impacts your company and your team; you’ll find yourself stopping and starting the hiring process multiple times and defining as you go. Figure it out up front and you will save yourself and everyone involved a lot of time!

  3. Have realistic expectations about the candidate. No one is leaving a similar company doing the exact same job at the exact same pay to come to your company unless they are miserable where they are today or see no future growth potential. High performing people leave good jobs for great opportunity. This can come in many ways: bigger budget, larger scope of projects, broader customer base, more complex technical work, clear career path, a true step up in title and compensation, etc. Your job should represent a step forward for your future employee’s career, not just a changing of the logo on their LinkedIn profile. You need to know what types of positions represent a slight step beneath your vacancy. Focus your candidate “must-have” requirements for people doing that job today. I get it, you need them to “hit the ground running.” Focus on hiring people who have a track record of success doing just that. Don’t insist they be doing the exact same work you’re hiring for behind another door or you’ll be overpaying to buy the talent from your competition.

  4. Have a clearly laid out interview plan. Do it now, block time on the interview panel calendars for 3 interviews and treat that date like a deadline to identify 3 great candidates. If you have a vacancy, you should be face-to-face interviewing roughly 2-3 weeks out from beginning your search. Waiting until a good candidate surfaces before planning interviews holds no one accountable for making the hire happen. Scheduling an interview day provides a clear plan for getting interested people screened and scheduled. Having a plan also creates a very predictable hiring process. Every screening interview can end with, “Great we are conducting in-person interviews on XX what time would you like to come in?” vs. “We’ll get back to you when we are ready to interview.” If you fail to plan, the result is a frustrating process for everyone involved. Even worse, this alienates the exact people you want to hire. Have a plan, if the day comes and you have no qualified applicants move the date back and get aggressive about finding the candidates by trying channels you’ve not yet attempted.

  5. Hire with authority. You are trusted to lead this person. You are the hiring manager. You were put in a position of authority and this is your decision to make. If you have 4 people interview a candidate with you and one of them has some reservations remember, it’s your decision. It’s important to gather feedback following interviews and consider others’ perspectives, but this is your decision to make. Interview feedback from others can be a useful tool for a training and career development plan for your new hire, but don’t let it stop you from deciding. Just because someone on the team thought the candidate was too long-winded in their answers, didn’t like their handshake or thought they came across as too timid doesn’t take away from all the reasons you thought they were great. If you want to hire them, hire them!

These 5 pointers barley scratch the surface. Need help with any of the steps above? Contact Us to learn how we can help you hire better.


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