As you’ve often heard it said: employees are a company’s most important investment. They’re also one of the biggest challenges for a company. The time and money it takes to recruit, interview, and train adds up quickly. Even then, you’re not guaranteed that the person will perform well in the company, and each wrong move could limit company growth.
I often caution employers that impatience can lead to failure. It’s typical for business owners first starting out to hire fast without taking the time to properly vet potential candidates. The same is true for companies in a hyper growth mode. Both can’t seem to get the support they need quickly enough. However, hurried hiring decisions can be harmful.
Be “slow to hire, and quick to fire.” Holding on to an under-performer can leave a devastating effect on a company’s productivity, credibility, and ultimately business growth. Weak performers infect the performance of the entire team, stifling motivation, slowing down progress, and ensuing drama and poor morale. Customers may notice the mistakes and poor behavior of a bad fit employee and not want to do business with you. The costs are severe, and the re-building of your company even more expensive.
Business leaders who want a successful company should be invested in the life cycle of its workforce. My Employee Management System is designed to help companies maximize the five stages of the employee life cycle – Finding, Developing, Directing, Motivating and Retaining.
Identifying talent is the fundamental first steppingstone for growth that, when done correctly, prepares an organization to succeed with a new hire. Preparing for the candidate process is as crucial as the actual gathering, evaluation and ultimate selection of candidates. Way too many times, companies hire based on a “gut feeling,” and don’t clearly and methodically hire based on clear, pre-written assessment protocols.
The “Finding” process accounts for organizational, departmental and positional needs and can be summarized by planning, sourcing, screening and developing guidelines and assessments for evaluating the best fit candidates. When all of the steps are followed, it is much easier for an organization to achieve a quicker return on investment (ROI) for the costs of the recruitment process.
Recruiting employees goes beyond waiting for resumes to come in. In fact, solely waiting for an employee to apply to work for you is an old-school approach. Hiring today includes actively seeking great-fit candidates by utilizing online sites such as LinkedIn and recruiting platforms to personally invite candidates to apply for your position.
Utilizing skills testing and pre-employment assessments at the very beginning of the interview process is very important to ensure you’re not wasting resources on those who are not skillfully and culturally a fit for the company. No process is perfect, but you want to make the pool smaller, and increase the chances of a successful hire before you even begin to physically interview a candidate, because the cost to weed out after hiring is much higher.
These assessments should ask the right questions and test someone on their skills to prove that they have the knowledge and abilities required. This helps weed out those candidates we’ve all hired who are great “interviewees,” but upon hiring do not produce the results and experiences they spoke of.
Equally important as skill is making sure a potential new hire aligns with the defined culture and vision of the company. To hire for culture fit means making sure the candidate is motivated by your company’s mission and embodies the characteristics of your core values. Someone who is an IT wizard but does not value “creativity” and “being uncomfortable” at your digital agency will not have what it takes to help your company live out its mission.
Finally, after following a planned process for evaluating candidates, hiring the right fit is not enough. A company must invest in the future of its people. No one wants to spend time and effort on finding an employee to lose them shortly after. By focusing on the other four stages of the employee lifecycle – Develop, Direct, Motivate and Retain – business leaders can create high levels of employee satisfaction and a highly-skilled workforce.
Weeding out the bad apples at your company begins with a good hiring process. “Going Slow” during your Finding process will allow your company to “Grow Fast” and maximize success.