Tell me if this sounds familiar.
As a busy HR Professional or leader in an emerging business, it’s likely that at some point in time you’ve experienced what I like to call ‘HR Groundhog Day” – where you’ve been stuck in a nasty ‘hire, fire, rehire’ cycle with no end in sight.
Not only is it a drain on company resources and a culture-affecting situation when this occurs, but the mental bandwidth required to fix the problem is a massive drain.
Can you relate to some of these?
1. Companies Don’t Talent Pool
One big problem I find is that many companies don’t talent pool anywhere near as often as they should. This could cause an issue where you fill a role, only to fill that role with the wrong person, and be forced to start the hiring process from scratch again. It can be advantageous for your organisation to be more open to informing prospective employees that even though you haven’t been able to hire them at the moment, their skill set is still vital to your organisation, and your business may be able to accommodate them in the future. That way, if you happen to fall into a situation where you’re firing a new hire, you’ve already got a short list of highly interested candidates who may want to move into the open role very quickly.
Action: Shortlist twice as many candidates, and make a ‘provisional job offer’ to every suitable candidate.
Okay, I don’t literally mean twice as many. But certainly, more than you do right now. And let these candidates know where they stand in the rankings, and that you’d love to remain in contact should a future need arise. This makes for a much more pleasant interaction for the candidate, who doesn’t feel as though they’ve been dragged through a process with limited knowledge of what’s going on behind the scenes. And for you, it means having a candidate at the ready if a sudden need should arise.
2. They Don’t Use Data
When I first got into the world of HR, data was mainly compiled using pen and paper. Nowadays, there are a whole bunch of amazing HR-specific digital tools that simply help you do your job better. But they are seldom used… properly.
You can’t be expected to make the best decision possible off a whim and a prayer. So what you really need when it comes to making a hiring decision is data and as much tangible data as possible.
As I mentioned, there are many tools out there that exist to make your life easy. Video conferencing tools allow for a faster and more engaging interview process, behavioural science analysis tools allow you to measure behavioural traits and competencies, and AI technology is at such a level that it helps you consistently make the right decision.
We live in the 21st Century where all this stuff exists! So, it’s time to use it.
Action: Use The Data!
The action here is simple. If you’re gathering data or you already have a tool in place that can collect the data, start using it. If you don’t have a tool like this, go and buy one. It shouldn’t be hard to convince your CEO & CFO that if the tool is in place, you’ll be in a position to hire better candidates faster and build an awesome culture.
3. They Only Hire For The Job At Hand
Often companies in high-volume situations are focused on hiring for a job at hand in a relatively short-term sense. However, the biggest challenge you face is to find staff that will move into a more leadership-focused role in the future.
It is worth considering the old adage…
“The best salesperson is made a sales manager, and then that is a disaster”.
This classic word-of-warning only exists because many businesses tend to promote people who are fantastic in their current role, without considering whether or not that person actually has the skills to lead a department or take on a higher role. And that’s when they end up with egg on their face.
Action: Look beyond ‘now’.
Looking beyond the now is vital. What competencies should you look for so when more senior roles arise, you can promote internal employees? What personality traits are make-or-break? What leadership qualities might apply in future?
Consider all of this before hiring your next employee. It’ll make your life much easier in future.
4. They Hire Solely Based On Experience
I see this a lot. But please remember that just because someone was good at a job for twelve years doesn’t mean they’d make the perfect fit for your company. Even Pepsi and Coca-Cola were known to have staff move between the two companies from time to time which, notably, didn’t work.
Overall, competency is just as important as experience on paper. Don’t forget that.
There is a lot to consider when it comes to measuring whether or not a candidate will ‘fit in’ when it comes to your business. In many cases, someone might have a decade of experience in an industry, however, if their role has been relatively rigid the whole time then their expertise on paper doesn’t necessarily imply that they will be a strong and adaptable fit.
Action: Balance the need between experience and competency.
A balance in key skills and competencies tends to be a crucial sought-after combination. There are nuanced factors that come into play when determining the best fit for a candidate which include cultural, behavioural and social aspects. The best way to save time is to really home in on the experiences required for a candidate to progress into the final stage of the interviewing process and ensure future growth within the new position and future roles.
5. Their Employees Are Firing Them
A less thought-about phenomenon that is quite common nowadays is the employee firing the boss or the business – in a sense. By that, we mean individuals are quitting to move into other opportunities, or have determined in their own minds that they will reduce their daily outputs, and risk being caught out.
“People leave bad managers, bad jobs and bad companies.”
A variation on a popular and powerful quote, with a substantial degree of truth to it. For instance, is the employee being paid in accordance with the initial employment arrangement? Is there room for growth that the employee was expecting going into the job? Were they told they would be in a hard-working, productive team, and was the team actually driven? Have you ‘oversold’ the leadership team?
Big companies like yours should have the capacity to analyse whether the job will be good for the employee. Do not miss this step.
Action: Properly educate your candidates.
All companies have an ethical responsibility to ensure that the job will be right for the candidate and not just the business. It is important to ensure that they will feel that they fit into the culture.
So you need to spend time ensuring that the job is right for the candidate and the team – not just the business.