When you’re first starting out – great ideas, enthusiasm and hard work are enough to carry you through. But as your business takes off and you start to grow, inefficient ways of working can creep in and slow you down. Endless small tasks and detail means it’s easy to get bogged down in day to day activities until the big picture starts to disappear.
At this point it should be obvious what you need to do – you need to hire more staff.
But it’s amazing how difficult that can be. Hiring the right people can be really time consuming and many of us don’t have a clue how to go about it. It turns out it is quite a skilled and complex process. According to a recent report I saw on LinkedIn, up to 50% of executive hires fail. That is not just a waste of time, it’s expensive too.
You advertise the job, then you spend a long time sifting through the candidates and scheduling interviews – then when you’ve picked someone who you think would fit the post you then spend time training them. But what if it doesn’t work out? During the probation period they will often be on their best behaviour so you might not even know if you’ve made a mistake until several months down the line. The thought of having to let that person go because of your bad decision is pretty horrific. It could even drag down the morale of the people you already have working for you and make them feel insecure.
It sounds like a big problem but there are ways to fix it so that you make good decisions every time. I suggest making a list of the issues and then posing a few straight forward questions. Try these;
- Do you have any kind of hiring system in place at all?
- Have you benchmarked the job spec?
- Are you trying to evaluate each and every candidate yourself?
- When you come to make decision about people are you being objective or are you bringing your own biases to the table? (It is really hard not to)
Other questions you might ask include;
- How much do you know about the current labour market?
- Do you know which particular skills and competencies you need – where are your current gaps?
- Do you have any system for measuring outcomes?
None of these issues are insurmountable. In fact you can get help with all of them. To start off with I would suggest looking at some professional recruitment software. There are lots on the market.
Firstly I would suggest looking for a system that helps you with the marketing aspect, putting the role out there so that people can find it and respond to it. Then think about the recruitment management bit, which is all about selecting and hiring the best people.
You want something that will do the hard work for you – you haven’t got the time to look through piles of candidates CVs! With the right software you can evaluate thousands of potential employees at a key stroke. It would also be useful to have a function that allows you to input a list of the skills and competencies you are looking for so that the programme matches you up with candidates who have the right skills.
Once you have a shortlist to invite for interview then you can find out if they are going to be a good fit with the company. By calling in the right people you will have improved your overall odds of making a good choice which will save you time and money.
Some software on the market will even integrate with a Human Resources Suite which can help you with all your wider staff management issues as you grow.
Buying technology for its own sake is not going to get you where you want to be but choosing the right technology to help you achieve your goals can help make your business go further.