Business owners know that one of the most important factors in the success or failure of a company is making good hires. The ability to grow a company over the long-term and successfully navigate growth is based largely on the ability of the owner to manage the critical resources of time, people and money. So good hiring is a big deal.
One key to getting very good at the hiring process is to understand what I call the “hiring continuum.” In other words, when it is done well, when does the process start and when does it end? The actual recruiting, interviewing, selection and offer are the most visible steps in the hiring process. And yet, there are essential steps before and after these that determine the success of the effort.
Prior to the recruiting and selection phase, there should be a “needs assessment and planning” phase. All too often, recruiting begins when there is an unexpected vacancy or because workload outpaces the existing team. While those scenarios are understandable, we know that successful companies are continuously assessing their hiring needs well in advance.
- What positions will we need to fill in the next several years as we grow?
- What should the next hire be in that sequence?
- What positions create an issue if someone moves on or retires?
- What positions are critical to the growth and success of the company?
These are some of the questions that can help a company assess their hiring needs in advance, develop a plan for hiring, create profiles for each position, and practice continuous recruiting.
With this type of planning in place, companies can move quickly and effectively when an opening occurs, workload demands more staff, or it becomes clear that a change is needed.
Once the interviewing, selection, offer and acceptance phases have been completed, there should be a well-executed onboarding phase that immediately follows. A strong onboarding process is one that clearly communicates company values, job responsibilities and expectations.
The first 60 – 90 days is critical in making sure your new hire becomes part of the team, understands what they need to be successful and gains confidence in the new company that they have just joined.
You and your team must also use this time to fully assess if the new hire is a good fit, if they possess the skills needed and if the pace of work and learning meets the needs of the company. You should determine in advance what a new hire should know and what they should be able to do at certain milestones (30, 60, 90 days) into their onboarding process.
There are many tools and techniques focused on recruiting, interviewing and hiring. By adding a planning phase before you begin and an onboarding phase when you have finished, your chances of a successful outcome are greatly enhanced.