Why are you hiring?
People often rush into hiring without of thinking about the type of hire they need to make. Understanding the type of need you want to fulfill in making a hire defines the expectations, outcomes, and the urgency in making a hire. Most hires are one of these four types, which might blend together.
- Process delegation – Someone is busy enough to move processes and responsibilities out to others. Common in startups and growing companies.
- Replacement – Fired, retired, quit. You’re doing a 1 for 1 replacement for an existing position. If this is keeps occurring, you might have some underlying issues.
- Growth – Often sales or service delivery positions that relate to revenue development or fulfillment. Growth roles should have direct revenue expectations, and you might be looking to hire several people at a time.
- Skill acquisition – You need some type of SME (Subject Matter Expert) that can provide a targeted skill set to fulfill a need. An accountant, welder, diesel mechanic, or someone that can perform a highly technical role.
Each type of hire is going to require a different approach to be successful, and success is defined differently in each case. What is a successful hire? A successful hire is when I fill the role with a rockstar who loves the position, and exceeds my expectations with co-workers and clients. For you to be successful in hiring, we need to break down the concepts around these four types.
- Process delegation – For process delegation have the person who filled the role write out a basic job description of what they do. Process delegation hires are easy if someone has the knowledge to profile, assess, and describe the role. If you hit a roadblock getting this job description started, just jot down what you need to do each day, week, and month from a high level as a start. Training is easy, as the new hire sits with the existing employee, and shows them the ropes.
- Replacement hires – These hires can be dangerous situations for a company. The first danger is the feeling of pressure on a team from the additional workload, which damages morale quickly. Second, depending on how the person exited, you might lack information on what the position actually requires to be effective. The combined threat comes from temptation of taking shortcuts on the hiring process and making an “impulse buy.” (Like that timeshare, it’s the management fees that kill you.) Talk with your team, offer some incentives, do whatever it takes, but don’t start down the road of impulse hires. Impulse hires always lead to a revolving door position. Ask the people around the vacant position to assist you in writing the description, and make sure that you’re through. Training is harder, as the new hire might fumble through the grey areas. Anytime you have a replacement hire, force the new hire to update and document the position from day one.
- Growth hires – These are position(s) that generate or fulfill revenue. Outside salespeople are a great example; a company might hire people on an ongoing basis to grow a team and revenues. Growth hires are good need to have, since they show your company can grow and handle additional sales. A growth hire should have a defined revenue target, as each good hire should equal X amount of revenue.
Skill acquisition – This type of hire is tricky. Interviewing someone who is a SME (Subject Matter Expert) poses a set of unique challenges. If you’re not a diesel mechanic, how do you know if someone is any good at fixing engines? What skills do they need, and what tools should I provide? What’s a position like that pay? For skill acquisition, I make the investment in third party assessment tools and testing. SME hires are often expensive and in demand, so spending to hire right saves time and money. DISC testing is an example of a tool that matches personality profiles to job descriptions. In our office manager example, I would want a detail oriented personality managing my finances, not an abstract thinker. Outside of personality, find a way to test their skill set with real world examples. I’ve found the best people on paper lack hands on skills, and often disappoint.
Do it right.
Take the time to plot out your hiring need, and don’t rush out of urgency. Understand why you’re hiring someone, and what the business objective is behind that hire. If you look at strong companies, the number one factor in success is hiring great talent for the right position, every time. Understand the type of hire your making, and make it a great one!