by Brian Breth
There are different schools of thought when it comes to hiring, but the process generally takes shape in this way: there is a need, the job is advertised, resumes and portfolios are reviewed, interviews are scheduled, a decision is made, and an offer is extended. It’s fairly rudimentary, and yet there are many factors and obstacles that happen along the way that can lengthen, complicate and confuse the process.
Simply put: the hiring process starts when a need is identified. This is one of the most critical parts of the process—where your future coworker’s role is defined. If the need is not clearly defined, there will be difficulties when candidate review and selection is taking place, adding time, effort and expense to the whole process. Not to mention headaches. Ouch.
So what are some of the things that create a hiring need? In most cases, a hiring need can be identified fairly quickly – i.e. when an employee leaves the team. Organizational and/or departmental shifts in focus may also create a hiring need. At times it will be necessary to reassess your team’s structure to support the overall mission statement for the company, or for a specific project, or both. Regardless of the precipitating factors, it’s important to know who the players are on your team and what each contributes to the success of the department before you envision the role of a new team member.
Know Your Team
Having a clear understanding of individual roles and each person’s contribution to the organizational processes is vital. Without a clear understanding, you won’t know you’ve made the wrong hiring decision until after the talent has started. And nothing affects the morale of your team like having someone there who just isn’t a fit. You can do yourself a favor (and look really smart in the process) by creating what’s called a position profile. This differs from a standard job description by defining the role on a much more granular level: as it relates not only to the individual, but to the organization and beyond. The areas defined in a position profile are: overall responsibilities, position purpose, key relationships (internal and external), key accountabilities and key competencies. Position profiles can be a tool to help you determine whether or not you need to fill a vacancy. Based on what you now know of the role from the position profile, it’s best in certain situations (based on workload or other mitigating factors) to spread the responsibilities/accountabilities out to the other team members instead of actually making a new hire.
Talk To Your Team
A great way to determine your hiring needs is to be in communication with your entire team. Review what they’re working on, and get their feedback. Sometimes there are bottlenecks in parts of the workflow that aren’t visible to you. Being in communication with your team may create an opportunity to overcome any glitches in your process. It’s also a great way to stay on top of the culture of your department, as that will likely influence decision-making during candidate interviews. And you know what else? It shows the members of your team not involved in the hiring process that you care about their opinion too.
Regardless of the precipitating factors, it’s important to know who the players are on your team and what each contributes to the success of the department before you envision the role of a new team member.
1. Be aware! Knowing the factors that create a hiring need in your organization will help you be proactive in identifying your ideal candidate.
2. Know your roles! Don’t get caught trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.
3. Talk to your team! You might just learn a thing or two (or ten).
1. Read The Hiring Source Book which covers the basics of hiring, and MATCH – A Systematic, Sane Process For Hiring The Right Person Every Time.