Get Your 2015 Hiring In Order – 5 Quick Tips to Get It Moving

2015 cubesJanuary, 2015, where plans are made and enacted for the coming year and where what you do now will have a solid impact on what happens later.

It is also the time to really plan what is going to happen with your staffing. What new projects will need to see increases? Can you see any staff looking to leave? Any changes that will see fluctuations in numbers? All of these need to be considered now to make sure you and your business are geared up and ready to face the year.

So what are the best tips to get these plans happening?

  1. Nail down your culture – Make sure you know exactly what makes your current employees get out of bed and come into work every day, what keeps them with you, what makes them happy, what engages them to the work they do and what you need to do to foster this. If you have no idea what your culture is, get it sorted now. You cannot hire without knowing exactly what makes your people great employees
  2. Get the basics in place – Do you know what is a killer job description? Know where to find the best candidates? Got your interviews structured nicely? Know the ins and outs of background checking? These are the basics that can mean the difference between success and failure.
  3. Start engagement now – this is something not a lot of businesses really understand. Employee engagement starts even before they are hired. Business leaders need to get out a bit more to attract the right people. Use social media, networking, whatever to create a sense of you as a leader being highly approachable and dedicated. Additionally, when you are starting the hiring process, think engagement from the first step. Present a clear picture of what your business is all about, get your other employees involved and get that message out where you can. If you create a great impression of your organisation before you go to hire, you may not even need to advertise the role as you be an attractive proposition for any potential candidates.
  4. Get to know who is about – recruiters call it ‘talent mapping’, but we’ll just call it good planning. Knowing who is in the marketplace, where potential candidates could come from and even initiating conversations prior to a role becoming live is a brilliant way to get the jump on the market. It will increase significant your ability to locate and secure great new employees and place you in a great position to lose as little time possible when filling your next live role.
  5. Profile the best candidate – this is the picture of who would be the perfect addition to your business. This picture isn’t the technical skills they have, but the behaviours, attributes, persona – the soft skills – the candidate will have to be a brilliant employee. Note who are your best workers, and those who show high levels of engagement and use them to create this picture. Put it together now so that when the time comes, it is an easy reference to base selections on.


Get the plan in place and actioned – OK, so we know we are going to increase staff numbers this year, we can see the little bits to make it happen, so now is the time to be putting the plan together.  You are at a great time of the year to put some serious thought into what you are going to do this year to hire with a high level of success. Take these points and give your hiring policy some purpose and structure to really propel it into 2015.

Have a great (hiring) year.



Warm Bodies – The ‘Anyone Will Do’ Syndrome in Hiring

Hire FireI’ve spoken quite a bit before about ‘Panic Hiring’ in a broad sense of how it happens and why it is bad business sense. Its incidence is so common, and the way it almost always leads to a bad hire warrant further and deeper investigation.

For any small business or micro businesses doing their first hire, the cost in a resulting bad hire from a panic-based process is steep. As a quick guide, a study from Right Management (part of the Manpower Group) found that bad hires can cost any business a minimum of 30% to more than 5 times the annual salary, depending on the role, with an average of twice times this amount. When put up against a micro or small business, we are talking costs that would render a business insolvent, purely on the basis of one bad hire. For a larger business, this is a major hit that can be ill-afforded

The thing to remember is that bad hiring decisions are not intentionally made. Nor are they inevitable. The simple thing is they are made by carelessness;  by not putting enough thought to the overall holistic approach to hiring. Predominately decisions are made far too quickly and without proper checks and balances to make it a good decision.

Far too often, though, it is a case of ‘Anyone Will Do’.

Anyone Will Do is the simplest form of hiring. It is taking the first person that fits the skills of the role, is available straight away and seems to be suitable for the role. They are a ‘warm body’; there, seemingly ready to go and available.

It is also the laziest form of hiring.

When a new employee is hired under the  ‘Anyone Will Do’, they will start, often well, but it isn’t too long before the signs suggest this decision is going to backfire. Problems arise with performance, attitude and competence. Then issues around fit appear:  Workplace morale falls. Staff turnover increases. Customers start to abandon your business. Things start to go ‘missing’. Complaints increase.

They are the sign of a bad hire and the chances of this happening under the Syndrome are greatly increased. It happens because the quality checks were discarded in favour of a quick turnaround – checks that would pick up on issues that would question a candidate’s suitability.

If any person can identify this as occurring in their business, the question needs to be asked how was the hiring done.

Hiring needs attention. It needs time. It needs care.

However, let’s be honest here, business owners, decision makers and hiring managers – in fact anyone responsible for hiring – are flat-out busy. The incidence of new work, a leaving staff member or growth often bring that sense of panic and uncertainty to hiring, trying to ensure gaps are filled quickly with as little downtime as possible. A quick hire is seemingly best and the most appropriate action that results in as little downtime as possible.

It is this combination of busyness and panic that lead to the Anyone Will Do Syndrome.

So how are we, in the times when we are incredibly busy, avoiding a fall into this trap?

It’s hard. Very hard. I won’t beat around the bush. You have to think about this: the care you put into hiring this time will mean the difference between getting a great candidate and having to repeat the process again, and again and again and…….

It is the way a business hires; the process it chooses, that determines the success of the candidate chosen. The first candidate that comes across the desk of the hirer may indeed be the best fitting candidate, but only through rigorous checking, interviews and verifying skills, experience and background will the suitability of the candidate be confirmed.

The thing is, you must focus on what is needed to make a hiring process workable and accountable. Why? Not only do you and your business require a success when hiring, your customers demand that the people you have working for you are in tune with the way your business runs and do not come across as mere Band-Aid solutions.

Remember, bad hires are not solely an internal issue, they are an outward branding one. To avoid these is to avoid external damage to your business.

The final point here is to lay out the three things all business must do to  avoid a bad hire and the antidote to the ‘Anyone Will Do Syndrome’. They are investing in:

  • Enough time to make informed decisions;
  • Quality processes that ensure all information is at hand; and
  • Planning to cover all bases and proper checks.

Add these to any hiring situation your business is placed in, and your hiring health is assured.





Top 10 Hiring Mistakes – #1 – Not A Plan In Sight

Going for a bushwalk into an area you have not been before without a map and proper preparations is akin to trying to blow up jelly with dynamite: it’s pointless and potentially dangerous. The most skilled bushwalkers have a map, compass, provisions and equipment to prepare them for any eventuality that confronts them when hiking through unknown regions.

The same can definitely be said when hiring, where the most unprepared and unplanned often come unstuck. Yet, significantly, most businesses do not have that plan in place when it comes to hiring and tend to go into hiring woefully unprepared.

Alongside the preceding 9 mistakes, the lack of a plan creates some real issues for a business and its susceptibility to making bad hiring decisions. These include:

  • Financial cost or rehiring, re-orientation, re-training, re-advertising and potential legal costs
  • Poor staff morale
  • Loss of potential and current customers and new business opportunities
  • Damage to brand
  • Strain on HR or the HR function
  • Workplace toxicity
  • Further time and labour costs in rehiring and covering the bad hire

Which will lead to significant out-of-pocket costs that no business of any size can afford.

If you want to see why getting the hiring right, and planned thoroughly is important, just think if you want to have all these costs and loss hitting your business. If you are heading into a hiring process, and there is one or more steps that are missed or brushed over, it will mean the difference between a quality hire and a costly fail. Additionally, if that plan is not incorporated into overall business strategy, the possibilities of a bad hire impacting business growth via the above hits are staggeringly high.

Thing is, poor hires are those done off the cuff. Usually after some emergency has hit the business (see #9 – Panic Hiring), employers want or need to cover the gap as quickly as possible. This is catalyst for bad hiring decisions, and the lack of a proper plan – heading into the hiring bushwalk without the map, compass and provisions – is probably the most dangerous (and let’s be honest, dumb) action a business can conduct.

Why does this happen? For one, it is the preconceived idea that planning and working through that plan is time consuming, and not worth the hassle. I mean, really, going into a lot of detail to make a hiring decision hardly seems worth it right? Well, let me put it this way, if the only cost in the hiring process is time, you have come out in front. Because as sure as water is wet will a poorly planned and executed hire surely come back and bite you where it hurts.

Another reason is pure ignorance. A fair majority of people who do hiring are not aware of the issues getting it wrong can do to a business and blissfully dive into a hiring activity with nary an idea what to keep an eye out for that could be potentially problematic for them. It’s not until something happens that they realise they have well and truly stuffed up.

Above all, and a common thread throughout the Top 10 Hiring Mistakes; it is complacency that drives poor hiring habits. The second hiring is seen as a bother, or apparently easy to do, or not worth investing time to get it right, is the moment it falls apart.

Hiring needs time, it needs a plan and it needs care. Planning gives a structure that even the most inexperienced employer can follow. When the greater majority of businesses are small or medium and may not have a dedicated recruitment arm much less an HR one, it is important that a structure be in place to allow those charged with hiring the best can do so effectively. Mainly, though, it avoids missing crucial elements that will impact overall decision making and lead to those bad hires…and navigating that dense forest becomes an easy and achievable task.