Have you hired in the last year and upon reflecting realized that you didn’t think big enough, that there were parts of the role that you minimized until you had the person on board? Let’s take a look at hiring big enough, so that the next time you hire someone for a key position, you’ll have thought it through and will be able to explain to candidates all the key aspects of what you want that person to handle and do.
I recently encountered a situation where a key role had turned over twice in the last five years, and the incumbent was not getting it done either. Sometimes you learn a lot from decisions where you’re not happy with the person you hired.
Before you do that again, as the hiring manager, whether you’re an owner or an executive or a department manager, think about, what do you still do that you really wanted that last hire to be able to handle?
For example, yes, you want someone to run your operation, handle production, handle quality, and manage the team. Do you also want them to deal with customers and prospective customers, and be a part of the new business development function as well?
Here are three tips to help you hire big enough:
- Ask yourself and one or two key members of your senior team what you want this job to accomplish over the next 1 to 3 years, and all the possible responsibilities this could involve. Challenge yourself to think about aspects of the job you don’t traditionally expect an operations leader to do; for example, be part of the sales team. Yet you may need someone who offers the skill set of talking to customers.
- Have you linked this job to your growth strategy for the business? Think about what you want to accomplish with your business; for example, if you want to grow your business by 10 percent on the average over the next 5 years, and over the last 5 years you have not accomplished that, how are you going to operate your business differently. What are some of the things this new hire will help you to do differently to grow that top-line number.
- Use outside counsel to get a different perspective than yourself and your internal team. This could look like an advisory board or membership in a business-owner peer group, or seeking out a one-on-one trusted advisor such as your accountant, lawyer or a search consultant, someone whose opinion you value and input you trust. Meet with them before beginning the interview process, talk it through and give yourself a chance to really examine all aspects of this hiring profile before you go out and find that candidate,
If you do these three things, it will be time well spent, thinking of the cost of a key hire as a good investment, and saving you from the burden of the cost of a bad key hire. This will make your business that much stronger.
If we can assist you as an executive search firm, we are available to have conversations about where your business is headed next and what you need in hiring a key person. Contact us on email on send a text.
Read more articles by Dan Toussant at Dan Toussant, Executive Recruiter’s contributor archive page.