Spring is in full swing here in the Midwest. The leaves are filling in, the grass is growing, and the flowers are showing their colors. There’s an energy of growth and activity in the air.
Even a mild case of spring fever can prompt someone to look for a new job. So as business owners, leaders, and supervisors, we may be in the position now or very soon to do some hiring.
Rather than approaching this task in the same way – by jumping in to find candidates, why not put a new twist on it?
New Point of View
Instead of thinking of hiring as filling a position, remember that you’re building a team. This change in perspective will enable you to look at the issue differently and ask yourself new questions.
Here are a few questions to get you started.
1. What if I start from a clean slate?
An open slot on your team is a great time to rethink the structure of the organization. If you were setting up the organization for the first time knowing what you know today, what would it look like?
Maybe you want to disburse the work of the open position to other team members and use the slot for a new position. Perhaps you want to expand into a new market and this position is the chance to do that.
Use wipe boards, flip charts, and sticky notes to view all of the organization’s outputs and goals, the strengths of each team member, and the resources available. Move things around and put the pieces back together in several different ways.
Invite the entire team to go through this exercise in order to tap the synergy of the group to come up with the optimal structure.
2. What if I focus more on results and less on education and experience?
Does the position really require a degree or could someone have learned to do the work on-the-job through experience? Is 5 years of experience necessary, or could a go-getter with 2 years of experience do an awesome job?
We’re so accustomed to focusing on specific qualifications. What if we shift and concentrate more on determining what results the person has been able to achieve and whether they’ll be able to do so in the job we have open?
Don’t ignore qualifications altogether, just remember it’s only one indication of whether the person will do well in the job. Remember to look at the whole picture.
3. How can I fill in the team gaps?
When a position comes open, it’s a great time to think through the strengths of the group and identify where there might be gaps.
If you have a team full of big-picture planners, you may need someone more practical and detailed to ensure the visions can be turned into reality.
Or if you have a group that agrees on everything, maybe you need someone who is more analytical and asks lots of questions to ensure the group isn’t too quick to agree?
4. How can I ensure a long-term fit?
You’re not just looking for someone who can do the job, you’re looking for someone who wants to do the work you have for them to do and wants to grow with the organization.
A hiring process is a two-way street. The candidates need to have all the information they need to make sure the organization and the position are both something they can be excited about over time.
Get clear on what’s in it for the person who’s applying for the job and discuss those things with the candidate.
5. What if I decide not to rush it?
In a rush to get “butts in seats”, many organizations push the process faster than is effective. Remember that you’re looking for a long-term fit. Hiring and training new people is costly, so take the time needed to avoid a revolving door of people in and out of your organization.
Think of hiring like marriage. You wouldn’t marry the first person you meet when you walk into a party. And most of us wouldn’t get married after the first date.
Take a look at the work that needs to be done. What could be done by other employees without jeopardizing the tasks they already have on their plates?
For the rest of the work that must get done, utilize temporary agency employees, independent contractors, or freelancers to keep things rolling until you find the right member to join your team.
What Ideas Do You Have?
What are your thoughts about using Spring turnover as an opportunity to look at things differently? What other ideas do you have about approaching an open position? Please share in the comment section below!
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People Matters provides support to business owners and leaders in all areas of human resources management including the topics in this article: organizational structure and hiring.
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