“How do you hire?” “We suck”

13 May 2018
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I got to spend a couple hours talking about hiring last week with Miche Rayment, who runs The Hire Effect and wrote a book by the same name.  Since we’ve both worked with growing companies to define hiring processes and hire key positions, we shared some stories and developed some tools to help people decide how they should approach hiring.

I had the most fun when we were brainstorming what to call the “hiring strategy” of the many companies that, well, don’t have a hiring strategy.  It went something like this…

“They just decide they’re going to hire someone, and start looking, and then find somebody and hire them.”

“It’s like they just go pull someone in.”

“It’s like a vacuum.  They flip a switch, and then wave around a tube that’s sucking in whatever gets near it.”

“That’s it – it’s the Suck Strategy of hiring!”

“How do you hire?  We suck!  Hahahaha.”

That was the most fun part of the conversation.  The most interesting to me was when we talked about how much time a company should spend on a hire.

Let’s be honest – most companies don’t have the flexibility or discipline to go through a highly rigorous process with every hire.  (Some hiring guides espouse taking months with each candidate!  That is just unrealistic for most companies.)  On the other hand, some roles and situations demand a lot of structure and steps in the hiring process.

So, what are the factors that a small company leader should look at to decide how much time to spend on a hire?  There are just a few I look at:

  • Importance of the role:  bigger impact of the role = more time hiring
  • Newness of the role:  uncertainty of what the role is and what kind of person to hire for it = more time hiring
  • Availability of talent:  hard to replace a bad hire = more time hiring
  • Pace of growth:  faster growth = more growth issues coming up faster = more need to hire the right person = more time hiring
  • Degree of competition:  more competition = higher need to perform = more need to hire a strong performer = more time hiring

There are many situations when a company can just Suck to find an acceptable employee.  But if any of the factors I list above apply to you or a position you have available, you should spend the “extra” time in your hiring process to find the right/best person.  In those situations, the consequences of hiring are significant.