A bad hire is more than just frustrating, it’s costly. Bringing in an employee who turns out to be a poor fit will cost your company in unnecessary payroll, wasted time and possibly even unhappy customers.
Success in hiring starts long before you interview a candidate, with a process that I call “Getting Clear.” Clarity is the effort you put in before you even post a job ad or start interviewing. By determining ahead of time why you need this role, what its responsibilities will be, what results you expect from the new hire in this role and what activity levels they will need to maintain to get those results, you can create a stronger job description that sets expectations and objectives clearly up front. This will guide not only those applying for the position but the way in which you recruit, interview and, ultimately, make your final decision.
Creating this clarity requires some deep thinking into both the position and the candidate. Before hiring anyone, you need to be able to answer “Yes” to each of these questions:
1. Is it worth it? Is it worth the time, cost and energy required to hire someone? Will the end result make it worth the effort? It’s exciting to think about hiring, but it’s so important to remember all the actual work that goes into turning a hire into a successful employee.
2. Can you clearly set expectations for the activities and results? Do you have clear activity and result expectations for the first 90 days, 180 days and first year? Are you prepared to communicate it with potential hires and make sure it’s reasonable?
3. Are you ready, willing and able to train and support them for at least the next three months? Even if they have years of industry experience, it will still take time for them to get to know your products, processes and philosophy.
4. How long can you “carry” this person before they need to start paying for themselves? The reality is, it takes most salespeople four to six months to start covering their payroll costs, and non-sales positions have a similar payback time. Can you afford to wait that long?
This process isn’t simple, and there are a lot of variables to consider. But it’s much easier to get clear before you hire someone than regret it when you have an underperforming employee you’re paying to disappoint you.
Rikka Brandon is the founder and chief executive recruiter of Building Gurus, a boutique executive search and consulting firm that works exclusively with kitchen and bath and building product companies across the U.S. Rikka is a member of NKBA’s Leadership Recruitment Committee. She is also the author of the Amazon bestseller Hire Power. This article was originally published on the NKBA website here.