Take your time when you hire but be certain to fire fast. It seems like Moses brought this message down from the mountain. People have been repeating it for so long that it has taken on an aura of correctness. Too bad it is wrong. Let me show you what I mean.
I had a discussion with an executive coach recently who was telling me how he was counseling his clients to take their time in hiring. I asked him why he was counseling this. His answer was that it only makes sense to take your time hiring so you don’t make a mistake and have plenty of time to compare candidates. Seems to make sense. But, not so fast my friends. This is a lousy piece of advice. Hiring must be done a fast as possible. Let me explain.
It all starts with understanding why you would hire a person in the first place. The only real reason you hire a person is to satisfy a business need. People are tools that help your business solve problems. Most problems are costing your business money or at least opportunity. Why then would you want to take a long time to solve a problem?
The longer you take to address the problem (hire a person) the more it is going to cost your company. I tell my clients that once they have identified a business problem that needs to be solved by a person it cost them money every day that position remains open.
Of course this does not mean that you cut corners or just hire the first person who walks into your office. You should never violate your due diligence. It does mean you need to move as fast as possible to hire that person. A good system (like my Selecting Winners System) supports your sense of urgency.
The other assumption the coach made was that moving slow would improve his decision. Not so. The quality of your decision is going to be tied to the effectiveness of the process you use to make the decision. Not the speed at which the decision is made. A flawed process doesn’t care how fast you are moving. The result is still a poor decision.
Finally, he said that moving slow gave him the opportunity to compare candidates against each other. Why would you want to? This is another of those flawed strategies that has been around forever. Most people will interview 3-4 candidates and then hire the best of the bunch.
But, if none of the candidates were very good, you end up hiring the best of the worst. This will always be a possibility when you compare candidates. The better strategy is to compare each of the candidates against a pre-determined standard. In my Selecting Winners System we use a performance-based success profile that acts as the template of success. Each person is measured against the template. No one gets hired if no one meets or exceeds the standard. You can’t fall into the best of the worst trap.
Take your time and think about the advice you get or read about when it comes to hiring. Or better yet, contact us here at Selecting Winners and we will be happy to share out 35+ years of experience.