The economic shifts and technological advances of the 21st century have permanently left a mark on the job market.
In the digital age, employers have a virtually endless supply of recruitment platforms and tools to find the right hire and create value for their shareholders.
But in a job market where employers are drowning in opportunity, there are five key questions that need to be answered before beginning the recruitment process.
Do you really need to add to your payroll? Is there a more cost-effective solution that preserves shareholder value? Is specialization or cost-reduction more mission critical? Where will you find your talent, and how much will it cost you?
The balancing act of increasing value while minimizing costs is a skill that’s critical to a strong leader. So, let’s start with five simple questions to assess your strategic planning better.
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1. In-House Versus External
If you’ve decided to add a new role to your organization, will you look outside or inside the company for talent? According to an insightful blog article written by Paul at Fair Rate Funding, “…An external hire only makes sense when the pool of internal applicants are woefully inadequate for the role, or poaching talent from a competing company offers a strategic advantage…”
If your employees feel that they are valued, they are more likely to stick around and provide value to the organization. But just because an employee is currently with the company doesn’t make them valuable.
Honestly assess your team and decide who your most valuable employees are. Then, focus on training and promoting them to positions of greater responsibility. This helps to preserve your company’s culture (something we’ll touch on again shortly).
2. Full-Time, Part-Time or Contract
If you’ve determined that an outside hire is necessary to add value to your organization, you’re in luck. Finding affordable talent has never been easier. Sites like UpWork and Fiverr allow for companies to quickly scale and bring on outside talent.
The most effective hiring strategy that I've personally utilized is a delayed on-ramping of new employees. Instead of hiring a single candidate for a full-time position, I start by hiring multiple contractors to complete assignments on-demand.
Then, only after I’ve worked with a set of candidates for a number of months, I offer the best contractor a long-term position with the organization. Starting with a contract-based recruitment process allows for a better measure of an individual's strengths and reliability.
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3. Combine Areas of Responsibility or Increase Specialization
Before you make the decision to hire or promote an individual into a role, you’ll need to explore whether it’s possible for your existing team to effectively take on the responsibilities you’re hiring for.
For example, hiring a receptionist might seem like a great idea at first, but you could easily train an intern to answer the phones while still completing his/her daily responsibilities.
Although, in many cases specializing still makes more sense than merging together responsibilities. For example, bringing on or promoting a full-time marketing officer could increase your brand’s value. But, before you run off and hire a marketing specialist, you might also want to consider working with a marketing agency.
For any hire, you’ll want to weigh the pros and cons of hiring an individual vs. an agency to complete the work your company needs.
4. Long-Term vs. Short-Term Hire
Another important variable in your company’s hiring and recruiting efforts is understanding the term of employment. Many positions, while critical today, might become redundant as your company scales.
For example, many startups work with a talented web designer to create a strong footprint online, but as the company scales, in-house marketing and design personnel can take on the role of a digital media curator.
The opportunity to specialize as you scale is an important ingredient for long-term success. With this in mind, your company needs to be honest and transparent with job candidates.
They need to understand that your startup is a living, breathing organization who’s needs will change from year to year. To help facilitate the acquisition of quality candidates while remaining flexible, your organization needs to invest in employee knowledge and culture.
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5. Importance of Company Culture
The culture of an organization defines the long-term success (both internally and externally) of the brand. Your customers will come into contact with your company via a variety of mediums.
Whenever a customer experiences your company (in-person, online or over the phone), they are creating an impression of your company that will impact their future purchasing decisions.
If your startup is growing, as we mentioned in the section above, you’ll want to focus on hiring in and grooming a strong company culture among employees. If your team believes in the mission and enjoys the working environment, they are much more likely to stick around and evolve in their roles, alongside the organization.
A Clear Vision Encourages Employee Buy-In
Your brand relies on the people that make up your team to fulfill and dictate the brand promise. A mission statement is just a set of words on paper until your team breathes life into the business plan.
The market is then given the opportunity to decide whether that business plan lives, dies or evolves. Thankfully, 21st century hiring offers many avenues to finding great talent.
If you can answer the aforementioned five points with conviction, your hiring process has a much better chance of matching incredible candidates with the opportunities your company provides.