It’s always important to make sure you hire the right person for the job, even more so when you’re looking for a senior employee. Here’s what you need to do to avoid making a hiring mistake.
1. Have aligned and agreed job specifications, KPIs and definitions of success
It’s imperative that HR and hiring managers have a comprehensive job specification, agreed KPIs and a ‘definition of success’, along with the likely impacts the role will have on the business, which have all been signed off by all essential stakeholders.
This must also be combined with an honest assessment of the current state of play within the business. Having this in place will ensure a successful hire.
2. Assess your company's culture and determine the 'ideal' cultural fit
Everyone underestimates the importance of cultural fit until they get it wrong. Then both the candidate and hiring manager are in pain.
Cultural fit is the glue that holds an organisation together, so it’s essential before the hiring team starts the process that they have defined and articulated the organisation’s culture – its values, goals, and practices.
It’s important to understand that hiring for cultural fit doesn’t mean hiring people who are all the same, either.
3. Take note of the current market
Take time to study the market and sector trends and forecasts when looking to hire senior staff.
For example, if it is a competitive market for employers seeking executives, then this could push recruitment resources to their limits. Having this intelligence means hiring managers/HR are able to flex their recruitment strategies and tools to attract the right talent.
Little understanding of the realities of the market and poor timing of the search request will often lead to a rushed hire or no one at all.
4. Run the recruitment process as a project
The biggest change that will be observed when looking to fill senior and executive roles is the scale of the operation, particularly with regards to time.
Therefore, ensure there is a structured hiring process and project plan, complete with timelines, milestones and agreed skills/competencies documented, as this is important for both employers and candidates.
Go beyond the typical interview to test the candidate both technically and culturally – but don’t stretch it out.
5. Plan a 30, 90 and 180 day onboarding strategy
Hiring executives and corporate leaders should be held accountable for the recruitment and onboarding process, properly identifying competencies and key capabilities, and creating a 30, 90 and 180 day onboarding plan.
Mark O’Connor is the founder and director of Perceptor, an executive search and selection practice.
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