Three Tips to Streamline Your Hiring, Part 1

I spent the day consulting with a client who might sound just like you. He's a senior manager in a small company. He's overworked, trying to perform too many roles by himself. He's the CTO, Scrum Master for as many as three teams (yes, I gave him the evil eye), the tool master, managing about 20 people directly (he has three leads, but he writes all the reviews), and he's doing all the recruiting. He's drowning in work. You're not surprised, are you?

When I talk to people like this client, they share the same frustrations. They can't find people who can come in Day 1, and start to work. They can't find enough people fast. They see a ton of people, most of whom are wrong. Their hiring is stuck.

If that is your problem, here are tips that might help you:

  1. Talk through all of your problems in the organization with a trusted adviser, confidant, or consultant. We spent about 45 minutes first discussing what my client's problems were. When I realized how many roles he was taking on himself, and what his hiring process was, I could make immediate suggestions for improvement. If you don't know the problems, you can't see the forest for the trees. You need to go meta in order to know what to suggest on the ground. We did decide he had at least one of the right jobs open, and that he needed four more open positions.
  2. Make sure you do a thorough job analysis of the open jobs. We timeboxed the analysis of a “senior engineer” position to 30 minutes. I asked him questions, and pushed and prodded when he was vague. People are vague the first time through. It's okay. That's why it helps to have someone who can push back and help you be less vague talk with you. By the end of the 30 minutes, we had several unique opportunities for this specific role, something that would make someone want the job.
  3. Write an ad that creates a compelling opportunity. If you need one, write a job description with bullets. Since he needs a new person, he needed an ad more than he needed a bulletized job description. He asked me: was it okay to write an ad in sentences? I answered, What would you rather read, bullets or a compelling ad? He smiled and said, “The ad, hands down.”

This started to streamline his hiring from the sourcing perspective. But wait, there's more! Read about tips for recruiting in Three Tips to Streamline Your Recruiting Process, Part 2.

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