Should your company leave an open position unfilled, or settle for a “not-so-perfect” hire? That’s the question many hiring managers are debating right now as they face one of the toughest hiring markets in decades. There are more than 11.3 million open positions as of January 2022, but only 6.3 million unemployed workers. This discrepancy means candidates can be extremely selective when choosing their next role.
Yes, it’s important to be realistic about what’s possible right now. Your dream hire may not be possible. But in some cases, it may be better to leave a position unfilled a little longer than to rush and bring on the entirely wrong hire. Here’s why.
When interviewing candidates, culture is key. Bringing someone on board who’s a good culture fit amplifies everyone’s success, helping teams be more focused, productive, and innovative.
Conversely, a bad culture fit sucks the energy right out of the room (or Zoom meeting). Every company has a different culture, and one person may struggle in certain settings while thriving in others. Nobody knows your culture better than you do, so don’t be afraid to dig deep to learn more about each candidate.
Some questions to consider: What does your candidate value? Do their goals and objectives align with the team they’ll be part of? Will their background and experiences be additive?
Many pre-employment assessments help flesh out these answers. It’s also a good idea to have potential new hires meet several current employees. They should speak with their future manager, some of their peers, and people more junior than them. Getting a well-rounded mix of perspectives will help ensure you’re hiring a good culture fit.
Who you hire also impacts your bottom line. The cost of onboarding an employee is north of $4,000, and that may even be a conservative estimate. Organizations must also factor in the time it takes for current employees to train and educate new hires, the cost of benefits like a work from home stipend, and the ramp-up time that could otherwise be focused on client service.
Of course, when you hire the right people, they make back that initial investment — and then some — with their consistently good work. But if the new hire isn’t a good fit, it could lead to quick turnover, and then you start the process all over again.
To avoid that scenario, be transparent about roles and responsibilities during the hiring process. The more details you offer, the more a candidate can realistically anticipate what’s to come and be sure your position matches what they’re looking to do. Follow up with an inclusive onboarding process that encourages new hires to speak up and ask questions.
Think about when your smartphone introduces a new update. While patching vulnerabilities is a good security practice, these updates promise increased productivity, user enhancements, and other benefits. Yet we often run into bugs and clunky experiences after an update. That slows down our momentum — just like hiring the wrong person does.
Battery drain is a common issue, where your phone loses power faster than before. Similarly, the wrong hire can be a drain on your team, causing extra work and meetings required beyond the onboarding stage. After an update, apps may not work the same on your phone, much like people on your team may need to do work outside their areas of expertise while fixing issues a poor hire might cause. Or perhaps your Wi-Fi or storage becomes clunky, so you find other solutions. If a new hire isn’t running up to speed, employees may request to work with other teammates instead.
Hiring the right person is like how an update should be. They can jump in quickly and pick up where a previous member left off, seamlessly integrate within the team, and keep both you and your clients operating at a high level. But if there’s a lot of hand-holding beyond the initial ramping up phase, or there are consistent mistakes that aren’t fixed, team momentum slows down considerably.
Need help hiring the right people? Get started with my three-step process here.