by Patricia Frame on February, 2012

Are you hiring? Or do you plan to soon? In Metro DC, hiring has grown significantly over the past year across many fields. Yet too many organizations have lost the ability to hire effectively.

Many managers seek a match to a long list of specifications and wait to find the ‘perfect’ candidate – ignoring the impact of the work going undone or dumped on others. No-one quite remembers the best processes to find and hire the needed talent quickly or effectively.

The myth of the over-qualified
I hired a receptionist once who had been a psychiatric nurse for many years. And only after a long fight with executives who were sure she would not succeed or stay. The software company had gone through receptionists so rapidly that even the temp companies were becoming unwilling to send candidates. But what I ascertained in interviews was that this RN understood the realities of the receptionist role and wanted to be in a job like that long term. She took the job – and stayed, plus she significantly expanded the support she provided other departments.

Customers raved, staff loved her, and executives congratulated themselves for hiring someone so ‘outside the box.’

The myth of ‘regular, full-time only’
When I moved into my condo, the front desk job was held by two men – both had been executives when younger and were now retired. They were job-sharing and stayed with us for many years. They managed their own schedules and no subs were needed. Residents with problems got solutions.

Residents got great service and raved about them. Emergencies were handled calmly and effectively. Management got continuity plus most problems were solved rather than escalated.

Consider your options
If you are in a growth or re-building stage, you need people who can pitch in across functions and get the job done. Sometimes a sharp young person brings just the right blend of knowledge and enthusiasm. Other times a more experienced person adds a wider range of expertise and breadth to meet your goals. Sometimes you might hire a part-time professional, allow tele-commuting, or a job share. And those are just the obvious solutions.

But no matter what, you need to know how to present your organization to attract the ‘right’ talent and how to assess and select the best matches to your needs. (Yes, we can help.)

Recruiting the right people in a timely manner is a critical element of success. Growth, revenues/funding, and reputation may be at risk. Have you recently looked at how effectively you are staffing your operations? Do you know where you are having problems in attracting people? In hiring them? In retaining them after you hire?


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