Sometimes it feels like it’s easier to find water in the Sahara desert than find a good employee. Many say that gold is a valuable resource, when in fact good people you can count on are the true scarce resource on this planet.
And this is not due to the fact that there aren’t good people. Heck, they are everywhere. What is hard to do is find the right people that can fit inside the company culture and also fit together with their managers.
It’s like a never ending puzzle. There are so many combinations to consider, so many variables that it makes hiring a nightmare. And so most managers and leaders avoid hiring and do as little of it as possible.
And because they don’t have the right people in the right spot, or because they don’t have a network of capable people ready to step into and fill the shoes of any employee, they hold on tight to each of them. Strangling them out of fear and desperation: “What will I do if they quit. With whom will I replace them?… But they are awful employees, making working at my company a nightmare for the good ones” – you know, thought like that.
If you aren’t hiring all the time you will soon get caught between a rock and a hard place. You will have under performing employees and no guts to get rid of them because they still get some stuff done. And who will take care of that workload, as little and bad as it is. The good people are already overworked and will walk out if more is dumped on their backs.
So the key to building by design a great work environment and to keep it great is to hire all the time. Hire even if you don’t have an open position. And hire for all the positions you have inside the company. Even the cleaning lady – if you can afford the luxury to have one.
You never know when a top performer walks in through the door applying for one of the positions you already have filled. What should you do then?
My advice is: hire him on the spot. Don’t think about it. A top performer will pay for himself really fast and he might even pay for some of the underperforming people on his team – which is not fair to the top performer, mind you.
You HR department should be buzzing along all day long searching and sifting through applicants, bringing bright eyed and highly motivated people before you. And do it each day the company is open.
You, yourself should be constantly on the lookout for great talent. They might be at a party or social event you go to, at a coffee shop… so keep your talent sniffing antennae up at all times.
And remember: don’t evaluate only their skills, also evaluate how well they would fit into your company culture and how well they jive with their future direct manager. That way you will unleash all the dormant potential in the new hire.