Why Your Future Success Just Got A Little Easier: Three Steps To Hiring And Keeping The Right Employees

If you’re like me, you’re always working on growing your company. You probably wear many hats on the job. One of the most important hats you can wear is the person who does the hiring.

Here are the top three things I’ve learned over the years when I’ve put on that hat.

First, when you’re hiring employees, you need to look for someone who can ultimately do your job. When you find and hire that person, you’ll need to put time and genuine effort into training, mentoring and coaching. You’ll also want to continually increase his or her responsibility. A simple way to do that is to frequently test the ability to take on tasks that are currently yours.

What you’re doing is slowly getting the employee ready to do your job, or at least be able to wear one of your many hats. As your business grows, when you’ve hired the right employee, you’ll eventually be able to take off one of those hats and pass it on to that person. And when you do that, you get to move to the next level.

Second, and perhaps even more key than being willing to hire your “replacement,” is developing an eye for employees who also value hiring people of their own caliber. If your future employees aren’t open to that, they won’t fit your team and corporate culture.

You want to avoid that.

Because, if you’ve hired a team that isn’t as capable as you are, you’re ultimately going to get stuck where you are. And what if those team members in turn won’t hire their “replacements?” You’ll end up with a group or department that will fall behind because they’re not developing leaders.

Business team with their heads together in the middle isolated o

You want to get this right because it costs real time and money to hire employees. Your time and your money.

According to data from gethired.com, it can cost nearly $19,000 to hire just one individual. I think that’s a conservative estimate.

And how much time does it take?

There’s the hour and a half to write and post the job listing. Then there’s the time to review all those resumes you’re going to get, and to create a short-list of candidates. Assuming you receive 250 resumes for your posting, plan on 23.5 hours. Then somebody has to pre-screen those candidates, so about four hours for that. Next all those interviews need to be scheduled, and then there’s prepping for the interview. Figure about an hour and a half for all that. If you’re lucky, maybe you came up with six qualified candidates. Now you need to interview each one. What does that take? Maybe a half an hour per applicant. So that’s three hours of your time.

Of course you probably don’t want to be the only person from your company to interview each applicant. Since you’re looking for a corporate culture fit, it makes sense to also utilize existing employees to interview candidates. After that, let’s say you have three candidates left. Somebody must always, always, check references. This needs to include pulling a credit report and checking for criminal records. Next, maybe you schedule a second interview, and administer any applicable tests. Plan on another eight hours for all that.

That’s more than 40 hours of your time per position.

And don’t forget, that’s 40 hours you weren’t taking care of other pressing business, or maybe even generating revenue for your company.

Now for the third hiring step I’ve learned: it’s of paramount importance for a healthy company to continually develop growth opportunities for everybody in the building. This sounds obvious, but don’t underestimate its importance. As you grow, you’re going to need high achievers who are good at what they do.

And you’re going to want to keep them. Without growth opportunities, that’s easier said that done.

A Harvard Business Review study of more than 1,200 employees who were considered to be high achievers, and who were all about 30 years old, determined that this demographic jumped ship, on average, after only 28 months. Why? Many respondents cited dissatisfaction with career development and growth opportunities. What would have encouraged these exiting employees to stay? They indicated training, mentoring and coaching.

When an employee does make an early exit, that’s obviously going to cost you. The American Society for Training and Development, the world’s largest training and development association, estimates that for a small business with only 64 employees, it’ll cost almost $8,000 per employee turnover. Again, I suspect that’s a conservative estimate.

Young couple jumping in water from yacht

Growth companies thrive on employees who want ever increasing opportunity, and can find that opportunity from within your organization – not by jumping ship. A recent Kelly Global Workforce Index report on job satisfaction and “The Meaning of Work According to Employees” determined that, by far and away at 71%, employees want the ability to excel and develop.

Providing that growth opportunity is nearly twice as important to your employees as is their connection with their co-workers, and even how their personal values align with your corporate values.

So while you’re working on growing your company, remember to take the time to also provide growth opportunities for your employees.

Let me know what steps you’ve learned that are key to hiring the right team, and what’s your industry (tech, digital, electronics, manufacturing, restaurants, etc.)? Use the “Submit A Topic” form on the right bar to email me.