IVP - Andy Unedited - Hiring Haste Makes Workplace Waste

March 12, 2008

Hiring Haste Makes Workplace Waste

It’s always a challenge when an employee leaves unexpectedly. She finds another job. He moves because his spouse took a position out of state. But when that employee was especially excellent or in a particularly critical role, it makes things even tougher. There’s work that needs to be done--important work, work with crucial deadlines looming and no one else to fill in. The pressure to hire and hire quickly works on you, gnaws at you, weighs on you. The temptation is to find the first warm body you can and throw that person at the work. I have one word for you: Resist.

One of the easiest and most common hiring mistakes is to hire a candidate you have doubts about just because you are desperate to fill a position. I don’t think I have ever seen this work. As a manager, you are trading a seemingly short-term fix for a long-term problem.

It’s hard, but the best thing you can do is wait until you have found the right person. It will be hard on you and the rest of the team to be short-handed for a while. But it will be easier on you and on the team if you find someone who is able to pull his or her own weight in the long run.

Otherwise you’ll have team members who resent having to pick up the pieces for the new employee who just can’t seem to get the job done or get it done right. And you will spend an inordinate amount of time trying to get the new employee up to speed, correcting the deficiencies and working through tensions in the team. As a result, the work might even be done as slowly as if the position were still vacant.

Ultimately, you will probably have to work through a way to help this person move on to another job, voluntarily or not. That is never a happy prospect, nor is it quick. Once again, you’ve lost time and effort on the important work that needs to be done.

Take the time to hire well the first time, and save yourself time, money and grief.

One of the easiest and most common hiring mistakes is to hire a candidate you have doubts about just because you are desperate to fill a position. I don’t think I have ever seen this work. As a manager, you are trading a seemingly short-term fix for a long-term problem.

It’s hard, but the best thing you can do is wait until you have found the right person. It will be hard on you and the rest of the team to be short-handed for a while. But it will be easier on you and on the team if you find someone who is able to pull his or her own weight in the long run.

Otherwise you’ll have team members who resent having to pick up the pieces for the new employee who just can’t seem to get the job done or get it done right. And you will spend an inordinate amount of time trying to get the new employee up to speed, correcting the deficiencies and working through tensions in the team. As a result, the work might even be done as slowly as if the position were still vacant.

Ultimately, you will probably have to work through a way to help this person move on to another job, voluntarily or not. That is never a happy prospect, nor is it quick. Once again, you’ve lost time and effort on the important work that needs to be done.

Take the time to hire well the first time, and save yourself time, money and grief.

Posted by Andy Le Peau at March 12, 2008 8:50 AM Bookmark and Share

Comments

And here's an editing/publishing corollary to this post: The best way to publish good books is to sign up good authors at the start. Sometimes we are quick to jump on a proposal because we want the author or topic in our line, and we want to beat the competition to the punch. Sometimes we sign up a book because we like the concept or thesis, even if the writing and execution is weak. We figure we can work on improving and developing the book later in the editorial process. Alas, all too often the manuscript comes in and the author just can't deliver the kind of work the book needed. So we work with what we have and do the best we can.

It's rare that I find the gems where the book's ideas and writing sparkle from the get-go. But when I do, I'm thrilled and grateful. (I'm reading a manuscript right now that I am absolutely loving because of the author's skill in communicating content and illustrating with powerful, evocative stories.)

Comment by: Al Hsu at March 12, 2008 9:48 AM

Andy you hire well even as you married well! Guess Who?

Comment by: Phyllis Lepeau at March 12, 2008 1:57 PM

Al, you are right on target. This is very similar to the idea I discussed in "How a Weak Book Kills a Strong Book" in Andy Unedited in January.

Phyllis, why do I adore you?

Comment by: Andy at March 13, 2008 10:55 AM

Hi, I euphemistic pre-owned to buy just

google

Comment by: Nubspeque at July 13, 2009 9:34 PM

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book cover"Some publishers tell you what to believe. Other publishers tell you what you already believe. But InterVarsity Press helps you believe," says J. I. Packer. Andy Le Peau and Linda Doll describe how this came to be a hallmark of InterVarsity Press in Heart. Soul. Mind. Strength, an anecdotal history spanning the sixty years from the founding of IVP in 1947 to the present day.