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Stop Plugging Holes with Holes

A difficult task for any hiring manager is to secure top talent for open positions. Depending on the position it is challenging to find talent with the skillsets needed to step in immediately and make an impact. Most companies realize the need for talent, but become discouraged in waiting and make the mistake of hiring the wrong people to fill important positions. Money is wasted in onboarding and the employees leave quickly because they do not like the position, or they leave to make more money elsewhere. This leaves a position to be filled and the process to find the right person continues.


I have trained many hiring managers and provide them with this wisdom in getting the right employees to fill critical needs. Following this process will prevent companies from hiring prematurely and not giving the right consideration to candidates before making an offer.


  1. Know what you need. Before you hire, do a thorough assessment of your department to determine who you need to fill the position. Some positions do not need to be filled. Instead consider consolidating responsibilities. In many companies, people are paid full time salaries to do part time work.

  2. Write a good job description. The job description should detail the minimum and mandatory requirements for the position including education and experience. Make sure the duties are specific. This will ensure the people who apply (most of them) have the knowledgebase and experience needed to make an immediate impact.

  3. Make the money right. The talent market is very tight and good talent can almost write their ticket. If you want to add value to your staff be prepared to pay for it. You will get what you pay for; therefore, make sure you have deep pockets. Offer a respectable salary and benefit package.

  4. Put your company on "glow mode." People looking for work have criteria for their desired company. Polish your company and make sure it stands out. Make it difficult for talent to refuse an offer from you, even if the money is less than they could make in the market. If you company does not glow it won't grow.

  5. One band. One sound. If your current team does not look like a team, your department will be unattractive to potential talent Make sure your staff is in sync and always puts their best foot forward. Candidates will look for harmony and dissention. If they see fragments, they will look for other opportunities.

  6. Don't sell swamp land. If you know your company is a work in progress, be transparent. The worst thing you can do as a hiring manager is paint a picture that your company has no problems. Every company has problems. Be honest about your current position. Honesty and integrity always win.

  7. Put aces in their places. You may have people within your company looking to move or promote; however, they may not have the right skillsets needed to make your department high performing. Direct internal candidates to their best fit, even if that is not with you. Look outside your doors if necessary. Don't hire due to pressure. Hire because you found the right person for the right assignment.

It is a waste of time to hire someone for a position without capacity to fill it. Make sure your recruiting team knows what to look for in candidates and how to identify those people. Build efficiency, productivity, and reliability. These are the benchmarks of a high performing team.

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