Huge Key to Profits: Hiring the Right Person QuicklyHuge Key to Profits: Hiring the Right Person Quickly
No employer can forecast future sales with 100 percent accuracy, so there is always a bit of art and science involved in deciding when to hire. But once that decision is made, the clock starts ticking, and companies that fill their available positions first — and best — tend to have the competitive advantage in taking on new customers and keeping them happy.
September 5, 2014
By Eric Larson
Every now and then I experience flashbacks. My palms sweat and my pulse quickens. I certainly can’t say I ever experienced combat; I served a stint in the Peace Corps, not the Marines.
No, the painful memories I’m referring to have more to do with business than with a battlefield. The flashbacks hearken back to the five years I spent as hiring manager (and CEO, and Chief of Sales) for a small video production company that I founded.
Small as it was, the company was growing 50 percent a year before the Great Recession wiped out many of my company’s clients (who happened to be situated in the tourism and real estate markets, industries among the hardest hit). I sold the company soon after that, but a lot of the business issues with which I wrestled remain etched in memory.
All small business hires are big hires
What I remember most poignantly is the difficulty in hiring the right people at the right time to do the right job. I hated to turn away lucrative work. At the same time, I couldn’t afford to make a bad hire. Ideally, I’d always find a way to hire an awesome employee when I needed one.
Really, it doesn’t matter what your business happens to be. If you’re growing, you’re likely going to be chasing headcount. And, in general, the longer it takes, the longer you postpone profits. In fact, you might miss the new-revenues boat entirely.
Even if you’re not growing, you’ll see employees leave for newer (if not greener) pastures, and you’ll need to replace those employees as quickly as possible.
The balancing act of hiring
It seems that MSPs can relate. My organization works with MSPs and other employers to place our nonprofit IT-Ready program’s graduates in entry-level roles such as help desk, NOC, and technical support. What we hear from hiring managers is that they, too, struggle to hire job-ready workers in a timely fashion. And because labor is the largest line item in a service business, it’s the most crucial to manage.
Failure to maintain the right level of customer service can impact a business on both the cost and revenue sides of the ledger. Too much churn and the costs of recruitment and training get out of control. Meanwhile, a poor employee or insufficient head-count will impact quality and reduce the number of contracts that your company can sell and support.
No forecast is perfect
What good are extra sales if your margin is erased by paying overtime or hiring expensive contractors as a stop-gap? What is the full cost of losing a customer due to delayed employee response to their needs?
No employer can forecast future sales with 100 percent accuracy, so there is always a bit of art and science involved in deciding when to hire. But once that decision is made, the clock starts ticking. Companies that fill their available positions first — and best — tend to have the competitive advantage in taking on new customers and keeping them happy.
Am I looking in all the available places for new workers?
Am I screening applicants appropriately?
Am I looking for the right credentials?
How can I tell if a job candidate has a good work ethic?
In terms of hiring, what takes priority: technical ability or workplace social skills?
Would more diversity make a positive difference in my workforce?
These are just some of today’s critical questions. What about the issues that impact tomorrow’s IT workforce outlook for your company?
Is our educational system preparing tomorrow’s IT workers?
Where are the leaky points in the IT worker pipeline?
Are today’s children and youth geared toward a career in IT?
Would an internship or apprentice program be right for my company?
I’ll be tackling some of these issues in this regular blog spot. Should you care? You probably should. Whether glaringly obvious or not, your company’s struggle to hire the right person at the right time for the right job is likely hurting your company’s bottom line. Let’s explore some ways to fix that.
You May Also Like