Get the Mission Right

All too frequently we see companies begin hiring processes without enough thought as to the profile of person to be hired relative to the mission. In fact, when it’s time to recruit, hire, and onboard, the most common approaches are routine and rote, prone to misjudgement and error. The process is costly and, in the end, unfruitful.

To get off to the right start begin with the mission for the person you hire –

What do I expect them to achieve in their first 100 days? Six months?  (How will you measure them and what objectives will you set)

What challenges will they face?  (Be realistic and consider stakeholders, timescales, budgets and decisions)

What strengths will they need to bring to the table?  (What is lacking in the team? What must they bring? What can you develop in them?)

Who will they need to become in 12 months’ time?  (What development do you expect to see? How will they grow in this role? What’s in it for them?)

A mission is exactly that. When you are clear on the answers to the above questions you can then start to profile the individual, who would be able to succeed.

Copy and paste job descriptions often are the precursor for delayed hiring processes and the discovery of bad hires, once someone has started. If you have ever found yourself in these situations:

  • Interviewing people who look good on paper but weren’t right once you met them
  • Redefining your hiring criteria having been through an interview process once already without success
  • Hiring someone with the right experience, qualifications and biography only for them to be unable/less capable to do what is required
  • Feeling uncertain about the candidates you’ve interviewed without being able to put your finger on why, other than “just not quite right”

With only a job description to work from, whatever your route to market to find talent, your ability to hire the right person is greatly diminished. The most talented people are less interested in the duties and responsibilities of the role. Those who are not fully aware of their own capabilities (and failings) will presume that they can do it (it reads similar enough to what they do now) and your HR team will have little to help them screen CVs beyond buzzwords.

This leads to a potential bad hire, the cost of which could include:

  • Recruitment advertising fees and staff time.
  • Relocation and training fees for replacement hires.
  • The negative impact on team performance.
  • The disruption to incomplete projects.
  • Lost customers.
  • Outplacement services.
  • Weakened employer brand.
  • Legal fees.

When you are clear in your own mind as to the true mission, you can develop a person specification of the individual you wish to hire. Everything in the person spec can then be tested against the mission, to make sure you set the criteria for a successful hire.

“Clients tell us that as they develop the mission, it becomes clearer that sometimes a contractor is required to deal with the initial problem and then a long-term permanent employee is hired once the biggest challenges have been dealt with.”

In summary, when you’re hiring it is important to follow this recommended checklist to help you focus on finding the right person and to ensure you have set our own hiring mission –

Why am I hiring? (What is the problem that needs solving? What would happen if I didn’t?)

Why is it important to hire? (What are the consequences of a good hire? Of a bad hire?)

 How much time do I have? (What is the earliest I could accommodate someone? How long could I be without someone before it become business critical?)

What is the mission for the first 100 days? Six months?

What is the profile of person I need to hire? (What strengths do they need to bring? Capability levels? Attitude? Behaviours?) 

What is the internal hiring process? (Who is involved, what is the decision process, timescales and intervals, milestones)

How will I know if they are the right person? (Assessment, testing, aptitude, due diligence)

What budget do I need? (Contractor? Salary? Benefits? Advertising? Time allocation? Recruitment fees?)

What are my options to find someone? (Route to market? Risks of failure, timescales and availability of talent all impact on this decision)

At Vivo Talent we spend time with our customers to help build the 100 day plan for roles, create compelling inclusive job descriptions that plot the medium and long term objectives of the role. For help in doing this please make contact and our team will help.