A good leader knows that when it comes to hiring, they need to map out their hiring needs in advance. A growing business involves such a massive amount of planning, forecasting, and visualization. You’d almost expect to see crystal balls on the desks of every successful business leader out there. Just think about all the things they need to forecast; venture funding, revenue predictions, office space, etc. The list could go on!
Still, even with all that emphasis on forecasting, there is one vital area that is often overlooked—your business’s hiring needs. Stakeholders get caught up in the day-to-day running of the business and scramble to fill roles when the need arises. This is certainly not good. Scrambling is never good, especially when it comes to your hiring needs.
Scrambling for Hiring Needs Could be Game Over
As I say in my book Double Double, if you’re scrambling to hire, it’s game over and you lose.
When I worked at 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, I had our staffing plans mapped out by the month three years out. I had no choice. We were coming off of our sixth straight year of 100% revenue growth. Things were expanding so fast that scrambling for new hires could’ve put us in a hole from which we never could have recovered.
“Compromise, settle, or scramble for someone who is simple “good enough” and soon you’ll have a team of employees with vastly different values, personalities, and work ethics. Good luck getting any top-tier talent to hop on board with that motley crew.” – Cameron Herold Blog
Mapping out our hiring needs in advance was vital then and will always be for every business.
Forecast Your Hiring Needs a Year Out
There is no way to possibly stress this enough, but you need to have your hiring needs forecasted at least a year out. This gives you plenty of time to identify the role needed, define its requirements, seek ideal candidates, and whittle them all down in a robust, pragmatic recruiting process.
You should also have a hiring plan for low growth, average growth, and hypergrowth. It’s vital to be prepared for all contingencies.
Be Ready for Everything
A lot of people scoff at the idea of making hiring plans for low growth. They say and think things like, “We’re an awesome place to work. Great candidates will throw themselves at us!” That’s foolish logic that can really get your company in trouble.
If your business is truly a great place to work, you will likely have a lot of great people clamoring to work with you. That’s great, but you’ll also have hundreds, if not thousands, of other, not so great candidates throwing their hats in the ring. The process of weeding out the duds is exhausting and time consuming. You might eventually find the perfect fit, but the process will take a lot longer than you think. If you’re not prepared, this can put you even further behind.
It’s Harder Than You Think
A problem often faced by young, inexperienced companies is that even if the leaders forecast their hiring needs, they often severely underestimate the difficulty they’ll have in filling it.
Finding the right candidate is hard enough. You need every advantage you can get. Being prepared gives you a chance to recruit on your terms with no stress and no compromise.
Be ready for anything. Finding a great candidate takes work, but it’s definitely worth it. Don’t let hiring be your downfall. Map out your hiring needs in advance!
Do you have any tricks you use to map out your hiring needs? Write them in the comments below!
If you have questions or would like more information, I’d be happy to help. Please send an email, and my team will get in touch with you!
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2016 and has been edited for accuracy and comprehensiveness.