055 – Do This Before You Even Think About Hiring Another Employee
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Hey hey hey! This is Jamie Newman here and thanks for tuning into another episode of the Your Best Manager podcast!
As a quick reminder and review, we kicked off a series a few weeks ago on the Fundamentals of Management where every Monday, I’m talking through the most critical components of managing people. Because if you want to become a great leader you need to be able to execute the fundamentals of management.
So this series really kicked off in episode 46 where I proposed three questions that you must answer if you want to lead others.
- What do you want?
- What’s in your way?
- What are you going to do about it?
Essentially, the message was that if you are serious about growing your career, developing your leadership skills, and pursuing something of value through your profession then you need to get serious about what you want and what actions you are going to take to develop yourself because LEADERSHIP IS HARD.
From there, it’s about understanding your number one responsibility as a manager, which I suggest in episode 49 that your number one responsibility, above and beyond caring for your people, is to produce results. This lead us into episode 52, which was last Monday, where I talked about how to actually execute on that number one responsibility, which is ultimately about striking a balance between driving results and caring for your people.
My solution to this balancing act is to lead shoulder-to-shoulder, on the front lines where you are way more exposed but where you can be an example, where you can coach by showing your team how, where you can set expectations, where you can drive results, and where you can build relationships.
And guess what?! While this series is about the Fundamentals of Management, this core fundamental, this ability to execute on your primary responsibility… sure, it’s the foundation of good management, but it’s also one of the keys to success as a leader.
You see, while you need to be a good manager before you can become a good leader, executing on this particular responsibility IS leadership.
You’ll see this as the series continues, which today we are getting into some more practical manager skills, but as you’ll see, you develop leadership skills through honing and practicing the manager skills we are going to be talking about.
As this series progresses, we’ll be talking about things like hiring, interviewing, running a meeting, measuring performance, setting objectives, utilizing one-on-one meetings, terminating employees, and many other topics like, “well, this is what your job is as a manager”.
These are manager skills.
But, when you do these things well… or maybe I’ll put it this way – you can become a great leader based on how you do these things. This is why you can see all those Manager VS Leader infographics, videos, and articles plastered on LinkedIn.
Because a leader’s job and a manager’s job is the same, but they way they execute is different.
I’m merely suggesting through this series that you can’t skip the manager skills in your effort to become a better leader. If you don’t know how to hire the right people and if you don’t know how to run a meeting… it doesn’t matter how ‘inspiring’ and ‘caring’ you are, you’re not going to be an effective leader.
Back to my first point – your number one responsibility is results. And those results dictate the opportunities you actually have to develop and lead your people.
Alright, I said it would be a quick review, but that was anything but quick.
And with all that said, let’s move into the topic for today: Hiring.
Well, actually we’re not even going to get to the fun part of hiring today because, as you know, my background is in recruiting & human capital consulting which means that I’ve got probably way too much that I’m going to want to say on this topic.
What we are actually doing today is we are going to talk about when to hire. How to make the decision to hire someone and what to do before you even think of posting a job ad or clearing your schedule for interviews. It’s not as sexy as recruiting and hiring, but if you are someone who loves planning… well, maybe this is even sexier than recruiting, who knows!?
Here’s the thing. Hiring someone isn’t cheap, it isn’t easy, and it doesn’t always make your problems go away.
But when your team is falling behind and when opportunities seem just out of reach, hiring someone can seem like a quick fix and just the thing you need!
As a manager, though, it’s not just your job to manage the people you have. It’s also your job to make good decisions about when, how, and who to bring onto your team.
So to help you with this decision-making process, I’m going to present 10 questions that you should ask before you make the decision to bring on a new employee.
These are the questions that the best managers answer before they even think about their recruiting strategy. These are the questions that when they aren’t answered lead to SO MUCH wasted time and sometimes… well, often, wasted money. You miss these questions, you could actually hurt your business and your team.
Here are the questions:
- What’s the business problem?
- What happens if this business problem is not addressed?
- Am I getting the most out of my team?
- What would I do if I couldn’t hire someone new?
- If I already had the person I want, what would they be doing right now?
- Who will train this person?
- How long can I wait?
- How much will this cost?
- What options do I have internally?
- What options do I have externally?
Yes, it takes answering all 9 questions before a good manager even gets to the point of looking at recruiting options and recruiting strategy.
From there, it’s time to get any approvals you need, put together a job description, and get started!
Okay, so there’s a lot of stuff in those 10 questions and while we’ve covered a lot here, I want you to recognize how this first step is worth the 30-minute exercise it may take to go through all 10 questions.
For starters, if you want to be a better manager, you need to be able to make wise decisions. Wise decisions come from analyzing problems, considering solutions, and evaluating your options.
Beyond this, if you have an internal approval process before you are able to hire someone, these questions help you build that case so that when you sit down in your boss’s office to tell him or her that you need to hire someone new and you need the budget for it… you’ve covered every angle and you are able to talk about the impact and opportunities for the business… Not just your emotional state because you’re tired and a new hire is going to make you less tired.
Finally, when you ask these questions, you won’t waste your time or money.
You’ll know exactly what you need and how to get it.
You’ll have evaluated all your options and either decided to hire a new employee to better support your team, which when done well can improve team performance, team morale and ultimately opportunities for your employees.
You may instead decide through this process that you are your team are better served by banding together and overcoming the obstacle or business problem together, which shows trust, builds comradery, and again, results in improved team performance and ultimately new or more opportunities for your staff to develop and grow their careers.
Next Monday, we’ll talk about the next step of hiring, which is building a job description. I’ll talk about what works, what doesn’t work and what the biggest mistake is that most managers make when they create a job posting!