Planning is always the first step in managing risk. When looking for a new employee, consideration must first be given to what the position is and should be. What does the business need? If it is a new position, have expected outcomes been established? Is there need for a seasoned professional or a junior? If replacing an employee, is the same ten-year-old job description ago going to be reused? Have there been changes to the work and how it is done? Is that position even relevant today?
Hiring a new employee is a huge risk, in fact there are a couple of broad risks that play into the planning of hiring. One is setting criteria to find the right person; the other is having realistic and understandable expectations.
Employers usually know what they want, or what they don’t, but expressing it clearly to a new hire can be challenging. Including enough information for guidance but not so much as to limit innovation is a delicate balance sometimes. When a hire is made, there are many reasons it may not work out, but here are some tips for making the hire more successful.
- Plan the immediate and mid-term needs of the business. Keeping in mind while loyalty in employees is a traditional ideal, the current reality in many sectors is that employees move jobs and/or employers. So, accepting that the new hire may not be there until retirement, give serious consideration to current and mid-term needs rather than long-term, and state them clearly.
- Ensure that other employees know the new hire is coming and are aware of their role. By making coworkers aware of a new hire and sharing how the new hire fits into the operation, people are more likely to accept them and assist them in joining the organization.
- Communicate clearly and often. If the position is an established one with rules and processes, train the new employee on them and ensure they understand. Ask them to paraphrase the instructions/stated expectations to ensure there is common understanding.
If you’ve hired an employee who turns out to be the “wrong” hire, employers owe it to themselves to reflect carefully on what they wanted and how they arrived at what they got. Thoughtful HR planning, which includes reflection, significantly lowers the risk of an unsuccessful hire. Clear articulation in a job description, employment agreement and HR policies are critical components in starting a relationship with new employees.