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Turning That New Hire Into A Success

One of the most important jobs of any business leader is hiring the right team; in fact many would argue that this is his/her most important role. Many times the success or failure of an organization comes down to making strong hires vs. weak ones and of course the smaller the organization the more direct the impact.

Any company leader and/or hiring manager is familiar with the trials and tribulations of recruitment. Finding great talent that fits into a specific corporate culture is no easy task. Strong hiring managers and search consultants should do the usual vetting, ask for referrals within their network; conduct backdoor and official reference checks; have candidates take predictive tests and have candidates interview with key team members. Doing all of these enables a manager to make an offer with certainty and confidence that it’s the right candidate for the position.

The Devil you know!

Of course, we all know managers who think that they don’t need to go out and conduct a search because they have a friend, former colleague or classmate that they are going to hire. Of course, hiring that person can have its advantages, like not spending time and money conducting a search – in fact it’s simply easier. Unfortunately, hiring your buddies or their buddies can easily backfire and more importantly, this can be difficult to correct, after all, who wants to fire a friend or relative?

What to do when it’s not working out?

Whether using a proven consultant or leveraging your personal network, and even when you’ve used every hiring tool in the toolbox, it can happen in every organization that a specific hire doesn’t work out. A few months or even weeks into a new job, even a well-qualified candidate might not be living up to expectations and fitting into the corporate culture for a variety of reasons.

Realistic Expectations

As a hiring manager, you need to set expectations first. Aside from the job description, you need to determine the length of time needed for the person to become familiar with the culture, navigate the structure and to develop a understanding of the company’s resources and/or lack of resources.

Many times I hear from clients that the sales person whom they’ve hired three months ago hasn’t brought in any business. They are frustrated and don’t know what to do. Often their first thought is to fire the person. But before they take action, we tell them to ask themself how long their sales cycle is. Is this person going on meetings? What’s their pipeline look like? Has the client gone on meetings with this person?

A common complaint from hiring managers is they don’t know how a manager spends his/her time and they don’t see any tangible results. I often suggest if the person has been with the company for three months or more, that they ask the person to write up their own job description. Many hiring managers are surprised to learn that their manager’s spec differs from the original job description. Keeping this description in alignment throughout any key sales person’s role, whether through such job descriptions or MBOs that are agreed upon and updated every 6-12 months is vital.

Communication is Key!

It’s important to have constant communication with a new hire. If time allows, set up a one on one weekly meeting. Recently I recommended to a hiring manager that she meet for 20 minutes first thing in the morning with her head of sales to make sure that he was spending his time with the most important prospects and working most efficiently with his sales team. I recommended that she makes the meetings positive and that these mini conversations are for his benefit and will only make him successful. In less than one month, she saw tangible results.

No Time like the Present

Clients are always asking me when it’s a good time to sit down and reevaluate a hire and I usually tell them NOW! If your gut is telling you something is wrong, then something probably is wrong. Too often my clients tell me that they are hopeful a new hire will turn around. Usually I ask my client if hope is their new strategy. Take action, start talking and lead them in the right direction. If someone is not working out in your enterprise, you’re not doing anyone any favors by keeping them around. And you’re not doing your brand any good. Management is hard, or it can be. With a clear plan, you can make it a lot easier on both you and your hires and drive far better results.