When your organization has a critical job open, why does it take so long to fill it?
Every month, within a few days of month end, the finance department produces financial statements. If they cannot meet this goal, you either replace the people or revamp the systems and processes. The same is true in every operational area.
But not in hiring.
When everyone agrees that a position cannot be left vacant, when there is budget money to pay the salary, when the work is essential to your organization’s mission, why is it so common to wait 3 or 4 months to fill it? In a world where we only give someone 3 or 4 hours get back to us on an email, why do we think it’s acceptable to take 3 or 4 months to fill an empty chair? Is it that we can all meet our annual goals by working only 8 or 9 months a year? No, probably not.
So what’s going on here?
I think most organizations settle for slow hiring because hiring is not expected to conform to the same rules that every other business process follows. Set a goal, assign responsibilities, allocate the resources, and run it like a project. Hold people accountable for their delays, report on progress and get it done at a reasonable cost. But when is the last time you actually saw that happen in your hiring? Probably never. Hiring is usually run like some unaccountable volunteer project that only happens after you “get your real work done.” Except staffing your team properly is HOW you get your real work done.
I’m here to tell you a shocking secret – hiring is not some mystical process. It can conform to the expectations you have for every other operational area. You can fill almost every position in your organization in 4 to 6 weeks, not 3 to 6 months. You just need to insist on it and allocate the resources to make it happen.
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