Hiring right vs. hiring fast

Sometimes you think you just need a body. Someone leaves abruptly because of health reasons or they’ve found another job, and it’s not fair to make your other employees pick up the slack. You don’t want to hire the wrong person, even if it’s temporary. So, how do you find quality people fast?

I think the most important thing is to always be prepared. If you’ve got resumes already on file or candidates in the back of your mind, half the battle is over.

Put processes in place

In this month’s cover story, iPipeline CEO Tim Wallace, who has helped shepherd several large companies through rapid growth — such as XeroxConnect and FullTilt Solutions Inc., among others — shared some insights on hiring.

iPipeline, which was founded in 1995, has grown from 35 employees to 450 employees in the past six years alone. On average it has hired 100 employees annually for the past three years.

“The biggest mistake that you can make, when you grow that fast and you have to hire that quickly, is not putting the right hiring criteria in,” Wallace says. “You must hire people who are going to be successful in their roles and fit into the organization.”

He believes strongly in aligning people with your organization’s core values, culture and work environment — which you should already have defined.

iPipeline also tests on business methods and skill sets, as well as administering a psychological test.

“We build fairly strict adherence to policies about the type of people we’re looking for,” Wallace says.

Again, preparation is critical. You need to build out the processes, policies and procedures that ensure the right candidate flows quickly from the job posting to filling the empty role before you actually need him or her.

Making it a priority

Hiring shouldn’t be something you just think about a few times a year, when you’re scrambling to find employees.

And if you feel like you don’t have time to figure out how to get the right methodology in place, then maybe it’s time to make it an internal priority. Or maybe it’s time to outsource the work to someone who can put the necessary effort and thought into it.

Day-to-day operations move fast in business, but you don’t want them to move so fast you forget one of the biggest things I hear from executives and business owners time and time again: “Our people are our biggest resource.” “We wouldn’t be anywhere without good people.” “Our employees are our most important asset.”

If that’s the case, then are you taking as much care as you should getting the right assets in place, developing the ones you’ve got and preparing for the natural turnover that enviably will happen?