Keys to success Featured

9:39am EDT February 26, 2004
An organization's human capital plays a vital role in developing and maintaining its competitive advantage, and actions taken during the hiring process can make the difference between success and failure.

Below are some important tasks to consider when establishing long-term, successful hiring practices.

* Have a comprehensive hiring plan taking into account both short-and long-term objectives.

* Establish consensus among leadership regarding not only the type of candidate you are looking for but also the inherent duties and responsibilities for the position.

* Develop a solid job specification.

* Understand the current employment market.

* Act confidently and decisively.

Having a hiring plan in place that takes into consideration both short- and long-term objectives can enable an employer to capitalize on the employment market. The plan should go beyond headcount; it should identify the type of individuals and skill sets the organization will require for future success.

By recognizing the human capital necessary for a competitive advantage, an organization may source the best talent and profit from employment market trends and dynamics. Knowing what you require in the future may allow you to capitalize today.

Consensus among leadership is critical when staffing an organization. Everyone involved in the hiring process should share the same desired outcome. During the interviewing process, candidates should not receive mixed signals regarding their potential future role in the organization.

Make sure the leadership, as well as everyone participating in the hiring process, agrees upon the duties and responsibilities of a prospective employee. By establishing consensus, your interviewing team will send a message that your organization is united and committed.

The development of a job specification that outlines and defines what you want in the prospective employee is very important. This should not be confused with a job description that outlines the inherent duties and responsibilities.

The job specification will give your team focus and direction during the hiring process. By allowing others to share in the development of the job specification, you may also establish consensus. By taking the time to develop a clear job specification that is shared and agreed upon, you'll go a long way toward ensuring a successful hire.

Knowledge of current employment market conditions is crucial during the hiring process. An organization's hiring plan and needs may be dictated by market conditions. Failing to understand the market may lead to a job specification for an individual who does not exist in the current employment market.

Offers of employment and compensation plans are derived from your familiarity with the employment market. Avoid offering too little or too much, do your homework and research the market. Understanding market conditions can also allow an organization with a plan, consensus and specifications of future needs to capitalize and attain the type of professionals it needs.

The actions taken by the leadership during the hiring process demonstrate its ability to make decisions and display confidence. Decisive action is significant when conducting any transaction, and hiring is no different.

Time destroys all deals. Talented candidates are extremely perishable, with new opportunities constantly becoming available to them.

An organization that has defined who it wants and developed consensus needs to act in order not to miss out on the hiring of a key contributor or become a victim of paralysis by analysis.

An organization's greatest asset is its people. Your ability to make strategic hires will define you as a leader. Failing to attract and hire talented professionals can result in failure for an organization.

Successful leaders understand the importance of surrounding themselves with talent. Develop a realistic and shared plan that takes into consideration your human capital needs today as well as anticipates your needs for tomorrow.

Then act. Shawn Fier is business unit manger of Systems Research Inc. Reach him at (847) 585-8806 or sfier@systemsresearchinc.com.