The 3 Biggest Reasons to Hire Slowly
Content was originally published on Inc.com on December 9, 2015.
Tom was a surgeon with a thriving bariatric practice. In fact, his biggest challenge was capacity – he was growing so fast that he ran out of surgical slots to do additional procedures, severely impacting his growth.
So he made the decision to hire another surgeon to augment his practice.
This is a critical moment in a business – when you realize that in order to grow you need to make a key hire. From our work coaching thousands of business owners to scale, we see a common pattern. The business owner struggles with the idea of making this key hire, dragging his or her feet. After all, it’s too expensive… they don’t have the time to find this person… they don’t have the time to integrate, train, and work with this person… etc.
And the pattern that plays out is that when they finally reach threshold to make this hire they feel a real urgency to find and hire this person, and in their rush, they often make mistakes.
Here are five reasons why you need to hire slowly. Or better yet, these are the reasons why you need to invest the energy (time, attention, and money) to hiring intentionally.
I am not suggesting that you put off hiring, quite the opposite. Rather, what I am saying is that when you reach your decision threshold and decide you need to make a specific key hire, I’m coaching you to take the added time to go through a clear, deliberate hiring process to increase your odds of making a successful hire, and integrating your new team member in a way that enhances your business and works out long term.
Reason One: A bad hire is extraordinarily expensive.
Let’s go back to Tom, the surgeon. He had 20-30 hours or more of his time tied up in the hiring process (cost: $20,000-30,000). What’s more, the bad hire impacted his office staff, and it impacted the patients this new hire had contact with (cost: priceless).
To the business owner who thinks he or she doesn’t have the time to move slowly in the hiring process and follow a clear process, just know that in my experience rushing a hire lowers your odds of success by a magnitude and you end up paying tens of thousands (and in some cases, hundreds of thousands of dollars) for that bad hire. Can you really afford not to take your time with it?
Reason Two: A key hire is an investment.
Like any investment you’ll need to plan out the cash flow to have the reserves you need to be able to have the time to allow this new hire to more than pay for themselves.
For a medical practice like Tom’s, it may take 6-12-18 months to get to the break-even point in terms of increased patient volume to make the investment of bringing a new provider online pay off.
Reason Three: It’s not about just hiring the right person, you’ve got to integrate him or her successfully into your company.
You have to give your business time to integrate key new hires before bringing on the next, and the next, and the next.
And rarely do business owners come to the plate with the talent of managing higher-level executives in their own companies. It takes effort and patience to cultivate this skill, so give yourself time to learn it well. Plus, while you’re hiring these team members, you still have to operate your company, hence your free time is still limited.
So take it slow. We suggest not bringing on more than one high-level key hire every six months. This will give you and your business the time you need to integrate your new hire into the fabric of your business.
So there you have the three reasons to “hire intentionally”.
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