Have you hired in the last year and upon reflecting realized that you didn’t think big enough, that there were parts of the role that you minimized until you had the person on board? Recently encountered a situation where a key role had turned over twice in the last five years, and the incumbent was not getting it done either. Sometimes you learn a lot from decisions where you’re not happy with who you hired.

Before you do that again, as the hiring manager, whether you’re an owner or an executive or a department manager, think about, what do you still do that you really wanted that last hire to be able to handle for you?

For example, yes, you want someone to run your operation, handle production, handle quality, manage the team. Do you also want them to deal with customers and prospective customers, and be a part of the new business development function as well?

So tip number one: Ask yourself AND one or two key members of your senior team, what you want this job to accomplish over the next 1 to 3 years, and all the possible responsibilities this could involve, Challenge yourself to think about aspects of the job, for example, you don’t traditionally expect an operations leader to be part of the sales team, yet you may need someone who offers that skill set, of talking to customers.

Second tip, have you linked this job to your growth strategy for the business? If you think about what you want to accomplish with your business, for example, if you want to grow your business by 10 percent on average over the next 5 years, and over the last 5 years you have not accomplished that, how are you going to operate your business differently , and what are some of the things this new hire will help you to do differently to grow that tip-line number.

The third tip is to use some outside counsel to get a different perspective than yourself and your internal team. Whether it’s an advisory board or membership in a business-owner peer group, or seeking the one-on-one trusted advisor such as your accountant or lawyer or a search consultant, someone whose opinion you value and whose input you trust. Meet with them before beginning the interview process, talk it through and give yourself a chance to really examine all aspects of this hiring profile before you go out and find that candidate.

If you do these three things, it will be time well spent, utilizing the cost of a key hire as a good investment, and saving you from the burden of the cost of a bad key hire; for the long term, making your business that much stronger.

If we can assist you as an executive search firm, we are available to have conversations about where your business is headed next and what you need in hiring a key person. Contact us at the number or email address listed below.

Dan Toussant, your Executive Recruiter, shares planning tips for hiring sales professionals. He suggests hiring managers consider three things: Expectations, Testing, and the Process and Timeline. Tune in for the details.

Visit Dan’s website, Dan Toussant & Associates, for more recruiting information.

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