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I’m sure you have heard people say, “It’s okay if I take my time hiring. I’ll know the perfect candidate when I see him.” Unfortunately, it seems the hiring process is one business discipline where many people think it is perfectly acceptable if there is no time limit or deadline date associated with making the hire. This month, we will talk about this fallacy and the true cost of a vacancy in your organization and how you can save money, and even make money, by hiring in a timely fashion.

Here are 3 tips on how to hire the “top performer” faster.Phil Kemper

1. Have a deadline date

Just like any other task in your business, hiring should have a deadline or completion date. Can you imagine if your number one salesperson told you he was going to hit his quota “maybe this month but that could slip a month or two”? Or what if your marketing department manager told you that the website revisions critical to your new product launch would be “done when they are done”? As a manager, you wouldn’t stand for it. Why tolerate it in hiring?

Pick a reasonable date that you would like your new employee to start. In this market, that would realistically be anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks, depending on level of position.

If interview schedules, travel schedules, difficulty identifying candidates, etc., put the date back a bit, don’t fret too much. But always pick a date and use that as a goal.

2. Know how much the unfilled seat is costing your company

Sometimes, hiring managers think they might be actually saving money (salary, benefits and taxes) by not hiring. Au contraire! You’re losing money. This is especially true if you are hiring for a salesperson.

Here’s how to calculate exactly how much you are really losing:

Take the annual quota that you assign to your salesperson. For the sake of simplicity, let’s say that’s $1.2M per year. If you assume there are 200 selling days in the year (365 days minus vacations, holidays, weekends, etc.) that means your salesperson is responsible for $6,000 per day of revenue. That means that you are losing $6,000 every day that position is open. If you had to sit down and write a check for $6,000 at the end of every day that seat was unfilled, I’d be willing to bet that hiring would go to the top of your priorities.

While it’s easy to calculate the loss of revenue for the sales positions, other positions in the organization have associated hidden losses, such as fellow employees doing more than their jobs because of the vacancy, morale issues because of over-work, etc.

Don’t forget these less-than-obvious, but just as significant, costs.

3. Get your team on board

More than likely, your deadline for hiring will be impacted by your team. If candidates have to meet with people other than you, make sure the process is spelled out and whoever else is interviewing knows there is a deadline, or at least a target date. If you are all shooting at the same target, your chances for success are greatly increased.

And remember, it’s not that the date can’t be stretched a bit if you run into unexpected problems. But having a date fixed in your mind will go a long, long way toward making that hire a priority and making sure you reach your goals.

See you here next month for our article, “Important interviewing tips.”

Philip Kemper is Founder/President of Kemper Associates, a 35 year old Chicago-based national executive search firm, specializing in Permanent and Contract staffing for Trade Shows and Exhibits, Staging and Equipment Rental, Business Meetings and Events Production, Video, Training and Incentives and more .His more complete bio is on LinkedIn at: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/philip-kemper/2/795/308/ . You may view Kemper Associates’ web site at: www.Kemperassociates.net , and contact Phil with questions or comments, and employment needs at: Kemperassoc@hotmail.com, or his private phone line: (312) 944-6551.

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