‘What we now need is clear communication, so people are best informed, to make the right decision for them personally.’
This was the statement which greeted me as I turned on the news last night. The Government had confirmed earlier in the day that all legal restrictions would be lifted around Covid 19 come July the 19th.
This announcement was received with a mix of jubilation, concern, and questions. After an hour of watching this story be reported, one thing was clear. No matter which side of the various fences people seemed to sit on, one central point came across: clear communication is an absolute must if we are to succeed.
This post is not about the politics of the situation or even politics at all. It is about how you as a hiring manager, a business in need of growth or someone looking to add/replace an individual within your business can benefit from the world around us.
Forget Covid. If you are hiring right now or about to hire, clarity around 3 key areas below is the bedrock to your success. Communication of these 3 areas is the then the secret sauce to realising that success.
- Do not brief unprepared:
Before you stand up in your virtual version of your Downing Street briefing room (advisors optional) to tell people you are hiring, do you have the following confimed and fully branded?
- Job title
- Remuneration package
- What’s your wiggle room in reality?
- Job description
- Reporting lines
- Job advert for company LinkedIn
- Job advert for your personal LinkedIn, along with key WHY messaging
- Why are you hiring?
- Why you are excited?
- Why should someone pick your vacancy?
- Job advert for company website
- List of people within the business who you can share the role with, so they can utilise their networks to spread the word: Free advertising anyone?!
- If replacing a leaver, confirmation of the date of leaving
- Will a handover be possible?
- If no handover possible, start getting organised, record a video handover with them. Seriously the days of word document handovers are done!
- Hiring process mapped out
- Who is involved?
- Are they taking any planned holidays in the next 3 months?
- Are you taking any planned holiday in the next 3 months?
Seriously, do not step into your briefing room unless you are fully prepared. We have 16 months’ worth of examples which demonstrate how this can backfire, either live in the briefing room or in the subsequent days. Organisation is the bedrock of clear communication.
OK, we have all the detail, now what does success look like as you head into this exciting time. Surely you are not about to stand-up in-front of lots of people and say this is what I am doing, but not know what success from this process looks like? Who would do something like that…………..
- Define success:
- You have your job description, GREAT! Now, look at it:
- What are the 3 things that this person absolutely must have, what are your non-negotiables?
- Strategic v operational?
- If the role is more senior and is a combination of doing and leading, or doing and strategy. What is the success ratio over a 5-day period, one month period, 12-month period? How much operational v strategic in percentage terms will this person do?
- Location, location, location:
- Seriously it’s been 16 months, can you offer hybrid working or not?
- Can you offer fully remote or not?
- Is fully remote UK only
- Is fully remote NEVER IN THE OFFICE?
- If it’s not, then you are not offering fully remote, you are offering hybrid
- Remember it’s OK to want people in the office, in your office. Just be honest.
- What’s your compromise?
- Take all the of the above information and pick one that you would flex on for a true rockstar.
- OK, rockstars, it’s a term, it’s a concept, get on-board:
- What does a rockstar person look like for you in this process?
- You must have completed section 1 accurately to even have a chance, when planning success in relation to when this person could start.
- Lets assume you are looking for a permanent hire:
- Add 6 weeks on from today. This covers advert, interview and offer process. You are organised, that is possible. Doing it in less time you say? Hmmmm I already see a further press conference needed in the future to discuss a possible U-turn. Stick with your 6 weeks.
- Add another 1 week on for resignation, counteroffer (it’s going to happen) the inevitable ‘I need to think this through’ and then final accept.
- Add 4 weeks on for notice period.
- 11 weeks from today. That is a reasonable expectation for your new persons start date.
- Need someone in less than 4 weeks? GREAT! You need a contractor, not a permanent hire. That’s a whole different briefing.
You are organised, you know what success looks like, you know what you want and why you want it. Now let’s work out how you are going to get it.
- Follow the science?
Let’s be honest you have not just turned up at this point. The chances of this being your organisations first ever attempt at this are very slim. So, what does your science tell you? We all have science, it’s not just for Chris Whitty.
- What has worked or not worked when you have recruited before?
- First let’s define a successful hire:
- Hired, on-time, on budget, added value, still in the business
- First let’s define a successful hire:
- If you have the have achieved the above from a previous process, then map as close to as possible whatever led to that result.
BEWARE! Don’t think because this has happened before that you can skip stage 1 and 2, you can’t
- Look at processes which have happened in the past 16 months, however life also existed pre-Covid remember.
- Look at pre-covid hiring
- How did this work for you and how do the results compare to those of the last 16 months?
- Be honest, we have all had to make hard decisions in the past 16 months. Did you have to let someone go or not start someone due to Covid?
- Could this be an opportunity to be honest with them and re-engage?
- Are you going alone or in partnership?
- Neither is right or wrong, but have you been successful solo before or has someone helped support your process?
- Whether it be an external partner or internal resource, if it worked, engage them and start communicating.
- Learn from mistakes.
- Before you step foot in that briefing room. Before you think about clicking post, be completely honest about previous mistakes and rectify them before you start.
My bet is this. Any mistakes or missed opportunities which have happened before will have been due to missing out large parts of points 1 and or 2 outlined here. The good news is, you now know you cannot step into the briefing room without all the correct and valid information. Address this first.
Prepare yourself for what is out there. Prepare that lots and lots of other businesses are hiring and looking to hire right now. You must have seen it, surely? Everyone from the waiter, the baker and the website maker are looking to hire. In June alone there were over 30 mainstream news articles published with the words ‘labour shortages’ in them. Competition is fierce.
However, you want some good news?!
I bet less than 50% of businesses hiring have completed the above 3 steps before they step into their version of the briefing room. Lot will be thinking their announcement is just what people want to hear. They therefore just bust in with a smile, the backdrop of a country which are riding a football induced positivity wave and start announcing ‘we’re hiring!’
You on the other hand are organised, prepared and positive. And you know what success looks like.
Now go get it!
This article was written by Simon Brown, Founder of Digital 51. If you would like help defining your response to Simon’s 3 key questions, drop him a line on