Building a team does take time, investment is needed from the hiring manager to decide the type of person to fit into the team/organisation and then the process needed to find that person. It’s important to get this first part right otherwise the rest of the process could be futile. Even once that’s done and CV’s start coming in that does not send a signal indicating the position will soon be filled! Being told that head count might be lost if its not used quickly sends the wrong message and makes a mockery of what should be a careful process.
One thing you don’t want to do is hire someone for the sake of it, this could cause real problems for the team on the long run. I understand there are other pressures in organisations with budgets and targets to meet. Even pressures within our own teams when we’re aiming to deliver features with limited people and/or time. This is more of an indicator that other things should change, not the recruitment process. I’ve seen head count get reallocated to give more budget or the count is given to other departments if not used in enough time.
One thing that’s often forgotten is the message this sends out the team who has the head count. They are well aware that there is a position open and also probably under pressure to meet their own deadlines. If the head count is taken away or someone is brought in for that position who may not be an ideal fit for the team, what do you think their reaction will be? It’s this type of thing that weakens a strong team, you may not see it straight away but cracks could start to appear if it isn’t handled correctly.
Sometimes I get the impression there are people who think recruitment is as simple as picking someone from a list of CV’s, a bit like a conveyor belt of people…pick who you like! I hope I’m wrong, but there can be a disconnect between the needs of the team and those making decisions who sit outside the team.
A few thoughts to tackle this:
- In team planning, only commit to what you have enough people for. Don’t make an assumption that a position will be filled to help finish the work.
- Be clear and open about the type of person you’re looking for, there is nothing standard about anyone.
- Work with other departments so there is a common understanding on how finding the right person is so important.
- Make sure the recruitment process is clear and understood by those not directly involved but can impact with decisions.
- Be open with status to the team who has the head count. They know what is going on, leaving them in the dark will only cause the rumour mill to being.
There are obvious differences when hiring contractor and permanent roles, but the principles are the same. You still want to make sure you get the right person in!
Nothing would make me happier than finding the right people straight away, the time saving would be immense! But this is not reality so work with others to ensure this important process isn’t rushed!