The Chemistry of Strategy tm Newsletter May 26, 2010

Are you starting to hire again?

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Companies are starting to hire again. Now is the time to review your own hiring process and think strategically about it.

A recent Wall Street Journal article says it typically costs a company about half of the position's annual salary to recruit a person for a job, but the cost can run up to several times that if the position requires rare skills. Make sure that you are investing in filling the truly strategic positions.

Strategic planning is the most effective process for utilizing the entire team to identify which new positions will have the biggest impact on your company's future and which existing positions should be phased out.

I've been told by HR professionals that you should expect to hire three people for every two that work out. This three-for-two ratio assumes a near perfect recruitment process. The pre-hiring process can only go so far to mitigate this. In my experience, finding that the "chemistry" didn't work out 33% of the time seems about right. A chemistry problem usually becomes clear within the first 90 days of hiring and never seems improve.

A good policy is to hire slowly and fire quickly.

Hiring slowly starts with an effective hiring process. You need to clarify the results you expect from the new hire before you start interviewing. Write down the specific expectations including likely measures such as bringing in at least three major new clients or transitioning IT smoothly to the new facility.

Identify the key decisions you expect the new hire to make and the minimum authority you expect the new hire to be trusted with. For major decisions you want employees with sufficient competence to either act independently or inform you after acting. (See page 6 of my Employment Relations Today article for details on creating and using an accountability table.)

In my next newsletter I'll discuss the other two key elements of an effective hiring process - interviewing and on-boarding.

Now is the time to shift to growth

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nonfarm payroll employment has grown four months in a row. April 2010 growth was an impressive 290,000 new hires. 

The world economy is moving out of the recession – is your company poised for growth? While you may have been focused on reducing budgets and cutting staff, you know that your company won’t survive and thrive in the long term unless you turn your attention to growth. As the economic picture brightens, now is the time to move from a cost containment strategy to a growth strategy.

John W. Myrna

is co-founder of
Myrna Associates Inc

My next Webinars
Create and Communicate Your Strategic Plan
June 2, 2010
2:30-3:30 ET

Effectively Delegate Tasks to Drive Productivity and Growth
July 7, 2010
1:00-2:00 ET

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New in our shop

We have initiated a Run with the Big Dogs Blog to document the clever solutions our clients have developed to typical problems.

Let John know what you think.

True or False?

"Strategic Planning is only for big companies."

Customer Feedback
"Jim was instrumental in keeping the group organized and focused. He was able to bring out the best in all participants and get them to "buy-in" to the new vision created, with his help, we have staff eager to follow the roadmap to a successful future for our company"
Jason Darow - VP Acenet Inc.



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