In every company, there are 2 departments: sales and marketing, and all the rest. The marketing department drives units and revenues. The other departments are to run as efficiently as possible. Their primary goal is to save money, and every dollar saved is used to allow sales and marketing to advertise and sell more units. The only department not asked to come up with creative ideas to save money is human resources.
Those days are over. All departments are being asked to contribute to the bottom line. In the past, the mere mention of such a thing to human resources was thought to be taboo. How can you decrease what you spend on recruiting? How can you eliminate background checks? How can you more effectively change the timing or availability of new hires?
You can’t. But there are 3 things you can look into that may impact your bottom line.
Provide training only where needed
If you hire an experienced candidate, do you have to train them on everything? You should have the candidate complete an assessment, and train them only where there is a deficiency. By doing this; the delta between hire date and productive day will shrink. The faster you get them generating sales; the more incremental sales you make. This is a win-win.
Hire for later; not now
This will be the most difficult to execute; but will definitely be the most beneficial if you can. On the surface it looks like over hiring, but it’s much more than that. Over hiring is hiring the person with the most skills; whether those skills align to your needs or not. When hiring for later, you are consciously hiring a person who has skills you need now and later. So, for example, you are looking to hire someone for door to door sales now; but know you will be hiring for retail sales later; then your hiring team will be on the lookout for someone proficient at both. By doing this, you are effectively building your own bench.
There are some disadvantages to doing this. You may have to pay your new hires more than you normally pay them. Also, your long term plans may change, and with it change your employee profile. But the old adage says: “better to have it and not need it; than need it and now have it.”
Poach from winners
It’s not enough to poach people with experience. If not careful, you may poach someone who is a bad long term fit for your team. Your best bet is to poach someone who works for a successful company. It may sound like a no-brainer; but typically hiring teams look for experience; not the company that they came from. A winner with a bag full of ideas that are proven to be successful may be a shot in the arm for your company.
The right moves by your H/R team may be the engine that drives your company’s revenue, cash flow, and stock value.
About the Author: Stephen Thomas is an Executive with 27 years of experience. He currently has over 1,000 employees, and has conducted hundreds of interviews for candidates at all levels of an organization. Thomas currently writes articles on careers for the Chicago Examiner. Thomas writes out of his passion and desire to help leaders tap into their visionary talents and make good companies great.
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