Everything takes longer than you think it will (especially hiring!)

I am, admittedly, an incredibly impatient person. It’s one of the reasons I LOVE the internet; instant gratification. I can get the answer to that question about a movie, or immediately order something I want (from Amazon, natch), without ever having to leave my home (and often without even having to get out of the chair I’m sitting in!).

But it’s critically important to keep in mind that most things in life, and especially in business, take longer than they think they will. And this is especially true of hiring staff. I know recruiting firms have rules-of-thumb for how long it will take to hire key senior positions, but even for the most junior positions, my experience is that hiring a qualified and quality individual takes much longer than we think it will.

I raise this issue for two reasons:

  1. We need to give ourselves as much time as possible to fill positions. This means that if we’ve got a new position being created, or if an existing position opens up due to turnover, we must act NOW to fill the position. That means keeping existing job descriptions up-to0-date, and it means quickly creating job descriptions for new positions. It also means listing these positions as quickly as possible.
  2. When we’re rushed, we make bad decisions. One of the worst hiring decisions I made was during the height of the dot-com era in the late 90s. I desperately needed a salesperson, and I hired a guy who looked good on paper, but gave me a bad vibe during the interviews. But I was desperate and hired him anyway. Within four months, it was obvious it wasn’t working out, and we agreed to part ways. So giving yourself as much time as possible to make a hiring decision will minimize the chances of making a bad hire.

So if you’re thinking of creating a new position, or know that you’ve got a position coming open soon, get to work NOW on completing the job description and advertising the position. The longer you wait, the longer it’ll take!

About Wes Trochlil

For a quarter century, Wes has worked in and with dozens of associations and membership organizations throughout the US, ranging in size from zero staff (all-volunteer) to over 700. In that time Wes has provided a range of consulting services, from general consulting on data management issues to full-scale, association-wide selection and implementation of association management systems.

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