Desperation Hiring

  • Business woman frustrated at the hiring process

At least 7 reasons why this is a bad idea

One of the hardest things to tackle when you are a small, fast growing company is hiring.  I’m not talking about the mechanics of employment, but rather the timing of each new person so that you maintain the customer services levels and delivery schedules necessary to do good work.  In this highly active labor market it may take you some time to find the right combination of skill, character and experience.  When faced with impending deadlines or an unexpected resignation, many hiring managers feel like their backs are against a wall. They end up resort to desperation hiring – making an offer to a less than ideal candidate and hoping they will be a shining star.

Here are 7 of the many reasons why this is a bad idea:

1. Company productivity

When you hire someone who is not skilled enough to be immediately productive or doesn’t have the mental agility to pick up new concepts quickly, you are deliberately diminishing the entire team’s velocity.  Everyone else on the team has to take the time to train, explain, and double check work at the expense of their own productivity.  Big companies can often afford to take the time necessary to ramp up a new employee and ease them into the process, making adjustments for gaps in their skillset.  For small businesses, it’s just too costly to hire wrong.

2. Team member morale

Every time you let someone who is less than ideal into your organization, you deliver a message that sounds like this.  “It’s more important for me to get work done than to maintain the high level of quality that I’ve expected from you.” This is especially true if you made the decision in spite of warnings from members of your team. If they don’t feel they are working among equals, morale goes down for everyone.

3. Clean up

Hiring out of desperation means that for weeks and months after they are gone – and eventually they will be gone – you will be repairing damage, cleaning up messy work, and even trying to recreate stuff that never got done.  The cost of this mistake may be unimaginable.

4. Company values

Let’s assume that you have established a set of core values to align everyone in your company.  When you make a desperate hire you will likely compromise on those values.  You’ve instantly risked dilution of that alignment and the culture you’ve built.

5. Unemployment

Making a bad hire today that results in an involuntary discharge opens you up for unemployment liability for years.  There is nothing worse than being reminded of a bad hire 3 years ago when you receive an unemployment claim and have to pay it.

6. Customer impact

When you are a small company trying to grow market share, every person on your team will have contact with your customers. Email correspondence, phone conversations, technical support, billing, ordering – every touchpoint creates a snapshot of you in the customer’s mind.  A bad hire will absolutely create a bad impression that can last long after the bad hire is gone.

7. Employment Brand

A bad hire may result in unexpected turnover, which will impact your reputation as a quality employer in the market.  This means that those high performing people you need will notice how many people are “former employees” and decide that you aren’t the company they are interested in.  Social media has made it VERY easy for candidates to check you out in advance.  Make sure you create a positive image and give employees every reason to recommend you to other top talent.

I’m sure that you can add to this list with at least 10 more reasons not to hire in desperation.  I’m also certain that each time you make this mistake you promise never to do it again.  I know I do!

For more ideas on making sure you plan in advance for a good hire visit us here!

About the Author:

Kimberly Lucas is the Founder and Chief People Connector at Goldstone Partners, Inc., a Colorado-based search and talent advisory firm specializing in recruitment strategy and engaged search for privately-held companies. As a seasoned entrepreneur and career coach, Kimberly is committed to helping founders build strong, profitable companies that stand the test of time. As a Certified StrengthsFinder coach she works with individuals and teams to help them achieve their stated objectives. Kimberly is an active mentor for MBA students at the University of Colorado’s Leeds School of Business, serves on the board of the Rockies Venture Club, is a founding member of RVC Women and facilitates a Thinking Partner Mastermind group.