A new survey finds that 78% of organizations plan to increase hiring in the second half of 2021. More than half of companies say their hiring is focused on growing new roles and teams, while only a third are aiming to return their staffing to pre-pandemic levels.
But while the focus on hiring for growth is wonderful, poor hiring processes could hamstring those gains. In the Hiring For Attitude research, my team at Leadership IQ discovered that 46% of new hires will fail within 18 months. It’s great to hire lots of people, but it’s less great if a significant number of them quit or fail.
A big positive here, however, is that CEOs seem to be taking hiring far more seriously than in previous eras. When I spoke with Daniel Chait, CEO and Co-founder of Greenhouse, he noted that, “Recruiting and talent management was, historically, often viewed as a very administrative function. But today, it’s far more likely to be seen as strategically vital, with CEOs giving far more attention and effort to the issue. In fact, more than eight out of ten executives in our survey believe that hiring is a top priority for their CEO.”
CEO involvement and sponsorship is an absolutely critical factor if companies expect to be successful in this next hiring wave. Without organization-wide alignment around the criteria for selecting new hires, companies could quickly find themselves caught in a never-ending loop of desperately hiring warm bodies, losing those warm bodies, desperately hiring more warm bodies, and so on.
The Hiring For Attitude study also discovered that 56% of HR executives say that half or less of their current employees have the right attitudes. And only 20% of companies have thoroughly defined the attitudes that separate their organizational culture from other companies.
The temptation to grasp for any and all warm bodies will be too strong for many hiring managers and human resource teams to resist, and the criteria for selection (if they exist) will vary wildly. It will take considerable discipline and effort from the CEO’s suite to resist the warm-body temptation and ensure that there are consistent criteria for selecting new hires.
This doesn’t mean that companies should move slowly, however. Time to hire is, and will continue to be, an incredibly important factor for recruiting the best people.
One area where CEOs could exert their influence, and see improvements quickly, would be requiring a disciplined process and set of criteria for selecting new hires. Whether it’s a structured process, a scorecard, or your top three attitudes, if there’s nothing to track, there’s no measurable way to improve. The more disciplined and intelligent the process, the faster and more effective hiring will be.
The better companies get at choosing the right people, the less likely new hires will be to quit. And the faster the companies get at choosing the right candidates, the less likely they’ll be to lose those hires to their competitors. In a world where candidates can apply easily and virtually, and many companies are hiring frantically, speed of hire sits adjoining the accuracy of hiring. “It’s a candidate’s world right now,” notes Chait, “and people have more choices where to work than ever before.”
The smartest companies will take heed of that message and apply every available resource, from the CEO on down, to disciplining, measuring, and ultimately improving their approach to hiring. The great rehiring is upon us; let’s make sure we don’t squander this opportunity for growth with poor hiring systems.