Make Hiring a Priority

Mar 23,2012

When hiring a new employee, one often runs into the Catch-22 of needing someone to perform the job but having little or no time remaining for the hiring process. How can you find the time to interview and train a new employee while trying to balance your own responsibilities and the ones of the vacated position simultaneously?

The following demonstrates how the answer is actually quite simple.


Bob suddenly left his position on Wednesday. This leaves you with the responsibility of defining exactly what Bob was doing, where all of the files are, what the next step should be, and the time frames for these tasks.  At the same time, your own responsibilities cannot slip either.

Starting the hiring process within a few days of Bob’s leaving involves making time to interview candidates, and train the newly hired individual. If you wait more than a week or so to start the process, both jobs will be running at less than 100%.


  1. Ensure Bob’s role is appropriately defined. How can you train a new person to fill Bob’s role if Bob’s responsibilities are unknown or ambiguous?
  2. Phone interview. Conduct a quick 15-minute phone interview to see if it is worth bringing someone into the office for an hour. You will save yourself time overall.
  3. Interview. Do not put this off! While waiting two weeks to schedule in-person interviews may not seem like a long time to you, it is to candidates. Candidates are still looking for other opportunities and may end up with a competitor who has a more proactive process. Schedule a lunch or an early morning interview. Get it out of the way. The sooner you interview, the sooner you fill the position. Make the interview a top priority.
  4. Hire. Know that it is nearly impossible to fill a job with someone that has the exact same skill set as Bob, however it is still possible to find the right fit.
  5. Spread training across several valuable employees. Let HR take your new hire on a tour of the facility while you return voicemails.  Let a co-worker show your new hire how to work the software program while you finish your report.  Have a team lunch during your new hire’s first few days so you can have a staff meeting and food at the same time.  Although, you’ll to teach the new hire a few things yourself, you do not have to do it all alone!

Using this process, you have can find, interview, hire, and train Bob’s replacement in a much shorter time frame than you anticipate.  In making hiring a priority, you can avoid having one individual take on the responsibilities of two different positions.  You are much more likely to arrive home in time for dinner when you take time to find a candidate who is competent and capable of doing the role.

By the way, you can put away that bottle of aspirin you thought you would be opening daily with the headaches from the hiring process since your new hire is doing well!  Productivity and morale are up.  That new client is happy and your year-end bonus is looking nice!  Good thing you made hiring a priority!

By Knowledge Services | Mar 23,2012