4 Factors to Consider as You Hire for the New Year

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For a record fourth time this week, my daughter and I sat waiting on a train to cross the road so we could get her to school. Emma said, “It sure seems like there are more trains this week than normal!” Being a dad, I responded, “Maybe the trains are like people, and they’ve made a resolution that they’re going to run more this year…”

Bad dad jokes aside, there is a reason people make New Year’s resolutions. The first month of the year for many is like a blank sheet of paper. It symbolizes a fresh start, full of endless possibilities. The beginning of a new year is a natural segue into new ideas, opportunities, strategies, and practices.

If you lead an organization—whether it’s a church, nonprofit, school, values-based business, or family office—you may be taking a fresh look at how you do things this year. Maybe you’re considering something as simple as rearranging your office to increase productivity. You might be planning to introduce new programs, or maybe your organization is completely restructuring. 

Regardless of what you might be planning for this year, I suggest you also take a critical look at your hiring practices. The success or failure of a new team member—good or bad—can almost always be drawn straight back to the hiring process. It’s  important to consider how you’ve hired employees in the past, and how you might improve those processes for the future.

There is a good chance that you’ll be hiring at least one new person in 2020 whether it’s because of employee turnover, the development of a new role, or the need for more personnel in an existing department. Of course, you want to hire the best person for the job—and one that fits your organization’s culture, too.

Here are four things you should consider for hiring in 2020.

1. Prepare for a war for talent.

I am increasingly convinced (for a number of reasons) that the need for great team members actually outnumbers the candidates available. Be sure to budget time and money to find the best person for the job. The best candidates aren’t just applying for a job at your organization or business—they’re likely applying to multiple places. It also might be that they’re not applying to work for your organization at all. You may have to seek them out. The best and the brightest are harder to find, so make sure you’re willing to do what it takes—within reason— to get them on board.

2. Employee turnover is a reality as people are changing jobs and careers more frequently than ever.

While smart leaders always study employee churn and why it’s happening, it’s more normal than ever. I’m seeing smart leaders plan for this new reality. One simple preparation is to make sure that every person you hire has a successor behind them.

The best succession planning is done through internal leadership development. Create opportunities for mentorship and professional development. Standardize and cross-train employees so there is always someone who can take the reins if another employee leaves. Give away authority and not just tasks. When you raise up leaders and promote from within your organization, you’re more likely to retain employees who fit your culture. Promoting experienced employees means you won’t miss a step—business can keep running smoothly because you won’t have to take as much time to train them.

3. Learn all you can about Generation Z.

This generation is the one after Millennials and will soon be a significant part of the labor force. You can't avoid it—you will eventually have to hire a member of Generation Z. Learn and grow in your knowledge of how to relate to them and how to retain them as long-term employees.

Generation Z is the first generation that is truly digital—but that doesn’t mean they don’t want human interaction. As organizations increasingly move to flexible hours and remote working policies, make sure you keep a human touch. Meetings in person or even through a video call are a great way to get face time, even if the majority of their work is digital. Begin taking steps now to prepare your workplace for them.

4. Don't ask candidates about compensation.

Interviewing laws have changed in recent years and this standard question is no longer a standard.  In most states, it's now illegal to ask what candidates are currently making. Research articles about GDPR: General Data Protection Regulation. Though GDPR was developed and written in the European Union, it may have implications in the United States.

It's natural to try to figure out what someone is making and offer them a little more in order to remain competitive. But, legality aside, you also need to be a good steward of the funds that you have. Try to strike a balance between offering a competitive salary and being wise in how you steward your resources.

As we enter 2020, think about your hiring processes over the last decade. What went well? What could have gone better? How much turnover have you experienced? How has your organization’s culture shifted and developed, and how does that affect your hiring practices? 

Your organization is only as strong as the team of employees behind it, so make this year the year you commit to developing hiring processes that bring you the best employees you can find. 

Vanderbloemen serves teams with a greater purpose by aligning their people solutions for growth: hiring, compensation, succession, and culture. Through its retained executive search and consulting services, Vanderbloemen serves churches, schools, nonprofits, family offices, and Christian businesses in all parts of the United States and internationally. 

For more information or inquiries contact: info@vanderbloemen.com or (713)300-9665.

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