Proactive Hiring: How to Get Ahead of Staffing Needs

Business Coaching

Proactive hiring takes time. You need to do the pre-hire work: determine a budget, write up a job description, advertise the position, screen applicants, conduct interviews. And once the ideal candidate has accepted your offer, you need to onboard and train them.

It can become a bit of a catch-22: You need help managing the work it takes to grow your business, but you’re too busy doing the work to commit time to getting the help you need.

In the moment, it might feel easiest to put hiring on the back burner and continue handling everything on your own. But the longer you prioritize the tasks on your list over recruiting and hiring, the more unwieldy your list will become. If you’re not behind now, you will be soon. It might feel like you’re prioritizing growth, but you’re really undercutting it.

Imagine a jar surrounded by big rocks and little pebbles. You have to find a way to fit all the rocks and pebbles in the jar. But if you don’t fit them together perfectly, the jar will overflow.

It’s easy to scoop up a handful of pebbles. It takes a little more time to drop in the rocks one by one. Here’s the problem: If you fill the jar with all the pebbles first, the rocks toward the top will be surrounded by empty space. They won’t nestle neatly together like pebbles do, and you’ll be left with a few rocks that just won’t fit.

When you start with the big rocks, the pebbles will fill the space between the rocks. They’ll fit where they fit, and you’ll soon have a jar filled right to the brim with every rock and pebble in your pile.

Recruiting, hiring and training are your big rocks. Your day-to-day tasks are the pebbles. Put the rocks before the pebbles and you’ll soon find things fitting together much more cleanly and efficiently than they did before.

It’s an easy enough idea when you’re dealing with a metaphorical jar. But how do you put it into practice? You know you need to prioritize hiring, but you can’t neglect every single task on your list in the meantime.

Here are some tips for carving out the time you need to take steps toward getting help:

  • Use a time log to see where your time is really going, then decide what to delegate first.
  • Pay attention to how you do things so you know what skills and traits to look for.
  • Use a paper and pen, your phone, a voice recording or short video to record what you do and how you do it—while you’re doing it—then create simple systems based on the steps you take.
  • Plan out each new hire’s first two weeks, giving thought to: 
    • the training they’ll need and who will do it;
    • what tasks they’ll be doing;
    • how they’ll use their time to learn tools and technologies, get up to speed on the company and whatever information will make for a smooth onboarding process.

You can’t make the day longer. But you can make room in your schedule to bring on the help that will ultimately make the time you do have sufficient. And the sooner you set the pebbles to the side and focus on the rocks, the sooner you’ll have a workload that gives you the breathing room you need to dedicate your time to growth.

When you’re ready to take back your time, we have resources to help you fine-tune your hiring process, time management and systems creation. And if you’re ready to explore other support for growing your business, schedule a free one-hour session with an EMyth Coach

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