08 Jun Should You Develop the People You Have or Is It Time to Hire?
Every time you hire someone new, you know it’s going to come at a big cost.
Not just a monetary cost – but also a big time commitment from you and your team to welcome them in and train them up.
New hires not only need to be trained but they may not even be in a position to contribute value to a practice until after a few weeks of months after they have settled in and learned the ropes.
With these kinds of expenses in mind, the next obvious question becomes quite important.
What would happen if you decided to spend what you would on those new hires to train the team that you already have?
Training can help deliver a specific set of skills to groups of your employees all in one go.
In addition to this, when you look at the overall cost of training compared to the overall costs of hiring, it seems that the idea of training makes more financial sense.
Besides, for many practice owners training seems like the right thing to do.
Hiring new employees is a long process and it will take some time before you can maximise their full potential for your company.
However, even though further training your staff may seem like an obvious choice, it’s not always as easy as it seems.
It is in fact possible to invest a lot in employee training and get very little in return. Conversely, it’s possible to hire new people and maximise their full potential in no time. It all depends on how you approach each and every situation.
Understanding performance and under performance among staff is often the most important thing.
Why are employees underperforming? Is it because of systematic failures within the company or is it just an individual phenomenon based on the employee’s personality.
Personalities do matter in the workplace.
For example, people who are low in terms of conscientiousness are less likely to meet deadlines at work or complete the tasks assigned to them in time.
Staff who actually manage to do so tend to struggle and require so much extra effort to overcome their personality tendency.
The same personality constraints may also apply to business owners. Take as an example an boss with a negative attitude who’s always resistant to any kind of change. What will training do to change his or her view? Will it somehow change his personality traits and make him or her more open to change? Probably not!
Personality is often considered something un-trainable. You cannot change or train someone to have a certain personality.
Eventually, no matter how much money you spend on this, it will simply be nothing but a waste.
In most cases, in order to maximise the benefits of training at work, it would be best to spend training money on employees who are struggling with job-related knowledge and. These are usually things that can be improved with more exposure, practice, and constructive feedback.
But can personality traits be a reason to fire someone?
After all, if individual personalities are making it problematic for an employee to deliver value to the practice, the right course of action would be to get rid of him or her, right?
Well, it doesn’t work like that. You must always assess the issue carefully because everyone has a personality flaw. If people were fired for this no one would have a job.
The main question to ask yourself as a boss is simple.
Does the team member’s personality adversely affect his or her productivity at work? Is their personality trainable?
It’s only when you have established the answers to these two questions that you will be able to make the right decision. In addition to this, you may also avoid a lot of trouble if you basically hire employees with personalities that facilitate enhanced-job performance. We always recommend personality testing in the hiring process for this purpose!
Learning new knowledge at the workplace is also something quite inevitable.
Changes in technology and organisational structure always present new opportunities for acquiring new knowledge.
Practices that want to have the edge in the market must leverage on such opportunities and ensure that new knowledge and skills are impacted on employees as appropriately as possible.
Motivating the team is essentially the job of every manager. Promotion from within can be a reliable source of this kind of inspiration. If team members see their colleagues being promoted on merit, they are inspired. They see themselves getting at that level too one day and are bound to work harder. From an employer’s point of view, promotions can be viewed as a return on investment put on training. And because training someone in-house instead of hiring and training new people costs less, that return can be quite substantial.
It’s common practice to always circulate whatever vacancies available internally with current employees first before searching outside. This ensures that even if you ultimately end up employing someone new for the opening, at least your employees will see that they had the opportunity to be considered. In addition to this, your internal workforce might also be quite resourceful. They may suggest a number of outside hires that could easily meet the criteria that you are looking for.
Developing a Development Culture
Promoting employees from within can also help ensure that the person who takes over an important position is aware of the company’s values and culture. This is not always true for new hires. It may take some time for the new employees to understand the values of the business. But promoting internally doesn’t always guarantee that the persons taking up crucial positions within the organization know what the company is about. It all depends on the kind of training and policy that the organization has put in place.
In a work environment where training is encouraged as a path towards promotion, then it’s very likely that the people who get promoted will be adverse and adapted to the organization’s culture. There can also be a downside to promoting from within. You don’t want employees to become entitled. Even as you promote internally, it has to be clear that you still retain the discretion to promote or demote people based on how you see fit.
Identifying the Skills Gap
One crucial factor that determines whether you will have to hire or train employees is based on the skills gap that needs to be filled within the organization. For employers who have the right internal training processes, most of the time the talent needed to deliver certain specific skills will be available within the organization.
Practices that are expanding on venturing into new sectors are more likely to require outside talent compared to those that are already in their comfort zone. For example, if you are looking to expand your online presence through rigorous social media marketing campaigns, your internal marketing team might lack the required expertise to venture into this new and different area. Such a situation calls for the hiring of external talent.
Nonetheless, whatever skills you are looking for, always make sure the vacancy is available internally first before going outside searching for talent. In fact, you could be surprised how versatile some of your current employees can be.
Seeing the Big Picture
There are some unique cases where employers might require bringing in people at senior management levels simply because the idea of hiring people internally doesn’t seem good. Strategic vision that steers companies towards success usually doesn’t come from training. Even though training plays a small part, strategic vision is often a product of long-term experience in management roles.
You Must Hire If You Want to Expand Your Business
There will come a time in the life of an practice owner when they will need to hire people. The thought is however resisted for some time. There’s always this perception that hiring new people is simply too much hassle. Many business owners have various ways of coping. In cases where they have a full schedule, they may decide to turn down patients and in other cases, they will hire sub-contractors or locums on a short-term basis to get the job done.
In other words, a big portion of self-employed people would prefer to run their practices as a one-man show. But if you want to grow and expand your business, the one-man show approach is really not sustainable. Although it’s perfectly okay for a small business, expanding practices will, at some point, have to take in employees.
So, how do you start? How do you bring in a team to help you reach your goals? Well, there’s no easy way to do this but there are a few basic principles that can guide you through.
There’s one simple question that needs to be asked. Why do I need this employee?
You need to be careful about how you answer this question. If you are simply looking to hire someone just because you are busy with other things, then you are not approaching this the right way. If you want to grow your company by bringing in people to work with you, there has to be some value they add as part of your team. You shouldn’t hire just for the sake of it. You must make sure that the person who comes on board will do one or two things that get you closer to your goals in growing your practice.
As a rule of thumb, always write a list of each employee’s skills and the kind of contributions you think they will make towards your growth. This will make it easy for you to bring in the right people. You need to also look at your job description. Is it really needed? When you are hiring someone, there has to be a specific set of roles, duties, and responsibilities that they will perform. Do these roles really reflect the needs of the company at that particular time?
Finally, make sure you understand the economics of hiring new talent. How much money will you be spending on this new person? Make sure you have included all costs including potential sick leaves and the cost of early dismissal in case things don’t work out. Are there any special equipment needed for the new employee? What about working space? All these things represent an expenditure on your part. In that case, you must always make sure that the cost of hiring is less than the overall value that an employee will bring to the table once they get the job.