“Our organization is going to be hiring. With so many people downsized and looking for employment this should be easy, right?”
—Employer, Anywhere, USA
With national unemployment over 11% at the time of this writing and many institutions and organizations laying off or furloughing professionals in all areas, there may be more people on the market than at any time in recent memory. But how do you determine which candidate will integrate well into your staff and the culture of the organization?
In March of 2019, a Gallup.com article cited an average cost of one-half to two times an employee’s salary to replace that person—most likely even more for a front line major gift officer, due to the lost opportunity cost of the money not being raised while the position is empty. In a time of budget cuts, if you hire someone who does not stay, there is a possibility your organization will choose to eliminate or freeze the position and spread its duties among other staff (who are likely already over-burdened). Here are a few tips to make sure you hire based on matching values, philosophical alignment, and shared passion– three things we believe contribute to longevity for an employee at any level.
Why do they want *this* position? Look for answers that demonstrate they are aligned with the mission of your organization. Have they done their research/do they know what makes your organization unique? Do they have solid examples illustrating their alignment?
Does this seem like a reasonable next step in their career? People stay in positions longer when the role provides them with professional challenges and opportunities for growth. If this will be a lateral move, or a step backwards, you risk them leaving soon after the economy improves.
Where did they stay the longest? What caused them to remain there for that length of time? Explore with them what you can offer to get similar results.
Ask them directly, “What other opportunities are you exploring?” Listen to hear if they are looking in same “category” or industry. If they are looking at disparate positions, it may indicate that they are not clear on what they really want. Are they really going to be committed to your organization, or are they just looking for the highest salary?
Look for creativity. The world is changing rapidly. Someone who can create contingency plans and adapt quickly is likely to be a big asset to your team, less likely to get frustrated, and more apt to stay.
Provide them honest answers to the questions they ask. We are hearing questions like:
- What is the organization’s financial stability?
- Has the organization had layoffs or furloughs since the economic crisis began?
- How dedicated is the organization to filling this position right now?
- Is the position/office/team adequately resourced? What do you foresee over the next 12 months?
- Do you foresee budget cuts coming? If yes, how is this position likely to be affected by that?
In this time of instability, it is more important than ever to make good hiring decisions. If you would like to discuss how BRYANT GROUP can help, contact us today!