Big Red Car here. Nice sunny warm day here in the ATX. It is summer, Old Sport, and it is going to be a warm one.
So The Boss was visiting with one of his CEOs and they got to chatting about the hiring process from a mechanical perspective. The Boss loves nothing as well as a well defined and streamlined process and a process graphic.
At the end of the day, the hiring process is really a search or discovery function — finding the right person for the right job. It is most surely a process.
The basic employment compact
The basic employment compact between an employer and an employ is, in The Boss’s humble opinion:
1. a promise by the company to provide a supportive work environment and important work that will be challenging and fulfilling and fairly compensated for the employee; and,
2. a promise by the employee to provide their best efforts to accomplish these worthy objectives assigned by the company.
This is a gross oversimplification of the compact which could consume thousands of words to describe but at its core, it outlines the basic employment compact. It is a positive assertion all about mutual commitment.
Should the company fail to deliver on its promise and the employee has expressed their discomfiture to no avail, then the employee should logically leave and leave with no reservations or regrets.
Should the employee fail to deliver on his promise and the employer has expressed their discomfiture to no avail, then the employer should terminate the employee’s employment and they should go their separate ways with no repercussions or regrets.
Hey, Big Red Car, we don’t want to know that kind of mealy mouthed crap, we want to know the process. Give us some damn meat, Big Red Car.
OK, the process should be focused on these touch stones:
Job description — specific skill and experience requirements and objectives of the position;
Company history and description — Vision, Mission, Strategy, Tactics, Objectives, Values and Company Culture in sufficient detail to provide an appreciation for the environment in which the new employee will be operating but not in such detail that the prospective employee possesses confidential, proprietary or trade secret information;
Interview process — the process and people (specifically including the supervisor of the prospective new employee) who will conduct the interview in accordance with the following interview checklist;
Interview checklist — the interview questions to be asked as well as any external due diligence inquiries such as education verification, experience verification, reference checks and other pertinent due diligence inquiries;
Job offer — a letter offering the position to the new employee and the terms and conditions under which the offer is made with a deadline for acceptance;
Basis of Employment — in at will employment states this document outlines the basis upon which the employee has been hired in great detail without violating the at will employment arrangement;
Objectives — as part of the Basis of Employment, the initial objectives which are to be the critical frame of reference for performance appraisal and performance measurement; and,
Performance appraisal — the form and basis for measuring performance in the future and the clear indication of the importance of objective accomplishment as the basis for measuring performance.
Each of these items could be discussed and described in infinite detail but this discussion today is intended solely as an introductory explanation of the elements of the mechanical process. In the weeks ahead, we will discuss them and The Boss will provide real world exemplars of each such document as a reference point.
While this seems like a lot of work, the hiring of excellent talent for any team is one of the most critical elements in its long term success. It is no more important than, say, water or air. [Wow, Big Red Car, that is as important as gasoline or oil to a Big Red Car, no? Yes, Old Sport, this is damn important stuff.]
As part of the process of identifying, recruiting and hiring the requisite talent — the employment and hiring process — the initial contact with the company which we call the “onboarding process” is also a critical element for long term success of the relationship.
It may be trite to say: “You never get a second chance to make a first impression” — well, it is trite and it is truth. Deal with it says the Big Red Car. Deal with it.
That first minute of the first hour of the first day is all important for the long term success of the relationship. It sets a tone which will not have another chance to be reset.
The Boss used to take special care with new employees at the headquarters — remember he was running multi-city, multi-state operating businesses and could not always be there when new employees were hired in the field — and would wear a suit to work and greet the new employee at the door and spend the first hour of their day acquainting them with the Vision, Mission, Strategy, Values of the company.
He used a flip book that he developed that was given to the employee.
It was a process, believe me. But it worked like a charm.
Today, The Boss will stumble into one of his former employees — many of whom have gone on to glorious careers — and they will smile and retell the story of their first day and tell The Boss they still have that Vision, Mission, Strategy, Values booklet. It makes him laugh but it reminds him of the importance of the onboarding process.
We will talk more about that also in the weeks ahead.
So, Grasshopper, take a second and think about your employment and hiring process; and, your onboarding process. Even if you only have two employees, it is never too early to develop worthy and effective processes.
But, hey, what the Hell do I know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car.