As a business owner, you know this situation: a key employee walked out the door today. They were the only person who could do their job. You are the only person who can now do the job, but you do not have the time. Now what? You must find a way to manage and divide those responsibilities among the rest of your people, hoping that nothing falls through the cracks. What you really want would be to have a depth chart for each position in your company. It would be made up of people who are a perfect fit for this position.
The problem is you do not know HOW to maintain a depth chart of the right people. You have a hard-enough time trying to find just one good person to fill a position in your company. A whole list of people for several positions within your company sounds like an impossible task, with no clear starting point. Scrambling to find someone always seemed to work out ok, but could there be a better way?
If you continue to scramble for each new hire, your company is going to be held back from building on its current success. New hires will have growth pains that could have easily been avoided. You will risk losing all the knowledge that your employee gained. Your new employee will not be able to learn from your outgoing employee. You will always have to be ready to go into emergency mode to find a replacement, and the temptation is to hire one of the first people who come along. This will feel good in the moment, until you realize you rushed your hiring process and ended up with the wrong person.
What if people walking out the door did not create an emergency? What if you had a simple process to bring in another employee who can fill all the responsibilities left behind? What if you could upgrade your employee? How would that affect the way you spent your time at the company? How would that change the growth of your business?
Here are 4 simple tips to begin creating this depth chart of the right people for your company:
1. Know Who You are Looking For
- Take 15 minutes and write down the characteristics of an ideal employee for your company. Next, take 10 minutes and write down the top 3-5 positions that would be the most time-consuming to fill.
2. Use Your Network the Right Way
- You are directly or indirectly connected to dozens of people who would be a great fit for your company. But you just do not know those people well enough yet. Start asking questions. Be curious about the people you interact with.
3. Create an Effective Interview Process
- This will be one of the greatest time-savers of this entire process. Write out the 3-5 major steps in your interview process. These will serve as your foundation to piecing your process together. You do not want to have to re-create this every time, so write out exactly how it is going to work.
4. Start Your Process and Develop Your List
- Even if you are not currently hiring, you need to know who is out there. Reach out to them, get to know them, get to know their skillset, understand where they would fit in with your company, and develop your bench depth. Follow up with them every so often, learning about where they are at in their career and where they are wanting to go.
Today, take 15 minutes and write down those characteristics of an ideal employee. Be specific, anything vague is not going to help you during this process. After you have these characteristics, you will notice the people in your network that could fit into your company. Leverage those connections. You never know who people know. Your depth chart will begin to fill out and an employee leaving does not sound as devastating as it once was. Your company will no longer own you and your time. Invest in your company now. Your future self will thank you for all the time you saved.