Do you know what you expect from your staff? Can you put it into words that are clear and measurable? If you can’t, you are probably not getting the results that you want.
The best way to start the process of setting expectations is to utilize Key Performance Indicators, (KPIs) but you need to start at the top. What are the goals of the organization? What are the goals of your manager? What are the goals for the department and you? They need to come from the top down to make sure you are heading in the correct strategic direction. If you are not sure, ask. Get a good understanding of what your boss thinks you need to do in order to consider this a successful year for your department.
Try to be objective about the weaknesses in your department. Often, that is a good indicator of standards that are not being met. Brainstorm with your team about what you and others in the organization expect… It’s a good starting point.
Once you have that clear, identify the key things that your people need to achieve in order to be successful on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. I’ll give you an example. I worked for a service company in the Human Resources Department and the recruiting function was under me. The technical managers always seemed to complain that we did not fill open positions fast enough, and of course that meant the CEO would come down on me. He asked me how long it actually takes to fill a technical position on average, and I realized I had no real answer. I wanted to say, not that long, or we would fill them a lot faster if the hiring managers reviewed the resumes we sent them quicker, but I knew he would not be happy with either answer.
I sat down with the in house recruiter and together we developed some reports that we could use to track this process. We found that it was taking us on average 3 months to fill a technical position, not every position, but on average. This was very disruptive to the business, and it really didn’t matter where the process broke down, it was my responsibility. We spoke to some of the key hiring managers and from their input and expectations; we created our standard to fill all technical positions within 30 days and all non-technical positions within 60 days. It sounded challenging, but it seemed to be what was necessary for our company to keep its competitive edge in the industry. We could not be successful if we didn’t get these positions filled faster. So that became the Key Performance Indicator we used to evaluate the recruiter’s performance.
She understood why it was so important that we filled the tech jobs quickly and she was a part of coming up with the standard we needed to be successful. Since this was such a critical KPI for us, we met weekly on it. We reviewed the reports and she was responsible for the tracking. I helped her create the reports, but she needed to know where we were in the process for each open position. It was her responsibility to let me know if we were not on target to meet our standard. If a hiring manager was not getting back to her, she had to follow up with him before we met. When she ran into someone who wasn’t cooperating she escalated it to me, but for the most part, she was now able to explain very specifically that we needed to fill the positions within 30 days and that she would be reporting to me on what was holding up the process. Usually, they didn’t want it to be them.
By holding her and our department responsible to meet this key standard, we met our numbers almost every month and when we didn’t, I had the specific details to explain why, before my boss asked me; much less stress for me, and much more productivity from my department. Everyone wins!
Thoughts…….. Contact me at abbe@TECResourceCenter.com
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