Hiring and recruiting is not an easy task, no matter what the size of the company is. Oftentimes CEOs, Directors, and other senior positions are left out of the recruiting processes.
No one knows the company as well as the CEO, and it’s their job to make sure they have the right people in their organization who can carry out their vision and strategy. As they become more involved in the recruiting loop, recruiters will greatly improve from their expertise and the company as a whole will benefit.
Larry Page, Google's CEO and founder personally reviews each new candidate the company hires. (In 2015 that was about 6,000 people in one year) The reason why? "It helps me to know what's really going on"
Finding the right set of skills with the right personality for the company is a talent. It's beneficial for CEOs to be extremely integrated with the company’s hiring strategy and team. Although their day-to-day roles might be busier here are 3 reasons CEOs should be involved in hiring.
1. Cultural Fit
Every company or brand comes fitted with its own purpose, mission, quirks, and personality. It's what defines the culture and who works there. You'd probably be able to quickly spot an employee who works at Lyft versus an employee who works for Chase Bank. Involvement from the CEO or other senior positions helps set the tone and establish expectations.
You wouldn't put oil with water and expect it to mix right? Same idea. Bringing candidates who don't have the right culture fit could disrupt the environment or create issues. It is your responsibility as the CEO to create and maintain this culture by hiring the right people. According to Dave Carvajal, CEO at Davepartners.com,
Solutions to problems and performance require leadership. To lead, in fact, is to recruit and build culture. One of the biggest hiring mistakes is spending too much interview focus on technical chops rather than on culture fit. Culture fit makes up 60% of the reason why new hires succeed or fail.
Creating unnecessary conflict and ultimately could result in the early departure of valuable team members which could stunt the growth of the company or possibly worse. Oftentimes it boils down to culture fit being equal or more important than skill, talent, or education.
Skills you can teach, a personality you cannot. When the CEO is involved in this step it helps ensure culture doesn't fade and a precedent is set. You can set up your own process similar to Larry Page of Google or work together with your recruiting team or hiring manager(s) to establish your own system. Perhaps it's ensuring one meeting or interview with each candidate or setting certain expectations with your team.
Getting involved in the hiring of your employees sets the precedent that you are interested in recruiting the perfect cultural fit. This makes recruits feel more invested in the company since they know that you care deeply about the purpose of your organization. No matter what solution you come to, getting the CEO on board helps create a stronger unification and keep continuity within the company.
2. Less Time Spent Hiring. More Time Spent Fixing Mistakes
"At most companies, people spend 2% of their time recruiting and 75% managing their recruiting mistakes." - Richard Fairbank, CEO at Captial One.
If you've ever hired or been a new employee you know that it's not a quick process. From sourcing, interviews, evaluations, hiring, then onboarding and training. If using performance-based hiring, you will be able to test for technical ability and cultural fit during the hiring process. With traditional hiring methods, you may not be able to spot issues within a candidate until it's too late.
A common result when hiring a bad candidate is to fire them and go back to square one. This means a lot of wasted hours that recruiters can't get back. Sometimes employers may feel too much time has been invested and they need to move forward with the candidate that they hired. This can actually cause more issues in the long-term. Kathryn Ullrich, Technology partner at Ogders Berndtson shares her opinion saying,
If the hire isn’t cutting it, human nature makes people want to make it work, even though it won’t ever work out... In interviewing many CEOs, they have all said their biggest mistake is not letting someone go soon enough. It’s better to have a hole in the organization than a cancerous cell.
The CEO sets the tone for the company even from hiring. This is why when they take more time to be involved, hiring managers can see what they do and apply it to their recruiting strategies. This ultimately can help the hiring process run more effectively and help the company grow with the right team members.
It’s not just about meeting the recruits, it’s about getting involved with their hiring process. It’s about being there to tell them they are a fit for the team. It’s about the recruit knowing who the CEO is, what they are like, and what the company means to them.
3. The True Cost of Hiring
“Early on, I understood the ultimate cost of hiring, not only in dollars but also in time and energy and the value to my company. No one wants to needlessly throw away money and certainly no one has an abundance of time they can afford to waste. If I don't get this part right, nothing following will matter.”
Sometimes hiring can be seen as just another task on your to-do list. This is a mindset that needs to be abandoned. The goal when hiring someone is to find the right fit for the right job. Perhaps we can call it the hiring sweet spot. Getting the CEO on board helps every hiring decision to be approached as a unique way to benefit the company or organization.
The most measurable benefit to companies is not needing to hire as often as most. When CEOs get involved in the hiring, they are essentially putting their stamp of approval of the individuals that come in every day and put in the 40 hours a week. This goes a long way in assuring that those are the right people for the job and decreasing turnover costs.
While many large corporations hire too many people for the CEO to get involved with hiring every single person, other roles like the VPs and Directors can play an important role. Train the HR department to keep that communication chain alive between recruiters and upper-level management. All of these efforts will reduce the many costs associated with hiring new people.
Learning to hire the right person is another story and requires time to develop skills. When the CEO is involved it shows hiring managers and recruiters how to approach the task and what's most important to the company. It helps your hiring managers also develop the sense and skill of hiring. After all, the only way to do better is to do it more often. It requires skill and is something you'll continue to develop.
Ultimately, as a CEO, you can lower the time and cost with more efficiency through building the skill and experience in your team. Remember different factors will affect the exact role your CEO can have in the hiring process. Setting the example is the best way to help teams get what they need to succeed
At the end of the day, hiring is perhaps the most important function of a company and shouldn't be handled by just anyone. As a leader in the company, do your best to make sure it is handled correctly and that your hiring managers are trained properly. If you're involved in the hiring process, see how you can best get involved, and make the process smoother!