Last Updated on February 20, 2023 by Dave Schoenbeck
Losing key personnel is inevitable as a business owner, yet it almost always catches leaders unawares. From the moment an employee gives their notice, the pressure is on to fill the position with a qualified, experienced replacement that fits well with the company culture.
While hiring the first decent candidate you come across is tempting, making the right decision for your company in the long term is more important. So I will talk you through what to do in these high-pressure situations and how to improve your decision-making in the future.
Where the Pressure Comes From
It’s unrealistic to think your employees will stay with the company forever. All you can do is be prepared when turnover happens. Unfortunately, many managers and business owners don’t think about employees leaving until too late. This lack of planning results in making decisions under pressure to hire someone as soon as possible, even if they’re not a perfect candidate.
There are many reasons for this pressure, but much comes from the fact that the rest of your staff cannot adequately shoulder the burden and you have no internal candidates to promote. This happens when:
- We ignore the need to develop a backup bench for each position
- Our resources are tied up in loyal but below-average employees, leaving little time to properly train and promote someone new.
- We look for employees to fill short-term needs rather than long-term goals.
- We skip doing honest and aggressive performance evaluations and can’t accurately challenge employee performance.
- We don’t seek out game-changers in our industry.
- We take the easy way out and don’t honestly tell some of our teammates that they aren’t cutting it.
Hiring the wrong employees is terrible for the company in the long run, no matter how convenient they seem short term. Staffing your team with subpar employees means that if one leaves, the others can’t keep up the pace. As you get more comfortable making decisions under pressure, you can start to chip away at the root of this issue.
Tips for Making Decisions Under Pressure
The first step to making decisions under pressure is to be prepared. If your company is guilty of any of the issues in the previous paragraph, you must re-evaluate how you hire, train, and retain employees. Your team should be strong enough to absorb the loss of a fellow employee, even if it takes a while to hire the right person to fill the vacancy.
Also, it would help if you always kept an eye out for people to promote or cross-train. Ensuring every employee has leadership potential and a varied skill set will make it easier to develop an internal candidate when a vacancy arises. This cuts down on training time and eases the stress of the situation.
Ensure each position has a detailed process document archived and that no employee is the sole authority on their role. If everyone knows how your organization’s systems work, more people can pick up the slack when an employee inevitably leaves.
Remember that a few weeks with an empty, while stressful, will likely not permanently affect your business. However, hiring the wrong person can. Take your time when making decisions under pressure so you can feel confident in your employee choice.
Making hiring decisions is just one crucial aspect of management. So please fill out my contact form, and let’s schedule a video call to improve your management depth and skills for the future.