Recruit or Train: How to Choose When Hiring for an Executive Position

Categories: Advice for HR Professionals, Advice for Start-ups and Entrepreneurs, Recruitment Advice, Trends and Learning

Recruit or Train: How to Choose When Hiring for an Executive Position

Finding the perfect talent to fulfill your company’s needs are as challenging as ever, but so is figuring out the best career path your existing employees have with you. It’s one of the reasons why hiring for any position, especially top level ones, can give upper management or even an experienced recruitment firm a difficult time.

There are two options companies can do: going through a long and arduous search for the best candidate or training existing employees to be up for the task. Each has pros and cons. For instance, hiring would entail meticulous interview processes, screening, and a probationary period to ultimately see if this new addition to the team is culturally fit. However, you can be sure that they have done this job before.

On the other hand, training will call on a lot of investment in time and company resources to ensure that the person being primed for the role truly has what it takes to fill the difficult part of an executive post. There is a higher chance that this trainee doesn’t have prior experience in a similar role in the past.

With a lot more to consider, it’s easy to see how this can be a tough decision. The infographic and discussion below will help you weigh your options and conclude which path to take while helping you create a plan for either hiring or training.

Recruit or Train: How to Choose When Hiring for an Executive Position

So, Hire or Upskill?

The talent shortage is an issue affecting most industries right now. A recent survey given to 800 recruiters revealed that 74% believe hiring is only bound to get more competitive, and 67% attributed to the shortage of high-quality candidates as their most significant setback in recruitment.

This might be one of the reasons why hiring is intimidating for recruiters or upper management, especially when it comes to filling an executive position. On the other hand, you can’t beat the experience and fresh perspective that a new hire will give your team. They may offer the kind of expertise and edge that you need to stay competitive in your business. There’s also less time worrying about the nuances and ropes of handling a managerial position since they’ve had the experience before.

The main thing you need to concern yourself with is the culture fit of your new team member, as well as unforeseen quick turnover rates. Bad hires can be expensive for the company, as quitting or firing can cost as much as 400% of the annual salary of a top-level worker. However, if you have a foolproof hiring method in place, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem for you.

Training, on the other hand, brings up plenty of opportunities within your current pool of employees. Morale can improve as others will be inspired to put in their best work, seeing as there’s career growth in the company. What’s more, culture fit will not be an issue since this person ideally should’ve been around for a while in your team.

Hiring an in-house employee also has a projected lower salary cost of 20%, which is lighter on the company’s pocket. The drawback, however, would have to be dedicating a lot of time to the trainee so that you’re sure that he or she is fully ready and up to the task. A senior member of your team may oversee this, and in the process, his or her productivity may go down as they focus on the trainee. It also depends if there are workshops or certifications you would like your managerial candidate to possess, all of which you should also shoulder.

Developing a Hiring Plan

Regardless of whether or not you’re going to hire someone new or train your existing staff, here are some essential steps you should do to ensure a seamless recruitment process.

1. Assess the current situation

What’s the pulse of the company? Are you in need of a fresh perspective or can you see the potential of a couple of candidates who can rise to the challenge? Are your business goals being met by your current staff? These are just some of the things you should look out for at this stage. It’s also imperative to check in on the company budget and see if you have the means to either invest in a recruitment firm or dedicate time and resources to your current employee.

It won’t hurt to do a preliminary hunt for the role as well in your existing talent pool for references. This could be a great way to check on the job market if there are many candidates you can find for the job.

2. Conduct a staff performance evaluation

If you have your eyes set on a few people in the team, conduct a performance review to assess their capability. Better yet, roll the evaluations down to everyone. This will help you narrow down existing employees who have the potential to take up a top level role. You’ll also be able to see if there are any gaps in the structure, further cluing you in if you need a new hire or not.

3. Analyze the evaluation information

Take time to review the data you’ve received and check if it meets your expectations. During this time, it’s not a bad idea to compare credentials with possible new hires from an existing talent pool you’ve gathered with your recruitment firm in past hires. This can help you better understand the pros and cons of each. By this stage, you would’ve already had an informed decision of which path you’re most likely to take.

4. Build a timeline

Whether you’re hiring or training, create a timeline which includes the awarding of the role, compensation, onboarding, and training, so you know when your newly appointed executive will begin performing tasks in his or her position. The timeline also sets the tone of how fast your search for a new hire is. Typically, looking for someone new takes longer than training an existing employee who is available to absorb information as soon as possible.

5. Close the deal

Closing the deal is the final step. Follow through with your onboarding and training timeline to avoid delays with the deliverables in the company. If you’re working with a new hire, tasks will get started almost instantly, whereas a trained employee may fumble in the early stages of the role.

What Does Your Company Need?

At this point, you might already have a clearer idea of which route you’re going to take when it comes to filling your vacant executive position. It all boils down to what your company needs and the budget, time, and resources you can shell out for the new hire or trainee. There’s no wrong decision when it comes to these things—rather, a thorough understanding of what your business needs at the moment.